Oblix, The Shard

An exciting new venture from Rainer Becker and Arjun Waney, the duo behind up market London eateries Zuma and Roka.

Towering above London on the 32nd floor of the Shard (reached via the non-stop lift which zooms you up in under 5 seconds) the breathtaking views alone are enough to warrant a visit.

We recommend arriving early and kicking off proceedings with a cocktail in the wonderfully chilled out Lounge where friendly mixologists served us Betsy Theory cocktails in silver tumblers with metal straws garnished with real feathers.

We watched in awe as he casually chiseled the ice for our drinks off a huge half metre slab of the stuff on top of the bar with an ice pick and saw.

The vibe here is relaxed and informal and the views arguably the best in the building looking East over Tower Bridge as barges float by.But there is more to Oblix than knock-out views and clever bar gimmicks. The restaurant is serious about its food. Executive chef is Fabien Beaufour ( The French Laundry and Eleven Madison Park) whilehead chef is Rosie Yeats-Greenslade, (previously at Aurelia and Roka).

All dishes here are intended to be shared and are brought out as and when they are ready, which means everything is freshly prepared and piping hot. We shared 3 starters; the sublime crunchy Crab cakes with generous morsels of the freshest white crab meat accompanied by a delicate sauce. We also plumped for the perfectly cooked meaty soft scallops and a robustly flavoured yet surprisingly light beef cevice.

For mains, we sampled the whole sea bream stuffed with herbs – again fresh, melt-in-the-mouth fish which fell beautifully off the bone with hints of rosemary and fennel; and the nicely browned and crispy yet tender rare lamb chops.

The side dishes were a meal in themselves; a sumptuous roasted cauliflower cheese topped with roasted nuts and a portion of al dente lightly grilled asparagus. Delightful.

Determined not to be defeated, we made it through to round three (just about) rounding it all off with a desert of mango sorbet plus the blow-your-mind rich chocolate brownie sundae with creamy vanilla ice cream, hot fudge and caramelized cashew – WOW.

And the piece de resistance? – the refreshingly young warm yet superbly knowledgeable female head sommelier Fionnuala Synott, who we entrusted to bring to us a different wine for every course (glass not bottle!) and whose choices even down to the desert wine, were so spot on we were left wondering if she could read our minds.

All this didn’t come cheap but if you’re after the ideal place for a special occasion, book now!  

Level 32, 31 St Thomas Street, SE1 (020 7286 6700). Daily noon-2.30pm (3pm Sat & Sun) & 6-10.30pm. A meal for two with wine, about £170 inc 12.5 per cent service).

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