Aug 14 2013

Oblix

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Oblix was the first restaurant that opened in the Shard on the 32nd floor. Oblix is run by Rainer Becker who is also behind Zuma (MMMMM), a restaurant which I love, and Roka, another amazing restaurant, and so I was super excited about its opening, even though in contrast to Zuma and Roka, Oblix would not do Japanese food, and instead would serve British/ French/ New York grill type of food. The reason why Rainer Becker chose this type of food is because apparently he was inspired by the rooftop views of New York and so decided to do New York grill as an inspiration to the Oblix menu. The main chef Fabien Beaufour also comes from New York, after having worked at Eleven Madison Park, one of the best restaurants in New York. Also Oblix is not only a restaurant on one side of the Shard, but also a lounge bar which features live music. I was disappointed to see average/ bad reviews when Oblix first opened, but as I went to Oblix a few months after, I had a great experience there, and really enjoyed my meal, so I can only assume they have fixed most of their problems.

I went to Oblix for dinner with my friends, Leigh, Ulle and Mark, and it was quite hard to get a table. Even though I booked a month before our meal and for a Wednesday evening, the only table I could get was for 18.00 and they told me we would have 2 hours for our meal. The restaurant was absolutely full by the time we left. The entrance to Oblix is quite impressive. It is dark and sort of reminded me a bit of Hakkasan as you approach it with lovely dressed ladies greeting you at the entrance and then through a dark hall guiding you to the dining area. The architect Claudio Silvestrin apparently created this décor. Once you approach the restaurant it gets very light as you are next to a window and to get to your seat you need to walk through the kitchen, which they have done on purpose, and the food that you can see being prepared in the kitchen, and the hanging steaks will for sure make you hungry. When we arrived we were seated by a table not quite by the window, and we asked the waiters if we could be moved closer to the window, to have a better view, but unfortunately they did not accommodate us, and gave the nice window table to what looked like a group of tourists.

The menu features many delicious things I wanted to order, and we decided to share the starters and then order each a main. I asked the waiter if they had a sharing concept and he said they used to, but recently had changed it and most people just ordered a main course and a starter, but we could share things if we wanted to.

We ordered the “Borough market bowl” that I had seen in pictures before I went to Oblix, “roasted romano peppers”, “seared beef, lime, chilli, garlic and ginger dressing” and soft shell crab and then shared all the dishes. I very much enjoyed all the dishes, the salad was crunchy, tasty, with a great dressing. Seared beef was tasty, so soft and lovely with the lime, chilli, garlic and ginger and just melted in your mouth. The Romano peppers were also lovely, and I had not seen these sort of peppers served anywhere else, and soft shell crab good too. I had no bad things to say about the starters, I loved the variety that we had ordered and the quality of all these dishes.

We decided to each have a main course, and I went for the “veal chop and gremolata” which the waiter said was one of their best dishes, and it was incredibly tasty. It had a bit of fat on it, which I did not eat, but the gremolata was delicious and went so well with the veal and the veal was super soft and overall it was a lovely main course. Leigh also had veal and you can see pictures of the dishes Ulle and Mark chose, “sea bream, fennel & olives” and a steak. Everyone seemed to enjoy their main courses. We also ordered some sides, “macaroni & cheese”, “grilled green asparagus“ and carrots. The carrots had a smokey feel to them as if they had been smoked, cooked in smoke, which my dinner buddies found quite strange, but which I actually enjoyed. The macaroni & cheese was tasty (I like most macaroni cheese), but not as good as the steakhouses, Hawksmoore and Goodman serve. The asparagus were good, just like grilled asparagus should be.

I had a great meal at Oblix, and I now think this could be one of my favourite European style restaurants in London, and I really want to go back to try more of their dishes, and I am already planning my next trip to Oblix. I loved the variety of starters and main courses as well as the sort of interesting dishes they had on the menu. These are the sort of dishes you have had before, but don’t often see on a menu together and executed well.

Date:  14/ 08/ 13
Location: London Bridge
Price for 4 people with alcohol and service charge: £382.28

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As I have been dreaming about going back to Oblix, I actually went there once again with another group of my friends. I had similar type of food and we also shared the starters and this time also the main courses. You can see pictures of all the food that we had, and once again we ordered the “Borough market bowl” which I adore and I think is an amazing bowl of salad, as well as the seared beef, but this time we also ordered the “burrata, olives & chatterini tomatoes” which I found delicious, “lobster & scallop ceviche, jalapeno, coriander & sweet pepper” which was amazing, and had huge chunks of lobster in there, as well  as the “sliced yellow tail, toasted coriander seeds and citrus soy” which was also delicious although the least memorable out of the starters. I am being quite boring here saying everything was delicious, but it was.

As for the main courses, I once again ordered the “veal and gremolata”, and my dinner buddies loved it and for a few of them this was the best dish out of the whole meal. This time the veal had less fat than last time and I agree it was delicious. Besides the veal, we also had the rob eye steak, delicious, well-cooked medium, “medium lobster, verbena & garlic butter” which was also great and had loads of lobster and which was nicely served over two half potatoes. The dish that sort of let people down a bit was “bbq black cod & coriander salsa” and I do agree it could have been a bit tastier, and it was not as nice as the black cod in Zuma and Roka. I also ordered “grilled aubergine, yoghurt mint, pomegranate” as an interesting vegetarian dish, and it was delicious although my male dinner buddies did not appreciate it as much and focused more on the meat and fish.

We also ordered a huge plate of deserts to share which cost £39 but included 5 different deserts, including a cheesecake, sundae, mango desert, chocolate bar and other things and was delicious and perfect for sharing. We also ordered a cookie jar, which was a bit disappointing as none of the cookies seemed that interesting.

I maintain my 4Ms and think this place is great (although one of my harsh dinner buddies said this was a 3.5M restaurant). My dinner buddies spent the whole time starring outside and we came there at 6pm and saw the view of London from the Shard during the day and as it became dark the view changed and it was nice to see London during the day and night and how different it is. The only bad thing about this place is that it does have that annoying 2.5h dinner limit, and just like last time after 2.5 hours we were politely asked to leave as the table had been reserved for someone else.

Date: 23/ 09/ 13
Price for 4 people with no alcohol and service charge: £360

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4.00

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Oblix
Level 32, The Shard, 31 St Thomas Street, SE1 9RY
London
United Kingdom
GB
Oblix Reviewed by Hungry Bee Maija on . Rating: 4