Oblix at The Shard 333

Level 32, The Shard, 31 St Thomas Street , London, SE1 9RY

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  • Obix at the shard Restaurant 2016 8

SquareMeal Review of Oblix at The Shard

Squaremeal London Hot 100 2016Sweeping views, swooning couples and sky-high prices” is one reader’s verdict on Oblix, the glitzy “event dining” restaurant and bar high up on the 32nd floor of the Shard. Moody modern aesthetics give way to truly stunning panoramic vistas, while low lighting “enhances the moonlit skyline” (but also “renders the menu unreadable”). Owner Rainer Becker is better known for Asian-themed Zuma and Roka, but Oblix is more firmly rooted in Western gastronomy. Head chef Marcus Eaves (ex-L’Autre Pied) and his “highly skilled” team deliver a fascinating, eclectic mix, from truffled flatbreads, beef tartare and king crab with sauerkraut and saffron hollandaise, to mains courtesy of the Josper grill, rotisserie and wood-fired oven – think chicken with garlicky skordalia dip and rosemary, bone-in rib-eye or Dover sole with lemon verbena and brown butter. “It’s all about excess”, notes one reader, so “if you’re wooing someone with a taste for the high life, Oblix might be just the ticket” – just brace yourself for “occasionally surly staff” and a savage bill.

Oblix now offers a weekend brunch and Sunday lunch. The brunch sees small deli bites to start, including a house sausage roll, while mains include lobster with hand cut chips, and there's a dessert station to finish. Meanwhile, the Sunday lunch is an opulent take on a weekend ritual – think honey-glazed duck served with duck-fat roast potatoes and seasonal veg. The New York cheesecake dessert is fluffy as a cloud too. Neither option comes cheap, but with stunning views and great food, Oblix is a solid option for luxury weekend lounging.   

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6.9

Food & Drink: 8.1

Service: 6.8

Atmosphere: 7.8

Value: 5.8

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 1.0

The Cheese platinum reviewer 11 January 2016

I got the collywobbles on my way up the Shard, but it had nothing to do with the altitude. As a rustic, lived-in kinda gal, I'm not terribly comfortable with putting on the glitz and everything about Oblix shouts 'event dining' to the max. But I'll admit; when you've tottered your way to the 32nd floor, the moody, modern aesthetics give way to truly stunning views of the capital. It's impressive. Low lighting enhances the moonlit skyline, but also renders menus unreadable and makes for a baffling meander to the loo in the absence of signage. The atmosphere was one of occasion during our pre-Christmas visit, as excitable couples swooned over the spectacle and each other. City boys appeared to have migrated to the bar from Coq d'Argent and were vigorously splashing the cash, but were commendably well behaved. Door staff, on the other hand, exhibited a bit too much Zoolander-esque posturing for my liking, leaving me with the distinct impression that I was lucky - rather than welcome - to be there. And so the financial assault began... With no cava or prosecco at the bar, it was straight to Champagne (from £65). The food was all about excess: nibbles included truffled flatbread for a mere £20, so you get the picture. Veggies and preggies don't fare well, although there was a shout out for dietary requirements when we were seated so perhaps off-menu options are available. Mains consisted of protein-rich offerings from the josper oven. At 30 quid a sirloin plus another £12 for chips and a tomato salad, we at least expected sides to arrive in timely fashion. Instead, our delightful yet despairing waitress advised we tuck in due to a 'hold up' in the kitchen; we were more than halfway through our steaks when the accompaniments eventually rocked up. As for the meat, it was clearly good quality; closer to well done than the requested medium, but still a fine specimen. A Bearnaise emulsion was very tasty, but the pepper sauce was disappointingly weedy. Black cod proved a let down too; the ethereal fish flesh had pleasing translucency but was slathered with a gloopy and overbearing BBQ sauce that both diners endeavored to scrape off. Our verdict? You can eat far better for far less, and the view alone didn't justify the splurge for me. If you're wooing someone with a taste for the high life (no pun intended) then Oblix might be just the ticket. But the occasionally surly staff, patchy cooking and timing issues simply shouldn't be happening at these prices. Permit me a rant: there was talk of the late sides being stripped from the bill, but sadly I didn't spy the receipt to confirm. If the dishes were indeed comped, then how on earth did we rack up a ton per head for some garlic bread and a single course (particularly given the keenest boozer knocked back only one G&T and two small glasses of Malbec, and several of us were teetotal)?! And another thing, while I'm approaching Hulk-like levels of rage... hiking up the standard service charge to 13.5% smacked of arrogance to me, particularly given everything came at a price. Even a freebie bread basket or tap water at the table would have softened the blow somewhat. All in all, the view from the 32nd floor was smashing... But then so is that along the Southbank, and it doesn't cost a button.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Colin M. 15 September 2013

Lunch for 4 blokes on a day out in London. The website is a bit poncy, and uninformative – no sample menus or description of the 2 rooms. On phoning you have to choose between the Restaurant and Lounge with little prior knowledge. I chose the fixed price lunch in the Lounge (£29). On arrival you need to spot the ‘oblix’ sign written on a pillar that gives access to the tastefully lit lobby with 2 ladies to re-assure you that you have come to the right place. A rapid lift ride takes you up to a tastefully lit passageway where your coats can be left, and then you are escorted to the eating area. Fortunately ‘tastefully lit’ gives way to daylight with great open views of the Thames and a friendly atmosphere. Our waitress was great. The first course buffet had lots of tasty options, and you are encouraged to go back for more. There were 4 mains, all good, and then a limited but tasty range of puddings. Excellent bread and butter pudding. It is correct that the internal decor is not imaginative, but the seating is comfortable and this is all about the view out, with the Tower of London and Tower Bridge just to your left and the City of London with the Gerkin and friends straight ahead. 12.5% ‘discretionary service charge’ is added to the bill, but this still gave us an excellent lunch for only £13 more than it would have cost to go to the viewing platform. True, you don't get a view to the West, but hey ho.The wines are expensive, but optional! The only hiccup once we got into the restaurant was that, although our main courses were booked before we went for the buffet, they were late arriving. If you are under time pressure, mention it to your server. Excellent for what we wanted.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 3.0

London Gourmet platinum reviewer 12 August 2013

A room with a view would be an understatement – and let's face it ,despite being backed by the founding genius behind Zuma (although this isn't Japanese and hence nothing like Zuma or Roka for that matter), you go there for its breathtaking location on the 32nd floor of the Shard. I tend to normally view these “location” driven restaurants rather sceptical with everything besides the view being a let down – and as such was actually pleasantly surprised on the positive. The menu is a rather down to earth corss-selection of various type of more “European” style food (although with some more international twists/options as well) with a big offering of grills (meat, chicken and the likes). Good wine offering and while I wouldn't consider this a place with great value for money, I've seen worse in London (and again was actually expecting worse for this place). On the other side of the floor there is a bar/loung (see my separate review) Definetely a “destination” venue but you could do a lot worse, it's stylish, good service and given the Shard's uniqueness in London (ie luckily we don't have many high-rising buildings and this one would be remarkable in any city) a good place to take out either visitors, friends or for a special night out for two. Will you become a regular, repeat costumer – maybe not

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 3.0

Monikasays platinum reviewer 28 July 2013

The Shard is London's newest, tallest, hottest, glossiest bit of architecture . This is the one building you can see anywhere in London (like a big glass spike in the sky). Oblix comes from the Gods who own Zuma and Roka, so you know what you are getting. Book over the phone or on line or even try a late cancellation on the day (always worth a try, worked for me on my 2nd visit), just go, you will be wowed. Enter through the secret side entrance of the shard to your personal lift that has only one stop, Oblix (prepare for altitude ears within 10 seconds). Once you enter, you are greeted by well groomed staff who can direct you to the lounge on the left or main restaurant on the right (both fab). Try the lounge (must be pre booked) if you are with 1 or 2 people and ask for a table by the window and see the night through with lush cocktails, high end food and live music (every night after 9) and watch over London town, as the sun sets (a view that makes you proud to be a Londoner). The restaurant is also buzzy and has the same spectacular views (better with a larger group). The whole experience is v. Hong Kong/ New York like, unfortunately the OXO tower does now not compare (sky high dining will never be the same in London). Now, the food as you can see this place is at least 50% ambience. The market bowl is a large light salad with fresh ingredients from Borough market 31 floors down (probably the best salad i have ever eaten). The food is grill food e.g. lobster, steak, prawns…but the best was 4 lip-smacking, caramelised lamb chops (had them twice now!). To be honest the food is good enough, but it is the whole package that will wow you. Ps dress code smart casual/ or a dress glam whatever you fancy. This is perfect for the special occasion meal or even a glam, sneaky mid-week meal with the gals.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 4.0

Amanda S. 20 July 2013

Having read reviews by all the top London restaurant critics I wasnt really looking forward to a birthday dinner at Oblix booked by my husband. I'm so glad we didn't cancel as this was one of the best evenings I've had at a London restaurant. Obviously the view can't be beaten and a table right next to the window is a great place to be. The service was friendly, with keen young waiters who were attentive without getting on my nerves. A female sommelier recommnded a good rose without heading to the expensive end of the list. The food was excellent, with a wide variety of dishes on offer, all of them beautifully presented and absolutely delicious. The bill for 2 with a couple of cocktails and a bottle of wine was £215, which is less than we've paid elsewhere recently. The atmosphere was busy and buzzy and if you were bored of your companion there was good people-watching to be done plus endless looking out of the windows! Please don't let the ‘critics’ put you off…this is well worth a visit.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

Nicoline B. 11 July 2013

Wow, went to Oblix yesterday for my birthday, and what a treat it was. The food, service, atmosphere were second to none. I can't wait to go back. I cannot recommend it enough. My stars should show six but for some reason can't block them all in.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 1.0

Atmosphere: 2.0

Value: 2.0

RG RG. 01 July 2013

Went for Saturday lunch at 13.30, greeted and seated straight away. Ordered cocktails to sip whilst deciding from menu – in the mean time harassed by waiter taking food orders; cocktails (£15 a glass) arrived at 14.10 – 30 minutes after we'd ordered them! By then we'd ordered our food as the waiter was very pushy and kept swooping in interrupting conversations, obviously briefed to get the order in to the kitchen. We also ordered wine to have with our meal (cheapest rose which was £30 a bottle, mark up of £23 on off licence) and were asked to taste it even before cocktails had arrived. Still no cocktails but our starters turned up (14.05), with the waiter looking very peeved when we said that we'd quite like to have aperitifs first (shock horror)and were still waiting for them.They took them away and then brought them back after 5 minutes. We were served a small olive loaf as bread, which for style was not fully sliced which resulted in crumbs spreading everywhere. The tables don't have tablecloths, so the waitress wiped crumbs off with a wet dishcloth leaving water stains on there to dry, we had to make sure we didn't lean on the table in anyway! Food delicious, however small portions relative to price. Very noisy as the minimal look and lack of strategic soft furnishings did nothing for acoustics and we ended up having to repeat ourselves several times in conversation. We had 7 different people serving us which no doubt contributed to lack of continuity. Sommeliers also terribly offended to be asked what was in a cocktail – sorry, I thought you were a glorified barman. Total bill came to £350 including service – for lunch with overpriced service. They would do well to have a lunch menu at weekends that catered for the non broker /footballer crew. You would do well to remember that you are paying for too many staff and an exclusive lift – save your money, pay the entrance and take a sandwich to the viewing platform

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 4.0

Foodness 27 June 2013

My wife booked this for my Birthday, which was somewhat of a risk as I don't do heights. I also read some of the reviews on this site before going and was a little concerned it may not be cracked up to be all it is. With all respect, I can only imagine that some of the reviews describing it as expensive are written by those who don't eat out in London much or who normally eat in Little Chefs. The food was excellent, service attentive without being sycophantic, the view to die for and the pricing reasonable given the quality of the food and the experience. The food was seasoned to perfection, so no need to take it with the pinch of salt required when reading some of the other reviews. No I don't work for them and I certainly will call a bad restaurant out when required – however on this occasion this is not the case. Book it with confidence of a great meal in unforgettable surroundings.

Food & Drink: 2.0

Service: 0.0

Atmosphere: 1.0

Value: 0.0

Nick L. 23 June 2013

When one books a table in a restaurant that is situated at the top of one of the most iconic buildings in Britain one expects a lot. Well so did I ! I expected to pay a lot too but if the experience was worth it then fair enough. I entered the building and was expertly guided onto the high speed lift which whisked myself and my party up to the thirty second floor . We confirmed our reservation with the Maitre d and entered the bar where we were confronted with two walls of floor to ceiling glass which afforded the best veiw of London I have ever seen. This was going to be a memorable experience I thought to myself as I called a very pretty waitress over to order something to drink. The moment we began to talk was when the bubble burst . She did not smile and appeared annoyed that I had bothered her and asked her to serve . Two rounds of drinks were ordered for a party of ten and on both occasions they brought the wrong drinks . When I informed another staff member of the mistake had to repeat myself four times because she could not understand me. It maybe that the staff can't hear the customers because the acoustics are so awfull or it could be that they are inadequately trained and are hired for looks rather than ability, I suspect it is a bit of both. Nevertheless along with her counterparts she appeared annoyed and if she did not care , she did not rectify the problem and we were ushered into the restaurant with our incomplete and incorrect drinks order. We ordered our meal, a bottle of wine and three small beers . The beers did not arrive and I had to call a waiter over to chase them down , they arrived 5 mins later but were the wrong beers again. Only half the starters arrived which were luke warm and went cold before the other half arrived nearly ten minutes later. The main course did at least arrive all at once . The sweet course was adequate. The Oblix is a very expensive restaurant and the food and service do not reflect the prices. All of us agreed that the food was very average indeed ,the service was incompetant and the whole experience disappointing . 70% of business is lost through bad customer service and all those lost customers tell there friends , I will certainly be telling everyone I know . Oblix is just another restaurant that is all about looks over substance. It's all mouth and no trousers. I would recomend that if you want to see the amazing view you pay £12 , go to the viewing platform ,give the restaurant a miss and eat somewhere else. Along with our many other great buildings the Shard represents us to the world and so do the restaurants in it . As far as Oblix is concerned ,Not in my name !

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 1.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 0.0

Tam 23 June 2013

Service was mediocre and and it was annoying that ‘certain’ cheaper priced items on the menu were not available due to their equipment mysteriously not working. We got the feeling that the waiter wanted us to choose the mist expensive items. Prices shockingly expensive. A total rip off. Portions small. They were not flexible and accommodating when it came to pork; in their Caesar salad they out pork. Who puts cheap pork in Caesar salad. Disgusting! Asked to substitute chicken no can do! Then when the bill came we were overcharged for the meal. They charged us for 3 steaks when we had two. Just as well we checked the bill and realised their mistake. Always check bills and don't be embarrassed even if you want to impress someone. They easily get away with overcharging.

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