What: Oblix, the restaurant on the 32nd floor of The Shard, has just launched a Sunday roast with a decadent twist, available every Sunday from midday – 2.45pm.
New? The roast was launched at the end of March – a welcome addition to the restaurant which boasts a wood fired oven, charcoal grill and rotisserie.
Where: Oblix, The Shard, 31 St. Thomas Street, Southwark, SE1 9RY www.oblixrestaurant.com
On the Menu: A sophisticated spin on the Sunday roast makes it fit for the surroundings – mains consist of suckling pig, chicken with truffle, rib of beef and rotisserie duck, with roast lamb on the menu when we visited. Sides are classic roast accompaniments so think Yorkshire puddings and roasted veg, with desserts like exotic fruit semifreddo, pear and chocolate choux and New York cheesecake.
First Impressions: Bypassing the queues for The View from The Shard is the thing of dreams and, when you visit Oblix, this dream comes true. After the obligatory airport-style bag scan the Willy Wonka-style lift whizzes you up to the 32nd floor in sixteen seconds flat. If only every mode of travel in London was so efficient. Staff were friendly at the restaurant’s welcome desk, receiving us of our jackets, but my guest received a slightly more frosty greeting at the bar, where he headed to have a quick drink before I arrived. I’m sure this was a rarity, but with a venue as unique as this you’re probably appealing to guests who visit as a one-off, so everyone should be welcomed with the same warmth.
The Look: It’s clear that the views do the talking here. We visited on the first properly sunny spring day and as a result, could see for miles. Hampstead Heath, The London Eye, St Paul’s and 20 Fenchurch Street are even more amazing from 100 or so metres high and whilst you’re only about half way up The Shard, the views are no less impressive. The look itself is neutral, with dark wooden tables and chairs, floor to ceiling windows and an open kitchen allowing you to witness some of the theatre.
What We Ate: Whilst Sunday is all about the roast, the menu features the full a la carte selection of starters and grilled mains. Truffle flatbread with pancetta and ricotta is an Oblix speciality and was suitably decadent. Light yet rich, it was a real treat and got us off to a good start although, at £19, perhaps a little steep. It being Easter, lamb was also hard to resist. My lamb shank was perfectly tender, flaking away as it was cut into but with a slight char on the outside from the oven. The mash it sat on was wonderfully smooth and meant we didn’t really need the side portion too but it was delicious. My guest’s rotisserie duck was an equally hearty portion (just as well – it is a roast) and proves that chicken, beef and lamb aren’t the only options. With each main coming with your choice of two sides, we ended up trying them all. Roast potatoes were crispy thanks to beef fat, and honey-roasted carrots were wonderfully sweet and satisfyingly chunky but the creamed spinach was a little underwhelming. Similarly, the Yorkshire puddings weren’t the gnarly mounds of dough we had been hoping for but the horseradish mash and roasted carrots were a mutual favourite. Don’t miss the mash!
No roast is really complete without pudding but we faced the familiar struggle of wondering how we could possibly eat any more. Thankfully, a sharing platter meant we could end on something sweet without gluttony taking full hold. The pecan nut chocolate bar was a standout, served with crunchy bourbon ice cream, whilst the basil and passion sorbet that accompanied the semifreddo was perfectly refreshing and, in keeping with the rest of the meal, a little bit unique. Homemade mini Magnums were playful and nostalgic, proving that as well as meat, they do desserts very well.
What We Drank: The cocktails are very considered at Oblix, and very well made. A Bloody Mary seemed a good kickstarter and was given special attention at the top of the food menu. The ‘bloody caviar’ it came with consisted of gel-like bubbles infused with Bloody Mary, dyed black with squid ink, served in a tin like caviar would be. A fun concept but perhaps a little unneccessary considering the amount of food I was about to devour. A ‘Third Formula’ cocktail was made with Zacapa 23-year old rum, Oblix sweet vermouth, fig and cherry bitters, served in a tumbler with a huge chunk of ice – they really do know their cocktails.
Go With: Celebrate a special occasion here; birthday, anniversary, we saw it all.
Final Word: Oblix is undoubtedly a destination restaurant. When you want to elevate your Sunday roast to new heights, it’s the place to go.
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Fran can be found sipping espresso martinis by night and, by day, on the hunt for London's best brunch. Bonus points for a runny yolk and the perfect flat white.