SECRET BRUNCH AWARDS
2 0 1 5 F I N A L I S T : O B L I X A T T H E S H A R D
There she was, all 1012ft of her, towering above, as if she had us on our knees. We had officially arrived at The Shard, the tallest building in the European Union.
We were rocketed up 32 floors in the elegantly leather-panelled lifts. Stepping out, we sashayed through the cave-like entrance, dimly lit by glowing Japanese baths jutting from the walls. An instant reminder that this little gem belonged to the same folks who brought us Zuma and Roka, one of our other finalists.
But that is where the similarities stopped. Oblix is the black sheep of the family, rebellious and contrasting, describing itself as a ‘sophisticated, urban and casual dining experience’. Awaiting at the end of this dark ‘temple-style’ corridor was a brightly lit room, with probably one of the most spectacular views of London.
An immediate reminder of the Secret Brunch ‘Mile High Brunch’ or the ‘Summer Samba’, but in a more compact way.
The brunch takes place at the Oblix lounge. A very plain and simple room. You could say that the interior is missing some of the artefacts and decorations you would find at Sushisamba and co. But maybe that is the whole point. You don’t go to Oblix to stare at the walls. This restaurant is all about the views, and boy does it deliver!
Champagne glasses topped, we lounged back in our soft leather chairs, perfectly curved towards the view. We were spoilt with a front row seat, and in our opinion there is no other way to do Oblix. You have to be right at the edge.
Back to the food, the £53 menu consists of bottomless buffet style starters, a choice of one hot dish, lusty section of desserts, and a glass of champagne.
The cuisine was described as ‘international’, offering a wide a range of options, some leaning more towards dinner than brunch. The menu perhaps lacks a little bit of identity, which is a surprising contrast to that of Roka and others in the group.
We placed in our main course order, Half Lobster and Lake District Sirloin, and swiftly proceeded to scan the buffet.
The display was simply gorgeous, with small additions of fresh chilli and coriander pot plants, spice jars and herbs, all tucked between the attractive displays of international dishes.
We chose a stylised looking Prawn Cocktail with a delicate Mayo Cream, in a polished scallop shell. We then moved onto a smooth and creamy Chicken Parfait, Cod Fishcakes with Lemon Jelly, Beef Sausage Rolls with Red Wine Reduction, and a delectable twist on a timeless classic, the Black Truffle Devilled Egg. Each dish was prepared with such delicate precision and flavoursome ingredients, we simply had to go back for more.
Like any great brunch menu, there were healthier options also available, as well as an excellent selection for vegetarians, such as the Grilled Aubergine topped with Hummus and Chilli and the ‘Korean slaw’ with Spelt, Corn, Peas and Red Pepper. However, we were careful not to fill up too quickly, as the main show was about to begin.
A Grilled Lake District Sirloin with Shallots, Red Wine and Watercress arrived with a Half Lobster bathing in Lemon Verbena Butter, both served with chips. A surprising side of Roast Pumpkin with Granola made its way to our table, along with a Creamy Mash topped with Garlic Crisps.
The lobster was surprisingly meaty and perfectly cooked. The only improvement we could suggest was to perhaps have the option of the sauce on the side, as some may find it a little too rich and decadent. The sirloin, whilst vey tasty, felt a little more suited to a dinner with bold glass of red wine, rather than brunch. That aside, we thoroughly enjoyed our meal and the attentive service made it that much better.
After the luxurious brunch service, we were given mini Magnum ice-creams to aid in our quest for dessert. It was time to soldier on to the mountains of meringues and petit fours in all shapes and sizes, displayed on the table. The Oblix flourless chocolate slice with caramelised popcorn and little squares of moist carrot cake were the stand out dishes.
We took our time with the deserts as the views just kept on getting better and better. The sun slowly set, and the magical city that hardly ever sleeps, suddenly lit up under our feet.
S U M M A R Y
The Oblix Brunch is a dining experience and tourist attraction combined in one. It is probably the best and most efficient way to experience this wonderful building, especially during winter, when the days are short.
Ensure you cancel all evening plans. The ever-changing views, service and ofcourse the food will make it very difficult to leave this place.
Our Verdict: A landmark brunch
Price: Set menu £53
Service: Matching the height
Will we go back? Most definitely
Vote HERE to crown Oblix as your 2015
Voting closes on 5th of December 2015.