If you want to experience The Shard, head to Oblix and get the view, plus food

It is a great lookout from the top platform at the Shard, but the truth is once you’ve got 32 floors up the perspective doesn’t really change that much even if you continue up to the 68th.

Plus you have to book in advance for the viewing platform, while for Oblix at lunch you can usually just roll up and get lucky. Which is what we did having a sudden hankering for some elevated eating on the hottest day of summer 2023.

After you’re through the airport style security at ground level, a dedicated lift whisks you up to floor 32 so fast and smoothly I was unsure we were even moving at all.

Once there, choose  Oblix West or Oblix East. West looks over central London and out to the promised land beyond ULEZ where, it is rumoured, cars are still roaming freely. East mostly looks out south east onto the railway tracks coming into London Bridge.

We are in Oblix West, not actually at a window table but everywhere is a window table really, the massive glass walls mean no one gets shortchanged on the view. Entering past the open kitchen you really do gasp and walk along with your head rather dangerously fixed on that view and not where you’re headed.

This causes me to almost go base over apex over some very small children unaccountably polluting the restaurant with their noise and unchecked mobility – who brings toddlers in nappies to a fancy restaurant?  Oblix is advertised as a ‘refined, urban dining space’ after all. 

I do my best to ignore them as we scope out the lunch menu and bask in the aircon.

There is a full a la carte menu, but we want simple choices. The set lunch is £39 for two courses and £49 for three, per person, which is a pretty good deal anywhere but especially so up here in the Gods on a sunny day.

Sourdough bread with properly salted butter keeps us happy while debating who is to have what. When reviewing it simply isn’t done for us both to have the same dishes,  so after some mild bickering – you got first choice last time – no, I didn’t – etc, we pick.

I get seared salmon with rice crackers, seaweed and horseradish, and it’s a blinder. The salmon thickly cut has been barely touched by hot flame so that I get all the salmon flavour,  along with a subtle kiss of smoke. 

The crackers are flamboyant theatre looking rather like a box of tissues, but also texturally amusing and rather tasty. I love horseradish – I always want more than I am served, although on this occasion the salmon is too good to be swamped so I use discretion. Wasabi and horseradish are different plants of the same family of course, so it’s no surprise horseradish works so well here.

J has a whole plateful on his plate with burrata, datterini tomatoes, olive puree and lots of pine nuts. He thinks maybe there’s one flavour too many, if he’s being picky, but he eats the lot,  so maybe discount that.

I’m not a steak person, I don’t go to restaurants to eat steak, so I swerve that choice for my main in favour of BBQ pork ribs, jalapeño, salsa verde and lime. The waiter brings a hand towel, so clearly I am expected to pick up the ribs, but mindful of my new shirt I fanny about with a knife and fork instead. Looks silly, but it works.

The cliche ‘falls off the bone’ is absolutely relevant to ribs, and this meat does. Properly slow cooked,  it has a hint of smoke and a nudge of chilli. The lime cuts the fat well and I am well happy with the creamy mashed potatoes and garlic crisps, plus crunchy broccoli with almonds, chilli and lemon. Yes it is all comfort food and I am totally comfortable with that.

J is cosy with his roasted sea bream, olives, tomato, and basil vinaigrette. Classic stuff, with a decent amount of excellent fish and a proper crispy skin. It’s just the kind of thing you’d want to eat seated by the Mediterranean, and on this sunny day it’s a perfect fit, simple but satisfying.

I wasn’t too keen on my dessert; the pecan nut and chocolate bar, crunchy bourbon ice cream all sounded fun but was rather cloying, however J was happy with his New York cheesecake, strawberry and lemongrass. A nice clean end to the meal.

I hope the kid in nappies also had a clean end, but by now the whole family had thankfully gone, leaving behind what looked like the aftermath of a chimpanzees’ tea party. Waiters armed with brooms were restoring order.

Good food, great view and very fair price. On y va Obelix? On y va Asterix.

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