There are Sunday roasts, then there’s a Sunday roast in the sky. This autumn, Oblix, the restaurant with a view on the 32nd floor of The Shard, is offering a Sunday roast with the likes of Cornish lamb shank, rotisserie duck and bone in rib of beef on the menu.
Entering through the busy, bustling New York-style deli counters where chefs prep their wares lends an energy to proceedings that doesn’t normally come with a trip out for a humble roast. (The ear popping rush up the lift helps, too.)
The restaurant was packed when we arrived and we were seated in a large, comfy, leather-seated booth with stone columns and a wall of wine as a backdrop. The waiter promised us a table by the window as soon as one became available, which they seemed to do for all guests. Very accommodating, since Oblix’s USP is The View. But we were happy in our booth. We could see the dome and spire of St Paul’s, plus all the other diners admiring the dome and spire of St Paul’s, plus we’d been for a 10 mile training run that morning for some ludicrous event we’d signed up for, so movement was to be kept to a minimum.
I ordered a starter of beetroot, goats curd and rye crumble, a beautiful rainbow of a dish with yellow, pink and purple beetroot sprinkled with rocket that was delicately delicious. My partner in running crime ordered a side of bread. As a starter. Odd, but given that I’d just put him through his paces with a 10 miler, I let him get on with his carb loading.
You can order from the roast or the grill menu, and I watched with find amusement as an 8-year old Chinese boy on the table in front of us tucked into his lobster and spinach, but we had roasts on the brain, so we ordered the bone in rib of beef with red wine gravy and suckling pig with spiced apple, sage and cider sauce.
A veritable feast arrived as dish after glorious dish was delivered to our table. And that suckling pig. Oh!
All roasts come with Yorkshire puddings and a choice of buttered spinach with gruyere or buttered peas with smoked bacon, marjoram and mint, plus creamy horseradish or roasted beef fat potatoes. We thought it share to order them all between us.
A veritable feast arrived as dish after glorious dish was delivered to our table. And that suckling pig. Oh! Three roulades of juicy, melting pork we’re wrapped in the thinnest, crispiest crackling and topped with a smattering of chopped chillis for the odd flare of heat and chopped spinach. The additional spinach with gruyère was divine, the buttered peas a lighter touch and both forms of potato spot on.
The beef drew a gasp. The size of it was quite unexpected, arriving all macho, resembling a T-bone steak, all juicy and pink, and the flavour was fantastic. That Josper grill really is something.
After such a divine feed I’m reluctant to find fault, but that would have to be the Yorkies. Four little puds that didn’t quite rise to the occasion. Perfectly fine, except one lazy little sucker, which hasn’t risen at all and took on a donut like density, but unlike mine the size of my head. Huge and fluffy. I’m from Yorkshire, you see.
Being the boring long distance runners that we were at the time of our feast, there was no wine for us. Each dish comes recommended with a wine pairing, but our waiter was more than happy to oblige me in my request for ‘loads of sliced lime’ to accompany my sparkling water. Bless.
We didn’t do dessert. We were stuffed. And our aching legs were telling us to get ourselves home (did I mention the run?). So after a short patrol of the perimeter of the restaurant, snapping the views (most of our fellow diners had left by this point as we’d arrived towards the end of the lunch seating), it was back down the dark, lantern-lit, Indiana Jones-esque walkway – which makes a trip to the loo rather fun), and a swift, beautifully engineered descent back down to earth.