Celebrated chef restaurateur duo Rainer Becker and Arjun Waney have unveiled details of their forthcoming opening at London's Shard, a bar and restaurant called Oblix set to open in spring.
Divided into two distinct spaces, Oblix will occupy the 32nd floor of the Shard at London Bridge, the tallest building in western Europe at 310m. It will be the duo's fourth London venture after Zuma and Roka Charlotte Street and Canary Wharf.
Oblix will form one of three restaurants at the Shard, which has leased floors 31 and 33 to the Hong Kong-based Aqua Restaurant Group, which made its London debut in 2009, with the opening of Japanese Aqua Kyoto and Spanish Aqua Nueva atop the old Dickins & Jones building on Regent Street. The Shard will also feature a 202-bedroom Shangri-La hotel spread across floors 34 to 52, which will open in March.
Inspired by a New York grill, Oblix will serve slow roast meat joints from a spit roast, as well as dishes from a charcoal grill and pizzas and breads from a wood-fired oven, with the menu celebrating British and European ingredients.
Commenting on the inspiration behind Oblix, Becker said: "The building is quite incredible and I was immediately struck by the power of its design. The more I looked at it, the more I thought of New York and the height and boldness of the buildings there. The idea for Oblix grew from that really."
The restaurant will feature an interactive sommelier station, allowing guests to get more involved with the wine offer. It will offer an extensive selection by the glass ask well as tastings and masterclasses.
The bar at Oblix meanwhile will host live music, with an extensive cocktail list and drinks chilled with large chunks of ice. Open all day for dining, the bar will serve a full menu for brunch, lunch and dinner.
Interiors have been developed by Claudio Silvestrin aiming to frame the restaurant's spectacular views of London rather than compete with them. Becker explains: "You can't compete with the view. The energy is too dominant and it's what being in the Shard is all about. It has to be respected.
"We used warm colours and shaped both the restaurant and the bar to achieve the balance between the view and the interior. The 32nd floor is especially significant, as you still capture the enormity of the panorama, but not such that you miss the detail. Every time I'm there, I notice something different."
Zuma was co-founded by Becker and Waney in 2002 in London and now has locations around the world, including Miami, Istanbul, Dubai, Hong Kong and Bangkok, while Roka operates from London and Hong Kong.
By Kerstin KÁ¼hn
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