Oblix @ The Shard, London Bridge

Because I got high, because I got high, because I got high.

La la la la la la.



But not that kind of high – I cannot afford even crappy Colombian style cocaine nowadays, let alone the proper Peruvian stuff. Though nor can I afford fine dining. Like my imaginary girlfriend and her addiction to buying shoes that she cannot afford, logic doesn’t necessarily dictate purchasing and I was clearly due a treat, as it was at least 2 days since I had treat myself. Treated or treat?

Oblix in The Shard, was going to be my treat. And by some way the most expensive dinner that I have ever had, let alone most expensive roast dinner.

I am a bit worried that being the tight and perennially skint northern twatt that I am, that this review could bang on about money a lot. I will try to concentrate on my small penis size and predilection for Spanish lesbians more.

I booked this some weeks ago at the behest of a very good friend who was very keen to visit. Alas, 3 days before he cancelled on me – tax bill. Kind of fitting. There were no shortage of people wanting to be taken up the shard, and in the end a table for 4 people was awaiting us. Yeah, ‘up the shard’. I know, the novelty of my humour is killing me too.

Upon entering striking office building called The Shard, you go through security – you’ll easily be able to smuggle drugs in, just put them in your bra. If you are a man, then wear a bra. Nobody will suspect. They are just looking for weapons.

32 floors up, for what was planned to be the 32nd roast dinner for £32 with at least one 32 year old – alas, I miscounted and it is the 33rd roast dinner. Meh. Small penis.

One thing of note, although not exceptionally upmarket (they let me in for fuck’s sake), shoes are generally expected – I didn’t even risk wearing my imaginary girlfriend’s smart trainers. I even had a wash beforehand. And, of course, trimmed my eyebrows.

We arrived into a dimly lit corridor, and were greeted by smartly presented and effusive staff, who seemed genuinely keen to show us to our table. Walking through the kitchen which is split in half, with sizeable displays of meat, just adds to the level of expectations.

For £32, one had high expectations – and not every review on Trip Advisor was glowing – some were positively disappointed. Small nob.

Though it wasn’t just £32. £32 gets you your meat, roast potatoes and one Yorkshire pudding. If you want vegetables then you have to order those separately. Tiny penis.

You could justify it by balancing out the £20 that it would cost you to go to the viewing platform – just like my imaginary Spanish girlfriend needs that 39th pair of shoes. The views, of course, were just spectacular – especially seeing as we had booked for late afternoon, so we knew we’d see a sunset.

All the meats on the menu sounded like they were out of a non lesbian-orientated dream, whether that be the duck, chicken, beef, lamb or pork. The beef was yet another £7 on top – I chose the suckling pig, as did all of my compatriots. For the sides, I chose the broccoli dish for another £7 – one of my compatriots ordered new potatoes until it was pointed out to him very gently that to order new potatoes with a dinner that comes with roast potatoes was bloody odd.

So, £39 for a roast dinner. Very good, son.

I have no idea how long dinner took to arrive – at least until one of my compatriots went for a cigarette. I was just simply marvelling in the view, the company and the calm atmosphere. I would have been happy to have waited as long as it required.

Dinner was presented wonderfully, with the meat and its juices on the main plate, with side dishes of roast potatoes each, and a tray of small Yorkshire puddings to share.

I hesitated for a few moments. Were they going to bring some gravy over? Or at least some jus? I carried on waiting, but alas they didn’t. Unlike Temper’s forgetting of my roast potatoes, I expect this was on purpose. I did consider asking for some. I thought better of it as I was still surprised that I had been allowed entry.

Starting with the plentiful tenderstem broccoli. This was perfectly judged in terms of cooking length – with bite but without difficulty. The lemon and chilli profusion worked magnanimously – a simple combination, yet one I have never even thought of myself. Apparently with ‘preserved lemon’ – whatever that is…there can often be long-forgotten lemons ‘preserved’ in the bottom of my fridge.

Alas the roast potatoes were not very roasted. Smooth on the outside instead of crispy, and rather tough on the inside. I am sure that they would say al dente. Cast that aside, and they were unusually succulent, holding some hidden moisture and tasted fine.

The Yorkshire pudding was good. I cannot say that I was expecting a giant Yorkshire pudding in a fine dining establishment – nor would I have wanted one without gravy. Enough for 4 bites, a little more emphasis on the egg flavouring than normal, perfectly spongy and not even the tiniest bit burnt.

Onto the piece of resistance sans resistance. Three cylindrical parcels of quite simply amazing suckling pig. Topped with what appeared to be a tapenade yet tasted more of parsley, and a thin sliver of chilli. Literally every single bite was drool-worthy, and I am drooling right now as I write, especially given that I am just about to eat a ham and cheese sandwich on stale bread (I’m skint and refusing to spend any money on Ryanair).

There was almost too much of it. There could never be too much of it, but you could argue that. You could argue socialism would be of benefit. You could argue that I have a whopping donger.

No gravy or jus to report on, but the limited juices from the pork helped to add to the flavours throughout the meal.

Wow.

We topped it off with dessert. I had chocolate truffles which were unsurprisingly divine, on a bed of raw cacao. Which at first I thought was just decoration.

Service was exceptional. There was a 13.5% service charge, but this was service that deserved the entry of “service charge”. When I complain about service charges, it is that you have to pay a charge for them simply bringing a plate over.

From advice on the wine (an exceptionally extensive list), to being treated with utmost courteousy and respect, prompt handling, always being available yet never being overwhelming, and being exceptionally well presented. This was what service should be if you are going to add a service charge.

Altogether, the roast dinner, broccoli side, water, a share of two bottles of red wine, dessert and service charge came to £75.75. I could easily have spent much more were I not trying my hardest to restrain myself.

So, scores on the door? At least for those who didn’t scroll straight to the score and have read through my inane ramblings and attempts to write some form of credible critique.

This was never going to be the best roast dinner in London. No jus (I didn’t even vaguely expect gravy) and no crispy roast potatoes limit just how high I can rate it. The suckling pig was to die for, and the broccoli not far behind. Everything else about the experience was top notch, from the service, to the setting – the wine, the dessert. The magnificent view. The all-round sumptuous experience.

However, I am looking for the best roast dinner. I had a truly fabulous time and an exceptional experience that I will remember for years to come. But all factors outside of what are on the plate are only marginal considerations on scoring.

This blog is about finding the best roast dinner in London – and as sensational as the meat and broccoli were, this wasn’t enough to qualify it for best roast dinner.

It does still rate very highly, and I am giving it a 8.11 out of 10 for the roast dinner. I do wholeheartedly recommend the experience of eating at Oblix.

This coming Sunday I am heading to Clapham. My first ever roast dinner in Clapham and the first time I have been to the area since I last had a date. No I didn’t get the opportunity to go up her shard. By the way, does anyone else get slightly turned on by walking through a maze?

Nice toilet roll too.

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