Posts for the 'London Bridge' Category


Oblix at The Shard

OBLIX AT THE SHARD

Words and Photos by TheLondonFoodie and I.

About:
Oblix on the 32nd floor of the Shard offers some of the most spectacular views over Central London that money can buy. Oblix is divided into two sections – the Restaurant and the Lounge & Bar, both with different menus and different perspectives. The Restaurant serves a more formal à la carte menu overlooking St Paul’s, whereas the more relaxed Lounge & Bar offers a deli menu during the day, brunch on weekends, and a sharing style menu with wonderful live music in the evenings (comes with a £5 cover charge). From the Lounge & Bar diners have a view over London Bridge and Tower Bridge which dazzles at night.

The mastermind behind Oblix is Rainer Becker, who along with Arjun Waney launched Zuma and Roka, helping to explain the various Asian influences in the Oblix menu. The Executive chef is Fabien Beaufour who previously worked in The States at The French Laundry and Eleven Madison Park, both of which are three Michelin starred restaurants.

Cost:
Oblix Lounge & Bar offers various menus depending on the day and time. During weekdays there is a deli menu priced at £29 for three courses and on weekends the champagne brunch is £58 for three courses. The evening menu is a sharing menu with starter-size plates ranging from £6 to £18.50, seafood dishes from £24 to £38 and meat dishes from £18.50 to £80.

What We Ate:
TheLondonFoodie and I dined in the Oblix Lounge & Bar area and we really enjoyed it’s buzzy ambience and the sultry tones of the live band. We started our meal with some fabulous tidbits from the small bites section of the menu including fried padron peppers (£5.50) and devilled eggs (£3.50 each), both of which were wonderful. The padron peppers had been sprinkled with crispy panko crumbs that gave them a lovely crunchy texture. Accompanying the peppers was a salt and balsamic powder that provided a nice touch of seasoning and an acidic contrast. The devilled eggs were also gorgeous. Smooth and creamy, they had been topped with slices of aromatic truffle that heightened the flavour of the eggs.

Oblix - Padron peppers

Padron peppers

Oblix - Truffled eggs

Truffled eggs

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Cantina del Ponte Pasta Masterclass

A month ago, I attended a very successful lamb butchery masterclass at The Chop House. Its neighbouring restaurant Cantina de Ponte pasta masterclasses are run on select Saturdays throughout the year with each class covering different types of pastas. I attended the class last week which touched on tagliatelle, taglioni, orecchiette and ravioli.

Pasta Masterclass

Pasta Masterclass

The class included a basic pasta demo on how to make pasta dough and how to roll the different types of pasta (and in the case of the orecchiette, how to cut and shape it). We all got a chance to try our hand at making pasta dough and some members of the class got to participate in rolling the pasta. All this was great fun, but I would have liked the class to have covered some sauces as well, after all, a good sauce is what makes a pasta dish great.

Tagliatelle & ravioli

Tagliatelle & ravioli

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Delfina

Delfina is a restaurant I discovered while on route to Zucca and Jose, all three of which are on Bermondsey Street near London Bridge. It has an inviting contemporary look to it – lots of white space – and its high ceilings can be attributed to the fact that it is housed in what was once a converted chocolate factory. The building is now used for exhibitions and the like, and the restaurant opens for lunch from Monday to Friday, and for dinner on a Friday night.

On the Friday evening of our visit we tried seared scallops (£7.50) which disappointed. The scallop had started to go bad with an unpleasant taste to them. Furthermore, they weren’t really scallops (plural), but one scallop cut into two. The accompanying saffron cauliflower was also a touch underdone.

Scallops

Scallops

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Jose

Jose on Bermondsey Street is the first solo restaurant from critically acclaimed chef Jose Pizarro who was previously the driving force behind the Brindisa Group. .

The restaurant exudes a warm cosy feeling, but is so tiny that it’s basically standing room only with a smattering of stools. We spent our first hour and a half at Jose on our feet, squeezed into a tiny corner with plates and glasses being handed to us over the heads of other diners. We eventually found more space, but (alas) with only one stool even though there was two of us. This was not a comfortable dining experience, especially as Jose has a no bookings policy.

Nevertheless, the food was outstanding and very reasonably priced. Tortilla (£4) filled with chorizo was scrumptious, and the meaty flavour of the chorizo gave the dish a fantastic lift. The accompanying aioli oozed lots of garlic-y goodness and worked a magic on the tortilla.

Tortilla

Tortilla

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Le Pont de la Tour

Le Pont de la Tour

Le Pont de la Tour

We had lunch last Friday at Le Pont de la Tour and I was ever so grateful that despite the freezing cold we’ve had to endure thus far this winter, at least this day turned out to be one of lovely sunshine beaming down over London. One of the endearing features of Le Pont de la Tour is that it has secured a prime location overlooking Tower Bridge, and so a sunny day makes for fine viewing indeed.

Le Pont de la Tour at lunch time is a place for the suits, if the attire of those dining at the three other tables at the restaurant were anything to go by. Certainly, it can be enough to make you feel uncomfortable if you are wearing anything but. And the price tag attached to the lunchtime menu (£19.50 to £25 for mains) might warrant most people to only lunch here if they’re on an expense account. I suspect Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, and the three colleagues he was dining with a few tables down would have been doing nothing but. Unfortunately they were seated a little too far away for me to be able to eavesdrop on any noteworthy gossip on the state of London’s affairs that I could share with you. But his presence paved the way for us to spend a good 10 minutes having a nice giggle (oh yes we did) about the sort of shenanigans we could potentially get up to involving Boris that might secure us a spot on the 6 o’clock news and a chance for our 15 minutes of fame.

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Champor-Champor: Are menus the new porn?

Some say cookbooks are the new porn. I personally find them quite entertaining, if, and only if, there are lots of photos, and only if the photos are all of hot and steamy dishes. Visually stimulating, they can arouse my senses and heighten my desire for that nourishing-looking morsel on the page, immediately transporting me into a heavenly world of exquisite comfort eating.

As I scanned the menu at Champor-Champor, a fixed-price affair (2 courses, £25; 3 courses £29.50), I also wondered whether menu porn could be considered the new porn too. A good menu can be a titillating promise of the tasty things to come. It can occasionally be a tease too, making you want all that is offered when all the while you know it won’t be possible. On this menu, sandwiched in between the starters and the mains were the interestingly entitled inter-courses (with a £2.80 supplement). Porn anyone?

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