Taking in everything from the Houses of Parliament to Battersea Power Station, Rainer Becker’s latest creation offers unparalleled views of London along with delicious New York style cuisine.
Oblix is located over the entire 32nd floor of The Shard and like his other establishments, Zuma, Roka and Shochu Lounge, Rainer’s success is in the detail. His creative energy runs through all aspects of Oblix and for the interiors he teamed up with architect Claudio Silvestrin, the talent behind the Armani Store in Sloane Street and the Princi café in Soho.
Together they created an interior that frames and “delivers” the view to guests whilst creating a sleek dining style and low-key sophistication. The cool, calm and elegant interiors created by Rainer and Claudio’s vision are integral to the experience.
Speaking to Premier Hospitality Claudio said: “The challenge with Oblix was to create timeless luxury using warm earth tones and decisive geometric forms in a cold building, dominated by steel and glass.
“I think with the earthy materials we have created a grounding, if you are in the bar or restaurant you don’t really feel like you are in a skyscraper, you have a fantastic view but the concrete and steel is not so dominant.
“It has been an excellent core design; I and Rainer discussed every single detail of the project. Everything was bespoke, for the furniture we took a month in Italy, with all the leather chosen to match the stone and wood.”
“It was a very exciting project, it was exciting to have full participation and excluding the preparation of the food, we have been involved in everything.”
Chris Wall of CW Consulting was the Project Manager on the development and speaking about Oblix he said: “The design is very minimalistic; a lot of earthy natural materials have been used. All floors and most of the walls are Italian stone. The floors are a typical Italian stone, whilst the walls are made from a porous living rock. It looks absolutely fantastic.
“One of the challenges was with the lightning, at night time the view is fantastic, but if you have got too much light then you can only see a reflection. Therefore a lot of the light has been very subtly done all around the bar; the light on tables was done by local floor lamps which direct light just on the table.”
For the first time in decades Becker will be moving away from Japanese cuisine with Oblix, the restaurant references a New York grill as the backdrop for the menu with dishes delivered in the Becker signature style of upscale, sophisticated, urban dining. Rainer explains, “Oblix offers a broad selection of dishes. The menu at its core will be a mixture of grilled and classics, offering a light tasty cuisine that guests can enjoy daily.”
In addition to the a la carte lunch and dinner offering in the restaurant, the bar and lounge will showcase an abundant selection of appetisers at lunchtime for guests to choose from, in the style of a New York delicatessen. Weekends will offer a brunch menu, accompanied by live music. A full a la carte menu is available for dinner 7 nights a week.
To head up the kitchen at Oblix, which will service both the 100-seat restaurant and 100 cover lounge and bar, Becker chose Chef Fabien Beaufour. Beaufour began working in a professional kitchen at the age of 14 in his native Grenoble, France. Having worked and staged in some of the most acclaimed restaurants in the world, amongst them The French Laundry and Eleven Madison Park, Beaufour has developed a philosophy of cooking that mirrors Becker’s; quality, precision, and consistency.
Oblix Bar takes inspiration from the classic days of New York and New Orleans cocktail bars, where flawless service and premium quality drinks and mixes were the backbone of the operation. Oblix splices this classic stateside style and London’s signature charm.
James Shearer, Group Bar Manager for Becker’s restaurants and bars, explains his thought process behind the challenge of delivering a new addition to the London bar scene, “I was inspired by the stories of the origins of the cocktail. I love them, from the stripped back bare classic cocktail ingredients to the garnish of these mixed spirit drinks, and I wanted to give Oblix Bar a feel of that old school Americana, not just on the drink offering but in the service, too.”
For more information about Oblix please visit: www.oblixrestaurant.com.
Humble Arnold Associates
In business for nearly half a century, Humble Arnold Associates are the longest established professional kitchen design consultancy in Europe.
Initially working to provide independent industrial kitchen design services for high end hotels and restaurants, the practice has diversified to include airports, staff restaurants, theatres, department stores, food courts and MOD kitchens.
Most recently Humble Arnold Associates have worked on the stunning new offering from Rainer Becker, Oblix at The Shard. Speaking about the works carried out, Design Consultant, Ed Bircham said:
“We did all the food service elements of Oblix, we worked very closely with Rainer and Claudio to create the prominent front of house hot and cold kitchen through which guests enter. Our practice also worked on the bar, facilitating the overall design aims of the client.
“Because of the nature of The Shard building the project was particularly challenging technically. The difficulty was trying to achieve a simplicity of design in a multi-storey building.”
“We have seen work through from its inception to completion; it was a fantastic and incredibly exciting opportunity to be involved in. I feel very privileged to have been involved and it is a real showpiece for the practice.”
When asked what the practice prides itself on, Ed said: “We are currently doing around 60% of our work oversees and I believe this is an endorsement of our world renowned reputation for quality.”