In Review

Oblix Elevator Lunch menu: fast food to get rid of the holiday blues

Forget soggy sandwiches and enjoy a two-course treat in less than an hour

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Going back to work after the holidays is never fun, especially when you’re faced with a limp tuna sandwich at your desk in place of a sumptuous lunch overlooking a sun-drenched vista. But help is on hand thanks to Oblix West’s Elevator Lunch, which aims to deliver top-notch nosh within an hour – including your lift ride there and back.

There is certainly no waiting around when we decide to relive the holiday spirit one lunchtime. The lift has us on the 32nd floor of The Shard in seconds and we’re quickly, but not hurriedly, escorted to a table with magnificent views overlooking Tower Bridge, St Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster and the London Eye.

You’re offered a sharing menu consisting of starter, main and side and there is a good variety to choose from, especially for vegetarians. Each dish is brought to your table as soon as it’s ready and executive chef Marcus Eaves and his team are determined to meet the high quality for which Oblix has become known. Having a busy afternoon ahead of us, we opt for a glass of Chandon and then stick with mineral water, but the sommelier is available to advise on the best wines for your choices. There is also the option of unlimited red, white or sparkling wine if you have more time or are celebrating a big deal.

Clock ticking, my colleague begins with burrata, olives and datterini tomatoes, a subtle mix of flavours in which the soft and creamy cheese is undoubtedly the star. However, she jealously eyes up my show-stopping beetroot, goat’s curd and rye crumble. The mellow curd cuts through the delicious earthy flavour of the wood-fired beets while the crunchy rye packs in texture and taste. Distracted by a text, I look up to see my colleague take the last mouthful, muttering something about helping me out as we’re on a lunchbreak.

Main for me is free-range chicken with a romesco sauce, the chicken deliciously moist under a skin so crisp it almost snaps. For my side, I have perfectly cooked green beans with pancetta and truffled ricotta - delicious, but a cheese too many after our starters. My friend’s hand-cut chips, meanwhile, went down a treat.

As for my colleague, after beet-gate she was on a roll, gleefully picking up her organic pork chops with rosemary oil to gnaw away at the meat her knife and fork could no longer reach. The added bacon relish was “a triumph”, enhancing the flavour of the chop”, she declared.

For dessert, my crunchy strawberry and pistachio eclair is full of texture and taste, with the freshness of the strawberries hitting your mouth as you lift your spoon. It is served with a refreshing raspberry sorbet to cut through the richness.  My caffeine-loving friend goes for the toffee banana and creme brulee tart with coffee ice-cream, which is so pretty and decadent-looking that it is greeted with a “wow” when it arrives. Silky rich and smooth, with an ice-cream so filled with flavour you can, for a moment, imagine you’re back on holiday, sipping un caffe in a bar in Italy.

Ordering dessert meant we went over the hour, but until then we were bang on schedule without ever feeling rushed, and despite having three good-sized courses, neither of us felt heavy or sluggish. Instead, getting away from the office and taking time to enjoy lunch set us up for the afternoon. Bye bye, tuna sandwich.

The Oblix Elevator Lunch Menu is available Monday-Friday, 12 – 3pm, in Oblix West only. Prices start from £40 for starter, main and side. Mineral water included.

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