Oblix — London, UK
From certain angles and in certain places, London can look and feel less and less like London every day. Especially, and ironically, when you see the city spread out before you while enjoying expertly prepared pan-fried salmon. Thirty-two floors up, Oblix is the first of three new restaurants to open this summer in the Shard, Renzo Piano’s still-astonishing glass spike rising above London Bridge; Aqua Shard and Hutong, which will sandwich the eatery, are near completion. It is, of course, a prized pitch. And German-born chef Rainer Becker (of the New York Grill and Bar in Tokyo’s Park Hyatt), who previously partnered with restaurateur Arjun Waney to open London’s much-loved Zuma and Roka, knows what to do with it. The 200-seat restaurant and bar was designed by celebrated Italian architect and designer Claudio Silvestrin and features a sophisticated palette of warm brown Turkish stone, dark wood and leather. But the overall strategy, made strikingly clear after dark, is to let London’s cityscape take centre stage.