OLDROYD

344 Upper Street, London, United Kingdom, N1 0PD
Critics Review 13/20
Restaurant info
Opening Information

Opening July 2015.

Facilities
  • Free WiFi
  • Outside Seating Area
  • Families and Children Welcome
Menus

About OLDROYD

OLDROYD is a neighbourhood restaurant serving a daily-changing European menu built around seasonal British ingredients sourced as locally as possible.

Dress Code: Smart Casual
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Critics Review
Review By Andy Hayler
13/20
Tom Oldroyd trained with the estimable Alastair Little, one of the fathers of modern British cooking in the late 1980s and 1990s, who now runs the Tavola delicatessen in Notting Hill. Much more recently Mr Oldroyd worked at Bocca di Lupo before becoming head chef of the Polpo empire. He went solo in the summer of 2015 with this eponymous restaurant in Islington. It seats up to 40 diners at any one time in a sparsely decorated olive green upstairs dining room with tightly packed tables. The tables and indeed the plates are unusually small, so it feels a bit like a set of the old TV Series “Land of the Giants” as you gaze in wonder at the miniature crockery. There are also a few tables downstairs, but the tables are no larger nor less rammed in. Lighting was murky and gloomy, hence the matching photos, and diners other than any passing birds of prey will probably require a torch just to read the menu. Pleasant blues music played in the background, but not so loudly as to be annoying. Though he is notionally executive chef, Mr Oldroyd was not around tonight, and nor was his head chef Louis Lingwood, who previously worked at St John Bread and Wine and Quo Vadis. There was a small and carelessly labelled wine list that omitted vintages (and capital letters), as well as being ambiguous in several places: “pinot noir, les st julien burgundy” could refer to any one of the following wines: Julien Bouchard or Gerard Julien & Fils, or Chevillon-Chezaux Les St Julien or Les St Julien Claude Poyen. These incidentally, range in price by a factor of four. It seems to me sloppy and mildly insulting to customers when this happens, as if the management thinks: “our customers are bozos who can barely tell white from red, so we’ll just type up any old thing; also, we can’t be bothered to press the ‘caps’ key.” A “rioja reserve, villabuena” turned out to be Valserrano Reserva 2010 at £45 compared to a retail price of £14. “cremant de loire” was another example – the chef wouldn’t label a dish “some kind of unidentified meat” so why treat wine this way? In total there were just two sparkling wines, five whites, one rose, five reds and two dessert wines. These ranged in price from £24 to £55, with a median price of £32 and an average mark-up of a far from kind 3.8 times retail as best I could tell from the bottles that were unambiguously identified. Asparagus and Caerphilly croquettas had a crisp outer coating, and the asparagus was not overwhelmed by the cheese; this came with a “truffle mayonnaise” whose relationship to any truffle I am aware of was fleeting and distant at best (13/20 for the frying). Malfatti of spinach and ricotta had pleasant texture, served with broad beans that the kitchen had at least bothered to pod (watch and learn Moro), crispy sage and Berkswell cheese (13/20). Norfolk asparagus came with brown crab rouille, white crab and chervil. The asparagus was warm, the rest of the elements cold, the crab of decent quality but the chervil tasteless. This was harmless enough though not thrilling (12/20). I may be no spring chicken but I did eat one, the “spring chicken Orvietto” being a dish I recall from Alastair Little days. The bird was served on the bone and perched precariously on its tiny plate, cooked correctly with garlic and white wine though rather lacking flavour. The overall effect was improved by chicken livers on toasted sourdough (from The Bread Factory) with a garish of fennel and black olives, which lifted the flavour of the dish (13/20). On the side, zucchini (courgette) fries were disappointing, piping hot but soggy and tasteless (10/20). For dessert I had rhubarb and almond tart, which had good pastry though could have had more rhubarb, served with rhubarb ripple ice cream that again was rather light on rhubarb flavour (13/20). Tiramisu was quite good, having a proper coffee kick (14/20). Coffee was from a company called Terrone and was quite good, fairly rich in flavour. Service was harmless enough, the manager on the night being friendly though our waitress seemed visibly bored and managed to bring the wrong red wine from the vast selection of five on offer, despite my saying the name and pointing to it on the list when she looked confused. The bill came to £58 a head including drinks, which is not excessive. The cooking here is actually quite good, and the place was packed out even at a late sitting, though the décor, wine list and service did not add much to the experience.
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Visited On Saturday, 15 June 2019

Sharing plates all came out too quickly. V close to next table even tho there was a spare one other side of us we could have sat in. Expensive for what it was. V few clams in dish. Couldn’t wait to get out of there in the end. Wine was alright and waitress was nice.

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Visited On Saturday, 15 June 2019

Lovely food and very attentive service. Would definitely recommend.

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Visited On Monday, 10 June 2019

Absolutely gorgeous food. Went on meat free Monday and the food was delicious. It’s quite small and gets a bit loud when all tables are occupied but again the food is fantastic! I shall return for sure.

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Visited On Saturday, 08 June 2019

Delicious!

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Visited On Friday, 07 June 2019

We loved it and the food was delicious It’s obviously quite a tight fit but we didn’t mind that at all it was rather fun, almost like communication dining. Could maybe make more of that downstairs?

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Visited On Saturday, 01 June 2019

Good and friendly space

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Visited On Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Food was lovely!

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Visited On Thursday, 23 May 2019

Great seasonal produce

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Visited On Saturday, 25 May 2019

Tables were a little too close together although I appreciate it's a small space so necessary. I was celebrating my wedding anniversary and was sitting.closer to the stranger next to me than my husband. Great food and service though

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Visited On Friday, 24 May 2019

I am so happy to have this restaurant near my home in Islington. I have dined at OLDROYD many times and it is always a lovely and special experience Barry

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Visited On Thursday, 23 May 2019

A lovely little neighbourhood restaurant with great food and wine. Highly recommended

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Visited On Saturday, 18 May 2019

Absolutely lovely meal. One of our party was quite late but we weren't rushed by the staff at all.

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Visited On Tuesday, 14 May 2019

We choose this for its fish and vegetarian options, its a small plate sharing kind of place. The food was good, some interesting ideas, a very good crab tart. Wine list pretty good, although maybe on the pricey side? Would I go again ...yes, worth a try I'd say. Service was very good.

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Visited On Tuesday, 14 May 2019

We had a brilliant dinner with amazing food and really good service. The only tiny quibble is the size of the room and the proximity to other tables. But will def come back.

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Visited On Tuesday, 14 May 2019

This is my 2nd visit to OLDROYD as a visitor from SF. So I know good food. I'd come often if I lived in London. Wonderful healthful choices, fabulous tastes, imaginative combinations. Look forward to returning.

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Visited On Tuesday, 14 May 2019

We may have had the restaurant to ourselves but the relaxed atmosphere, fab music and delicious food all made for a perfect lunch.

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Visited On Friday, 10 May 2019

Our favourite restaurant! We love it.

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Visited On Thursday, 09 May 2019

Prices felt high and want blown away by the dishes we had. Could be personal taste but wouldn’t go back.

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Visited On Sunday, 05 May 2019

We enjoyed a delightful lunch at Oldroyd with really well-prepared and inventive food delivered with a smile. This little restaurant is worth a detour. We will be back for sure.

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Visited On Wednesday, 01 May 2019

Great evening fab food and really buzzy atmosphere

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Visited On Monday, 29 April 2019

Very enjoyable vegetarian menu

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Visited On Monday, 29 April 2019

So delicious. Every mouthful a culinary delight. Lovely service too...nothing was too much. And thanks for the birthday candle as well. We'll be back.

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Visited On Saturday, 27 April 2019

Exceptional One of the best meals I’ve had in London Everything was perfectly done, delicious wine, great service, lovely place to sit

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Visited On Thursday, 25 April 2019

Truly delicious food. Very impressed.

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Visited On Friday, 19 April 2019

Brilliant food, great service, never fail to deliver something exciting and different.

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