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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
Price point:
£ £ £ £ £

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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, 16 February 2019

Interesting, well-cooked food and attentive service all evening.

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Visited On Friday, 15 February 2019

Lovely menu. Perfect portions sizes. Good lunch deal.

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Visited On Saturday, 09 February 2019

Food was incredible and the service was excellent.

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Visited On Thursday, 07 February 2019

Very enjoyable lunch in interesting venue

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Visited On Friday, 01 February 2019

Draft from the door on a snowy winters day is annoying food amazing everything else is amazing

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Visited On Wednesday, 30 January 2019

A gem of a place. Very special.

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Visited On Friday, 25 January 2019

Excellent night at Oldroyd. Brilliant food, lovely service and delicious wine. Very reasonably priced, too!

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Visited On Thursday, 24 January 2019

Very hospitable staff, really looked after and we stayed long past lunch as we didn’t want to leave!

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Visited On Monday, 21 January 2019

Visited on Meat Free Monday, absolutely fantastic food, service was great too. Only marked down slightly on value for money because it was a bit more expensive then some other options vs portion size, and as it was recommended to order 4/5 dishes per person. But on the whole i'll definitely visit again in the future, most likely for a special occasion.

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Visited On Monday, 21 January 2019

Should mention that Veg only on Monday

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Visited On Saturday, 19 January 2019

Fabulous flavoursome food at reasonable prices

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Visited On Friday, 18 January 2019

One of our very favourite neighbourhood restaurants.

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Visited On Friday, 18 January 2019

Interesting and enjoyable lunch menu. Thoroughly recommended.

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Visited On Thursday, 17 January 2019

Food was not as good this time as the first time I visited Oldroyd a couple of years ago, when it was outstanding. Lovely produce, but some of the dishes were underseasoned/bland and the chicken liver mousse wasn't set properly. Lovely venue and nice staff.

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Visited On Monday, 14 January 2019

It was a lively evening! Thanks you so much for having us and for all the tasty food!

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Visited On Saturday, 12 January 2019

We went for an early dinner for 8 people on Saturday. Some dishes were very nice. The Muscadet was good. However when 4 of our group simultaneously realised the Skate was OFF, (it smelt and tasted very strongly of ammonia), and it went back to the kitchen, the reaction was , "the kitchen say they only got it today." There wasn't really any apology. It was suggested then there was a problem with your supplier, to give you the benefit of the doubt, although the chef should off course, recognise a fault before it is served. We asked if the kitchen actually accepted it was bad, and really thought that it is ok to serve that to customers? The answer was yes, they think it's ok. "It smells and tastes strongly of ammonia." "I'm sorry you thought that. We won't charge you for it." Very gracious. No other offer of recompense. I had the the rest of the evening with ammonia taste in my mouth, and as I'd swallowed some, coming up from my stomach too. Really very unpleasant. The waiting staff were sweet, but honestly, if this kind of thing happens, BELIEVE the customers, and try to make it up to them, before charging in full for the rest of the meal. We were all very surprised, and paid the bill, without making a fuss as we didn't want to be critical again, and really labour the point, dampening the atmosphere for our own group, and other diners. We didn't loudly demand money off etc. My friend said to the staff afterwards, that in this situation, it's a good idea to try and make it up to the guests, even if a small way, eg offering a glass of wine. She then agreed perhaps they could have done this, but by that point they needed the table for the next group so we had to move on. Really a shame, as the menu is interesting, and the restaurant well placed, and convenient for the station and theatre.

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Visited On Friday, 11 January 2019

Really great service and food

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Visited On Friday, 11 January 2019

Great welcome and food. Sharing plates, good choice of dishes all sound delicious so very difficult to decide what to have. Small intimate restaurant background music and lighting perfect only negative is that due the small venue you are very close to the diners on the next table. Would definitely go again.

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Visited On Thursday, 10 January 2019

Top class act. I came for pre-theatre dinner with my daughter. Quick service, lovely waitress and everything we ordered was delicious. Thank you!

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Visited On Saturday, 05 January 2019

a tiny venue with fabulous food and smiling service.

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Visited On Saturday, 05 January 2019

The food was good, but the table was cramped despite there being plenty of room to seat us at a better table. A heater blowing hot air at us from two feet didn't help. The waiting staff also disappeared after serving the main, and never refilled water glasses. An OK experience, but not stellar.

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Visited On Saturday, 29 December 2018

Everything was great except the cheeseboard, which was a bit disappointing. For £7.50 I would expect 3 cheeses and bigger portions.

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Visited On Saturday, 29 December 2018

We have been several times and it is consistently good .

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Visited On Friday, 21 December 2018

Lovely meal - sadly we were in a hurry so all a bit rushed, wil plan better next time.

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Visited On Friday, 21 December 2018

The food was deliciously simple and the atmosphere was intimate but vibrant

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