OLDROYD

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

Opening July 2015.

Facilities
  • Free WiFi
  • Outdoor Seating
  • 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 Friday, 17 January 2020

Unbelievable value for money. Excellent food at chain prices!!

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Visited On Thursday, 16 January 2020

The food, service and ambience are quietly brilliant. One of my favourite places in London to spend an evening.

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Visited On Monday, 13 January 2020

Love the meat free Monday. So far haven't been in the evening or on any other day even though I'm not a vegetarian. But been twice now and had a great experience both times. The food is great and staff are lovely.

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Visited On Tuesday, 07 January 2020

Great food

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Visited On Thursday, 02 January 2020

C

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Visited On Thursday, 02 January 2020

Tasty food friendly efficient service

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Visited On Saturday, 28 December 2019

Delicious as always.

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Visited On Sunday, 22 December 2019

Fabulous service and delish food. Gave u a Google review 5 star too. x

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Visited On Wednesday, 18 December 2019

I was quite disappointed by the food, we didn’t mention anything at the table as I hadn’t seen my cousin and sister in a while and didn’t want to spoil the mood. The squash was dry which I didn’t realise was possible, my sisters dish (spinach and fig) was nice but flavourless. All in all the dishes needed more seasoning and for the price was not worth it and therefore I will not be visiting again.

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Visited On Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Superb food. Service was unobtrusive. Cute space upstairs, though to say it is intimate is to do a disservice to the word.

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Visited On Wednesday, 18 December 2019

I love this place. Good sized portions that don't leave you bloated but so tasty and great value lunches.

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Visited On Wednesday, 18 December 2019

We came for lunch so quite quiet and more limited food choices. However everything we ate was excellent.

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Visited On Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Love Oldroyd. Amazing food. Amazing value. Tiny tiny seats and tables--beware the loud man on the table next to you, as that could spoil the whole darn thing.

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Visited On Monday, 16 December 2019

Delicious food. Nice and cosy. Fantastic Negroni If I have to really find a fault it would be the state of the benches. Terribly stained. Bad image for a place where food is prepared. Not a feeling of hygiene

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Visited On Friday, 13 December 2019

Wonderful meal - tasty and fulfilling food.

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Visited On Monday, 09 December 2019

Fantastic menu on Meat Free Monday 10th Dec. Everything went together perfectly. So nice to have the full tun of the menu for a change.

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Visited On Monday, 09 December 2019

Your food was not great for people who are used to eating meat and who do not like cheese.

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Visited On Sunday, 08 December 2019

Sublime food - each plate was a highlight, but we especially enjoyed the artichokes and cod. Service was attentive. Highly recommended.

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Visited On Friday, 06 December 2019

Lovely food. Great service.

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Visited On Friday, 06 December 2019

Delicious food, well presented

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Visited On Tuesday, 03 December 2019

A little gem of a restaurant. A great find. We all had a great meal; delicious food and wine served by attentive staff.

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Visited On Monday, 02 December 2019

It was quite difficult to find the restaurant because outside is rather dimly lit. Food was tasty but menu very limited. Wine was nice. However for was it was, the meal was overpriced.

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Visited On Friday, 29 November 2019

Love the food and service great. So long as you don’t mind small and cosy tables this place I hard to beat in Islington

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Visited On Thursday, 28 November 2019

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Visited On Saturday, 23 November 2019

We loved it! The dishes were all delicious, accurately cooked and portioned, reasonably priced, seasonal and overall an absolute delight. We can't wait to go again

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