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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21
1 Star:
1
Visited On Monday, 19 August 2019

Our meat-free Monday pre-theatre dinner was a really good call and didn't disappoint. Just a perfect combination of tastes with the malfatti an all time favourite followed closely by the aubergine. Sorry we didn't have time for the dessert. As ever, a very civilised experience.

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Visited On Sunday, 18 August 2019

Loved it - food was excellent and we really enjoyed our drinks and meal. There was a small mix up over our Armagnac but it was dealt with perfectly. Will be back next time we're in London!

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Visited On Saturday, 17 August 2019

We enjoyed our dinner at OLDROYD. The service and atmosphere were fantastic. The food was good but I find it a bit overpriced. This restaurant has very good reviews but I think one can find more sophisticated places in London for the same or lower price. Probably it’s the matter of personal taste.

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Visited On Saturday, 17 August 2019

Excellent food as ever, surprisingly quiet for a Saturday lunch but meant we had a lovely big table!

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Visited On Friday, 16 August 2019

We had an amazing lunch. Delicious and fresh with lovely, friendly service. We will definitely go back.

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Visited On Monday, 12 August 2019

Even though my friend and I are omnivorous we went on a Meatless Monday and we didn't miss the meat at all. Our favourite dish was the watermelon, fennel and feta salad, but everything was tasty. And they make a great Negroni.

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Visited On Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Enjoyed it, refreshing and lovely non corporate environment, freshly made food, friendly and relaxed. Will come back.

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Visited On Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Consistently very good cooking at this laid back neighbourhood restaurant. Sevice is relaxed and friendly and the lunch menu is excellent value.

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Visited On Saturday, 10 August 2019

Very good friendly service. Fantastic food cooked very well with good ingredients and good value for money. The croquetas were lovely, light and crispy with nice gooey centre. Cod and broad beans very tasty and amazing prune & almond tart to finish. We sat in the upstairs dining room which is very cramped and quite noisy. We should have asked to sit downstairs. A bit put off by the micro small toilet with a very flimsy door!!

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Visited On Thursday, 08 August 2019

Sumptuous food, delightful service, in a lovely intimate restaurant. Highly recommended.

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Visited On Thursday, 01 August 2019

We much appreciated the restaurant juggling some tables in order to accommodate our last minute booking for a party of three, after another restaurant we had booked had to cancel after they suffered flooding. We enjoyed every aspect of the meal - the food was inventive and delicious and the cocktails were wonderful. Service was super-friendly. Thanks for a great evening.

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Visited On Wednesday, 31 July 2019

A lovely, relaxed lunch. Food was good, service was good. Only issue - a bit cramped.

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Visited On Monday, 29 July 2019

Went for meat-free Monday, and had a delicious meal. Highlights were the croquettes and the cheesecake

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Visited On Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Oldroyd is alway excellent value for money and they serve simple yet imaginative, delicious food. The set lunch menu seems to have been replaced by three main courses, each for £10 and a few side dishes that could be starters. Its all very good. Would recommend.

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Visited On Wednesday, 24 July 2019

Atmosphere would have been higher but for the really hot weather.

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Visited On Monday, 22 July 2019

Small and cramped but exceptional food!

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Visited On Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Delicious £10 lunch menu.

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Visited On Saturday, 13 July 2019

Fabulous little restaurant. Great food and charming and attentive staff. This is likely to be my new go to place in Islington. Will be returning to try the rest of the menu!

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Visited On Thursday, 11 July 2019

I love going to Oldroyd! The food always feels special. Really original and delicious dishes made with fresh ingredients and lots of veg. Staff is very nice.

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Visited On Sunday, 07 July 2019

Disappointing. The restaurant feels dirty. Food mediocre

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Visited On Friday, 05 July 2019

The food was outstanding. Every dish.

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Visited On Sunday, 30 June 2019

Great restaurant with helpful staff and very nice dishes. There's enough vegetarians dishes and they vary greatly in flavor. Surprising combinations of ingredients in a positive way! Only thing that bothered us a bit is that because the restaurant is small, it can get really noisy when all tables are booked.

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Visited On Friday, 28 June 2019

Went for a family meal when our sister was exhibiting across the road and it was excellent. Staff were really helpful and patient when we all arrived at different times, were accommodating to the children and was a lovely tiny set u upstairs. The food was incredible and arrived really quickly which worked well for us. Plus at £10, it was great value. Would definitely go again.

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Visited On Friday, 28 June 2019

The restaurant is cozy but a bit tight upstairs, we had to move our table every time someone walked past. The food was amazing, we loved everything we ordered. Would return again with friends.

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Visited On Friday, 28 June 2019

Such a delicious meal, lovely place, great service - thank you! The lettuce with pistachios was incredible.

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