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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 Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Delicious as usual!!

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Visited On Sunday, 09 December 2018

Our favourite restaurant in London. Always interesting but never over the top in its uniqueness. Just amazing food and lovely people in a cosy place.

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Visited On Friday, 07 December 2018

Oldroyd has yet to disappoint and the dish of the day braised ox cheek was delicious as were the malfatti, always a favourite for me. Perfect for a winter's night.

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Visited On Friday, 07 December 2018

I loved our first visit! Thank you especially for offering a seperate gluten free desert. The food was to die for, surpassed expectations! Fantastic service too. Just gave it 4* for atmosphere as it could do with being a touch warmer but it was a very cold day! Loved it, will 100% come back! Thank you!

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Visited On Wednesday, 05 December 2018

Delicious!

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Visited On Wednesday, 05 December 2018

Vegetarian food excellent!

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Visited On Tuesday, 04 December 2018

Little oasis in the middle of Islington. Food was outstanding. Small and intimate but with bags of personality. Feels like a little secret that you want to keep for your closest friends.

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Visited On Friday, 30 November 2018

A fantastic meal, only let down was dessert - soupy zabaglione with charred amaretti. Shame to end on a duff note after such competently cooked and delicious food. Great service, friendly and professional staff.

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Visited On Wednesday, 28 November 2018

we had a very lovely experience at this tiny gem of a restaurant. its that small that we walked passed it 4 times trying to find it on google maps, and once we did the delights began with the best old fashioned I have I found to date since moving to London. The owner also has taken over a pub in Dalton called The Richmond which is so so so good! This place has a well deserved "best restaurant" award from Monocle Magazine who's work I am a great fan of. many thanks and see you again soon Mr Oldroyd. Kind regards Josh Campbell-lloyd and Miss Flora D. ps. The floor was ever so slippery as you enter.

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Visited On Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Fabulous food and great service, excellent cocktails & good wine We forgive you for the rather loud American who yelled for half an hour, a bonding experience with the next table! Definitely be back 👍👍👍

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Visited On Monday, 26 November 2018

Food excellent. Service charming.

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Visited On Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Superb value lunch, great portion and faultless dishes... left feeling so happy x

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Visited On Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Lovely food, imaginative and vfm. Nice staff. Still very, very small and sitting at a middle table meant we had to move several times for people leaving and arriving at tables either side. This could be so much better if bigger!

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Visited On Wednesday, 14 November 2018

As always a pleasure the service was friendly professional without being intrusive. The food was delicious especially the mackerel special. I will definitely return.

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Visited On Friday, 09 November 2018

I love Oldroyd, and have been many times. This was the first time I’ve had a downstairs table - and whilst this restaurant is amazing - I must admit that I much prefer upstairs.

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Visited On Sunday, 04 November 2018

Kleines, aber feines Lokal mit super Service und ansprechender Speisekarte. Gerne wieder.

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Visited On Monday, 05 November 2018

Truly delicious food thank you. And I LOVE the Meat Free Monday concept. That was the main draw for me as I'm veggie and the person I was bringing for lunch is vegan.

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Visited On Sunday, 14 October 2018

Very nice restaurant with original food.

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Visited On Saturday, 27 October 2018

From the time we arrived we were greeted by friendly staff. The person serving us explained the menu and advised us on a suitable number of dishes. One of our party has a mild allergy to most nuts and the kitchen dealt with this very well. At no point did we feel rushed. It felt like dining in a friends house rather than a restaurant. We will definitely be back.

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Visited On Monday, 29 October 2018

I really enjoyed having lunch at Oldroyd. Only drawback is the description on menu. It was just a list of ingredients and didn't understand what the food is like until waitress explain each menu.

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Visited On Friday, 26 October 2018

The thought of visiting again has me smiling and drooling. Those Wild Mushroom croquetas though.... next level!!

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Visited On Saturday, 27 October 2018

Wonderful food, comforting with a great depth of flavour. Warm and inviting atmosphere with friendly and attentive staff. Fantastic to have a good range of vegetarian options.

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Visited On Friday, 26 October 2018

Great seasonal and creative food, good value.

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Visited On Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Dishes were cold and food luke warm. Portions small but very tasty. Pork dish was 50% fat. Mostly vegetarian dishes but bill of £75 for 3 dishes and 3 drinks was quite high. Snug atmosphere and good service.

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Visited On Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Great set lunch menu and cozy atmosphere.

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