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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 Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Whilst I was disappointed to have made a mid evening booking yet upon arrival was told that 3 dishes were already off the menu, the food we did eat was absolutely delicious! The service was excellent, the wine was good and reasonably priced and the atmosphere was convivial. I would happily recommend Old Royd.

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Visited On Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Great food and cute place. Lovely! Will come back again

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Visited On Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Lovely food, good service. Restaurant is based on sharing dishes and dishes came out one at a time rather than altogether

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Visited On Monday, 15 April 2019

Service was excellent. It was my birthday and all the staff were so lovely and accommodating. Food was delicious - my favourite was the celeriac. A very special evening, thank you!

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Visited On Saturday, 06 April 2019

Delicious neighbourhood restaurant, the sort you would want to go to every week. Great produce, expertly cooked. Small but perfectly formed. Love it.

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Visited On Sunday, 31 March 2019

extremely good food, and really well judged as sharing plates - lots of contrast and no duds at all. Thank you.

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Visited On Saturday, 30 March 2019

One of our favourite restaurants in London that we go back to time and time again. Always delivers with fantastic seasonal food on a changing menu. Relaxed atmosphere & lovely staff.

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Visited On Thursday, 28 March 2019

Too cramped downstairs. Luckily we sat upstairs but would not come with someone who can't cope with staircase.

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Visited On Monday, 25 March 2019

Great food, drinks and service! Would highly recommend -- a gem in Angel! Loved the meatless Mondays menu!

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Visited On Saturday, 23 March 2019

We think Oldroyd is an Islington gem. In an area overflowing with restaurants this is a special place. Fantastic, original food. Friendly service. A lovely cosy space. We will be back.

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Visited On Thursday, 21 March 2019

Staff are always very warm and welcoming. The restaurant has a real personality, and the food is always delicious. A good seasonal menu.

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Visited On Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Absolutely delicious as always! Did feel a little bit rushed off the table, and left still a little peckish after 5 plates between 2 so perhaps portions could have been a bit heartier. The waitress was really helpful and friendly, which added to the overall relaxed and inviting atmosphere.

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Visited On Wednesday, 20 March 2019

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Visited On Saturday, 16 March 2019

Amazing food beautifully served and very quick for a post-theatre treat,

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Visited On Friday, 15 March 2019

The food was delicious and the staff were really friendly.

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Visited On Friday, 15 March 2019

Fantastic well priced tasting menu!

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Visited On Thursday, 14 March 2019

Service was great but thought some of the dishes were pretty steep. In particular £20 for the rabbit dish and £7.50 for some bread and olives!!

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Visited On Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Nice

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Visited On Saturday, 09 March 2019

We had a lovely meal. We arrive early for pre theatre meal but the restaurant soon filled up. The food was tasty, generous in size and well presented. We enjoyed every bit of it and will come again.

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Visited On Tuesday, 12 March 2019

2nd time at Oldroyd, really love it. Always cater to my non-dairy pescetarian diet and portion sizes are perfect. Will definitely be back and I don't normally visit the same place more than once.

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Visited On Monday, 11 March 2019

Excellent meal

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Visited On Monday, 11 March 2019

Lovely friendly staff. And really great food. Meat-free Monday is a fantastic idea! Love it thanks

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Visited On Sunday, 10 March 2019

Great venue for a long lazy Sunday lunch. Delicious innovative food. Sharing means one can sample more dishes. Cheerful enthusiatic service. Will definitely return.

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Visited On Thursday, 07 March 2019

The food and service were really great. The only downside was the music, which our party thought was quite odd for the atmosphere in the restaurant.

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Visited On Friday, 08 March 2019

had the croquetas, cod cheek, spinach & ricotta malfatti, and sourdough bread with anchovy butter. Overall, the food was mostly poor, definitely will not go back. Good service though . the croquetas was good so no complain there. the tartare sauce with the cod cheeks were far too salty. the malfatti was bland the anchovy butter was too salty and has far too much anchovy in it

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