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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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5 Stars:
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52
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16
1 Star:
1
Visited On Tuesday, 14 August 2018

We went to Oldroy for lunch. There were quite a lot of choices for set menu. And it was really value for money. Would definitely recommend this restaurant for lunch and perhaps try dinner next time!

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Visited On Saturday, 11 August 2018

Fabulous food. They went to great lengths to cater for the vegan and vegetarian on our group. Service was quick and with a smile.

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Visited On Friday, 10 August 2018

Only 3 for atmosphere as only 3 couples eating as 1730 But couldn’t fault anything and female member of staff went out of her way to assist my wife who “ had a problem with her shoe”

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Visited On Friday, 10 August 2018

Divine food, excellent service, everything tastefully considered - a pleasure to sit and talk for hours here.

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Visited On Thursday, 09 August 2018

Delicious! Will return.

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Visited On Saturday, 28 July 2018

The service was the only shortcoming. The food was delicious but it was hard to get our servers attention.

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Visited On Thursday, 26 July 2018

Delicious food

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Visited On Tuesday, 24 July 2018

The upstairs room is horrible. No ambience tiny crowded and a sauna. Meantwy the downstairs only had one table filled. Why did you pack us all into that sauna.

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Visited On Monday, 23 July 2018

The service was very good and the food truly excellent at a fairly reasonable price. However, the dining room was loud, very hot, and not very comfortable with small wooden chairs. We'd be more than willing to put up with it again - the food really was that good!

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Visited On Friday, 20 July 2018

A good friend was in town from Scotland, and I wanted to eat somewhere special - but not ‘precious’. The evening was perfect, and I shall be returning again soon!!

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Visited On Saturday, 21 July 2018

I thought the restaurant was great. Really fun place to eat.

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Visited On Friday, 20 July 2018

I had not heard of Oldroyd at all until a frantic google as I couldn’t find anywhere to accommodate us on a Friday evening. It definitely deserves more props. It’s an intimate place with a nice atmosphere. The staff were very pleasant and the food was great

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Visited On Friday, 20 July 2018

The staff were lovely, the upstairs was incredibly hot so quite uncomfortable. The food was average, most of it cold and lacked salt. The first time we went here it was brilliant but after this experience we wouldn’t rush back.

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Visited On Sunday, 15 July 2018

Great food, good service, upstairs uncomfortably warm upstairs

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Visited On Wednesday, 11 July 2018

The set lunch at Oldroyd is always fantastic. Brilliant cooking, great service and incredible value in a lovely setting. Couldn't be better.

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Visited On Wednesday, 04 July 2018

Small dishes to share Very high quality ingredients Every dish has an amazing taste

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Visited On Wednesday, 04 July 2018

Normal service resumed -the best local restaurant in town MH

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Visited On Wednesday, 04 July 2018

Gorgeous food and made to feel so welcome.

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Visited On Tuesday, 03 July 2018

Tasty inventive cooking and great staff

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Visited On Saturday, 30 June 2018

Some of the best food we have eaten this year.

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Visited On Saturday, 16 June 2018

Absolutely fantastic place to celebrate my birthday. Second visit (the first being my birthday last year) and it's the perfect place for a special occasion (or a cheeky Friday night dinner). Incredible food. Lovely, kind, attentive service. Cracking wine list. I'll be coming back.

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Visited On Sunday, 24 June 2018

We were really really well looked after. The food was delicious and the service was friendly and attentive. Will be returning for certain!

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Visited On Saturday, 23 June 2018

Fantastic service and atmosphere but we were very underwhelmed by the food. It was under seasoned and all a little plain. Nothing wrong with it, it was just 'nice' and nothing more and given the amazing reviews, we expected a little more.

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Visited On Saturday, 23 June 2018

our fave restaurant at the moment

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Visited On Saturday, 23 June 2018

Great service. Lovely, cosy restaurant with some fantastic dishes.

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