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 Sunday, 10 November 2019

Dreamy!

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Visited On Tuesday, 05 November 2019

Super be good. Lovely intimate atmosphere

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Visited On Monday, 04 November 2019

This was our second visit to Oldroyd It was exceptional. Meet free Monday was the menu on the day and it really truly made me and my partner parlay/decide that a plant based diet change would be a our New Years reso. Inspiring.. really great personal staff. Josh and flora

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Visited On Friday, 01 November 2019

We will definitely be back again. Innovative food with ingredients not often found on a menu

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Visited On Friday, 01 November 2019

Atmosphere was abit lacking. Downstairs smelt strongly of fish and we walked in to hear a conversation with another customer about how their table was only for an hour 15 despite it saying on their reservation 2 hours which wasn’t a good first impression. We also had some confusion about the vouchers which was resolved but not a conversation you want to have when you’re taking friends out. Finally the table next to us we’re extremely loud which we found quite off putting to our table and wasn’t the correct atmosphere for the type of restaurant

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Visited On Thursday, 31 October 2019

I love Oldroyd!

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Visited On Thursday, 24 October 2019

Been in a few times now. Always good food and service.

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Visited On Saturday, 26 October 2019

Divinely delicious!

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Visited On Friday, 25 October 2019

You guys are always great!

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Visited On Thursday, 24 October 2019

Just a little too crowded and noisy, but not much can be done to sort those problems. Otherwise, excellent food and service. Staff very, very good - they listened and personalised the service.

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Visited On Saturday, 12 October 2019

Really wonderful food, plenty of choices which we shared so got to try lots of the dishes. Excellent, friendly and helpful service especially accommodating for garlic allergy! Such a lovely atmosphere, great place for dinner and very good value.

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Visited On Saturday, 12 October 2019

Cutlery was all dirty but otherwise service was good. Food was not bad but not as good as I hoped.

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Visited On Wednesday, 09 October 2019

Exquisite food and a cosy, friendly ambience. Well done everyone!

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Visited On Saturday, 05 October 2019

I’ve been to Oldroyd many times previously, and Saturdays trip was a let down. Although the restaurant was quiet at the time, service was slow. The music also stopped for half an hour and then started up again, which had an effect on the ambience.

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Visited On Wednesday, 02 October 2019

Beautiful lunch, the poached pears were to die for!

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Visited On Monday, 30 September 2019

Food is always delicious and a nice atmosphere. Went to Meat Free Monday last night for the first time and everything was amazing!

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Visited On Monday, 23 September 2019

Delicious Meat Free Monday! Memorable and eclectic food as always. Great service. A treat from my local restaurant! Rosie

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Visited On Friday, 20 September 2019

Fab food & wine!! You must have the malfatti balls and their sourdough bread with anchovy butter..to die for!!

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Visited On Sunday, 22 September 2019

Excellent retaurant, delicious, well-considered food & a most enjoyable meal for all 3 diners. Will make an effort to return before too long.

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Visited On Wednesday, 18 September 2019

We had a really lovely evening with you. Great atmosphere, fab service, and the food was perfect. Thank you!

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Visited On Wednesday, 18 September 2019

great restaurant especially the £10 lunch offer

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Visited On Tuesday, 17 September 2019

delicious interesting food and lovely service. wine a bit pricey (£50 for a bottle of Gavi!) love this place.

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Visited On Saturday, 14 September 2019

We were quite disappointed with the meal, after having been keen to try the restaurant for some time. None of the dishes were standout - except the croquetas (cuttlefish was rather bland, aubergine a little undercooked, pork over cooked and dry) and the service was rather offhand. I’m afraid we won’t be back.

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Visited On Friday, 13 September 2019

Room too small and tables too close to each other to have an intimate conversation. The food was however exceptional !

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Visited On Friday, 13 September 2019

Really interesting, delicious food and lovely service

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