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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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54
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19
1 Star:
1
Visited On Saturday, 20 October 2018

Yum yum this was a great Saturday afternoon late lunch. The restaurant was quiet so it was a nice relaxed atmosphere. Great food, our faves being the malfatti, the brill and the croquettes. Enjoyed the background music too!

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Visited On Friday, 19 October 2018

We were really looking forward to dining here but the food was a let-down. The fish tartare was serviced in a bowl like what we would have at home. I guess I expected much more. We ordered the lamb sweetbread which was our mistake (we didn't know what it was, the restaurant could have explained a bit). The breadcrumb was soggy which made it even worse. We dined at the Picture a few weeks ago, which served similar kinds of dishes but they were executed to a much higher standard. Overall we're quite disappointed of the food. We also didn't like the lighting of the restaurant. The room was so dark that we could hardly see what was on our plates. Service was okay but waitress could have been more attentive.

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Visited On Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Tiny tiny tiny tables. Not ideal for a rotund person. Brill Was excellent. Crab was the best dish of the night.

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Visited On Wednesday, 17 October 2018

A great independent place to eat in a street dominated by food chains. Spankingly fresh red mullet tartare, and an autumnal toasted cobnut strewn pork loin with variegated kale and plums to follow. Mouth-watering, seasonal deliciousness.

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Visited On Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Really enjoyed my meal here. The atmosphere was great upstairs, very small so you are sat very close to the other tables, but if you're into that kind of cosyness, which I am, you will like this, it's cosy. The waitress was very friendly and helpful. Simple decor and relaxed. The food was overall delicious, and definitely something new for the taste buds. The spinach & ricotta main would have been better hot (assuming that it not being hot was intentional). Howevr the croquette starter (I would order 2 plates) and cheesy gnocchi special were particularly delicious. I'd say for 2 people ideally order 2 smalls, 1 medium and 2 large plates, more if you are hungry. I'm knocking off a star because you really do not get a lot of food for the price. I understand the small-plate thing is intentional by many good chefs as it forces you to really savour each bite of the food, which we did. But it's hard to ignore that natural reaction of 'that's a small plate' when a £14 main arrives. £14 for 5 tortellinis is expensive, regardless of how nice they are.

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Visited On Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Great food Great service!

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Visited On Friday, 12 October 2018

Very cramped seating and good view of loo. Food was interesting but portions extremely small and not value for money. Smallest glass of wine more like a Sherry glass! Service friendly.

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Visited On Friday, 12 October 2018

We had a great lunch - interesting flavours , a very efficient and friendly waitress , a wonderful Pinot noir and a relaxed atmosphere. Full marks - we will Be back and will try the Duke of Richmond

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Visited On Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Great value lunch, all dishes were delicious, and you were able to provide a great lunch for my vegan daughter. Quiet but pleasant atmosphere on a Wednesday lunchtime.

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Visited On Monday, 08 October 2018

The food is so deliciously fresh. I loved it so much I went twice in two weeks!

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Visited On Friday, 28 September 2018

Had a really lovely night. Food was great. The staff were fab and put a candle in my bf's pud as requested! Thank you! We always have a good experience at Oldroyd.

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Visited On Saturday, 29 September 2018

Great food with interesting ingredients

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Visited On Thursday, 27 September 2018

Five stars for everything

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Visited On Thursday, 27 September 2018

Fantastic food and service. A well needed and hidden gem in Upper street.

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Visited On Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Loved it. Will be back soon.

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Visited On Friday, 21 September 2018

Lovely service and tasty food!

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Visited On Saturday, 22 September 2018

Second time we've been and it was all wonderful. Perfect service too.

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Visited On Saturday, 22 September 2018

Excellent Restaurant.

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Visited On Thursday, 20 September 2018

If you’re looking for interesting and lovely flavour combinations at a reasonable price in Islington, look no further. Relaxed atmosphere and friendly service. Loved it!

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Visited On Thursday, 20 September 2018

Despite the fact the we booked online no one was really expecting us and so we did not have a very warm welcome. The waitress that served us was rather apathetic and very unexperienced. She could not answer any of the questions we asked her and she had no opinion/suggestion to make on the menu. The food tasted really nice especially the skate. The dessert menu had no chocolate option and that is unforgivable! Everyone from the chef to the waiters gave us a very warm goodbye when we left and we liked that very much!

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Visited On Sunday, 16 September 2018

Was lovely, just a bit small and hot, especially upstairs. Food was lovely, and staff were very sweet.

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Visited On Sunday, 16 September 2018

My only suggestion would be to take off your lunch menu offline ... as we thought we were going to grab a quick bite with the set menu - hehe, still very tasty though! My favourite was the croquettes and the lentils - due to it being super fresh, well balanced. My boyfriend loved the lamb hearts. The gnocci was super tasty, but was lacking some depth, needed mint or some form of light citrus to break through the richness. Aside from that, it was super delicious.

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Visited On Wednesday, 12 September 2018

I love coming to this restaurant

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Visited On Sunday, 09 September 2018

I was quite disappointed with the quality of the food when I visited. I shared the Gnocchi and the Malfatti, both were a bit bland and too salty. The goats curd starter that we ordered was also bland. However the Mackerel starter and Pork main were both better but overall I thought the food was over priced and not as good as I expected.

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Visited On Thursday, 13 September 2018

Adelaide, our server, was lovely and really helpful. The food was good as ever and I loved the peach Bellini. Thanks!

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