Taste of freshness
|Octopus and chorizo salad, roast red pepper|
I have heard very good things about Oldroyd, not least as it was voted Restaurant of the Year by Hot Dinners, as well as receiving plenty of raving reviews from the press. Chef-owner Tom Oldroyd was one of the key players in Russell Norman's Polpo success while he was the chef-director. In 2015, he decided to go solo and opened Oldroyd in Islington. The cooking style is similar to Polpo but with a far greater essence of Mediterranean cuisine, all served in a short menu of tapas sizes, ideal for sharing. The decor is as simple as you can get; the space is narrow with all the tables very close to each other, so not the most comfortable restaurant.
|Cured lamb leg, artichokes, peas|
|Asparagus, Cornish white crab, brown crab rouille|
The asparagus dish was clean and fresh, as was the sweet Cornish white crab, all piled on top of a rich, luxurious brown crab rouille. It was a really refreshing cold dish. The octopus salad is what a top quality Mediterranean salad is all about; it contained a depth of bold savoury flavours from the roasted red pepper and the finely chopped chorizo, which acted as a lovely dressing for the tender octopus. I especially enjoyed the whole roast monkfish tail; it had a wonderful meaty texture and it worked well with the creamy butter sauce, while the sharpness of the samphire offered a good balance of flavours. The moist veal ossobuco could had been better seasoned, it was overshadowed by the powerful flavours of the gremolata.
|Roast monkfish tail, jersey royals, butter sauce|
|Veal ossobuco, risotto, gremolata|
|Yorkshire rhubarb, almond tart and |
alphonso mango, yoghurt ice cream
All in all, Oldroyd was a very solid meal, but it was far from expectational. Oldroyd does deliver plenty of lovely flavours at a pretty reasonable price and the chefs do a fine job by transforming quality, fresh ingredients into simple and flavoursome dishes. The service was also decent with staff showing a good knowledge of the menu. Overall this is a great neighbourhood restaurant for any Mediterranean food lovers, however you may be put off by the restaurant's interior as it is extremely tiny and cramped.
What I paid:
£30 per head
Average cost without drinks and services:
344 Upper Street, Islington, London N1 0PD