Perhaps best known as the former Chef Director for the Polpo group, Tom Oldroyd opens his first solo restaurant, Oldroyd, this week.
Located on Upper Street in Islington, the 40-cover restaurant is split over two floors with a café-style ground floor suitable for walk-ins and a first floor restaurant, which will be available to book.
The space is super cute: intimate, chic and relaxed with wooden tables, cream banquettes and a warming blue wall colour.
I was invited in to try the restaurant before it officially opened last week and I can genuinely say that I absolutely loved the food; I would go so far as to say some of the best food I’ve eaten this year.
The menu is designed for sharing, although you’ll fight over sharing some of the dishes, especially the ‘snacks’.
Smoked cod’s roe with radishes and celery salt was exquisite and a surprisingly large portion for £4; and the smoked pork belly and pea croquettas packed a punch and held its own without the accompanying truffle mayonnaise.
Other favourite dishes included the deliciously smoky cured Welsh veal tonnato with anchovies and the crab tagliarini Provencal, which was a huge portion and excellent value at £9.
Food envy took over when the table next to us received the then-called ‘market salad’.
What in fact is a seasonal summer salad of peaches, cow curd panzanella, broad beans and mint is now described as such on the menu.
The presentation was enough to make me book a return visit where I plan on enjoying this salad with a large bowl of light, crisp zucchini fries.
The wine list is short, but for those wanting cocktails, mixologist Ryan Chetiyawardana from the White Lyan bar in Hoxton has created a few cocktails for Oldroyd including a Negroni and an Oldroyd Bloody Mary.
Cucumber and peppermint iced tea created by the Rare Tea Company will also be available.
It’s worth making a mess on your visit to Oldroyd if only to see the waiting staff use the cute dustpan and brush below to clear up the crumbs!
I thoroughly enjoyed lunch at Oldroyd and will return time and time again: It is the perfect neighbourhood restaurant.
Tom is a good friend and you may think this review is biased, but I assure you it is not. Food this good needs to be shouted about and I’m happy to do the shouting for Tom.