Every few weeks, I find myself needing to think of a restaurant last-minute for lunch or dinner with a friend. It needs to meet my usual stipulations of great food, not too far from a tube station, and not outrageously expensive and sometimes I need it to be in a specific part of town. Even though I have a loooong, semi-permanent wishlist, something about the pressure of choosing one at short-notice makes my mind go blank. And so I turn to twitter and beg the food-community hive mind for recommendations, quick quick please! They always come through for me, often-cases reminding of me of places that are already on my wishlist.
When I asked for a lunch option for a Saturday lunch in Angel Islington a few weeks ago, I was reminded again (thanks Samphire & Salsify) of Oldroyd, a name which pops up every single time I ask and has been receiving recommendations ever since it opened a few years ago. It’s the brainchild of Tom Oldroyd, formerly the Executive chef for Polpo (and the many younger sibling restaurants that came afterwards) and offers a pared down menu of seasonal cooking in a modern European style, with a pronounced Italian influence.
Walking in without a reservation at 1.30 pm on a bank holiday Saturday I was surprised we were able to get a table downstairs, and the front of house staff immediately earned my gratitude by offering a cushion to soften the hard bench seating.
The menu was short but full of temptations. We ordered a few items from the menu and one from the daily Specials blackboard.
Seaweed and cider saucisson with cornichons (£5.50) were punchy in flavour and perfect to enjoy with a drink while you decide on the rest, though pricy for the portion size.
A simple dish of gnocchi fritti, wild garlic puree and parmesan (£7) worked well for its simplicity; the deep fried gnocchi were soft with a chewy-crisped surface, given freshness by the vivid wild garlic and a hit of salty savouriness from the blanket of finely grated fresh parmesan.
Spinach and ricotta malfatti, peas, broadbeans, berkswell and crispy sage (£13) was more complex, but just as fresh and vibrant. The filling in the malfatti was light and fresh, the sweetness of the peas a delight and the crispy sage gave a welcome crunch against the softness.
The bavette steak, camone tomatoes & aspargus (£17) was marvellous, a beautifully full-flavoured and perfectly cooked piece of beef served with two fat fresh asparagus spears, fresh tomatoes and a lovely pile of very soft goat’s milk curd. Although it was awfully good, I did feel again that this item was a touch on the pricy side – bavette is not a super expensive cut.
Purple sprouting broccoli (£4) was delicious, cooked perfectly with the really excellent flavour that is a hallmark of fresh ingredients.
Lemon tart with gariguette strawberries (£6.50) was a perfect dessert for sharing. A silky silky lemon filling on thin, light pastry, with sharp little strawberries to contrast.
We only had tap water to drink, and our total bill was £59.62 (with service included). With modest drinks you’d be looking at £40 or more per head. That said, both food and service was excellent, and I’d absolutely go back. I love Oldroyd’s approach to seasonal cooking and showing off the ingredients in simple, classic combinations.
Please leave a comment - I love hearing from you!31 Comments to "Oldroyd London | Modern Dining in Angel Islington"
The food looks delicious, esp. the lemon tart. I like that they have caramelized the surface.
It was so silky smooth!
Visited Oldroyd for the first time a few weeks back. Love the superb seasonal food and cosy atmosphere. Great stuff! Thanks for the review, Kavey!
Me too, really lovely. Am going again tonight!
Anywhere that has skate on the menu is a winner for me. So rare to find and so delicious with capers as they’ve described here. And a cushion is most necessary for the trendy wooden board type chairs that are everywhere!
Yes I love their menu and the cushion was a kind and appreciated gesture.
Funny how lunch/ dinner with friends and/ or families can make you go completely blank when asked for recommendations. LOL. I have experienced that, like a lot.. hehe. So cool of you to have thought of asking the twitter community for recommendations. 🙂 The food at Oldroyd looks delicious!
Yeah it’s a weird failing but they did me proud!
I will definitely need to put this on my list if I visit. The gnocchi looked simply delicious. And the lemon tart seemed like a great way to finish. Thanks for sharing this spot.
All so good!
That doesn’t seem like a bad price for all of that food in London! Great find! And the food, of course, looks amazing!
I think it’s understandable taking into account location but I think given small number of dishes and no drinks at all, it’s a little high. I’m still going back tonight though!
The photos certainly are appetizing 🙂 It is often that a small place has the best food. I don’t mind a lemon tart with strawberries right now! I have not been to London yet but will note down this place for reference. Thanks
Hope you make it to London soon!
Great photos, made me hungry! The steak looks really good but the Lemon Tart has to be my favorite! Mouthwatering!
It was a great lemon tart!
Such tempting dishes!
The seaweed dish is new to me. Looks good, though the portion looks too small.
The seaweed is one of the flavourings of the saucisson, and yes very interesting.
We too face this issue of, “where to go for lunch or dinner”, often. Also our choices narrow down owing to our vegetarian proclivities. But Oldroyd seems the perfect place that fits in to your requirements. The Spinach and ricotta malfatti, peas, broadbeans, berkswell and crispy sage looks like something down our ally. The Lemon Tart too looks really tempting. Looking at the prices they seem definitely value for money.
Yeah they seem to be pretty good for veggies, even with their short menu. Definitely worth visiting!
The seaweed and cider saucisson! What a combo! Sounds fabulous. I’d love to visit here with my other half for a quite lunch without the kids! 🙂
Hope you make it soon!
The place does seem like a lovely place for a date. I can see that the food too, is quite delicious – from your pictures and description. I like the sound of the dessert – lemon tart and strawberries…yummy
Yeah it’s a lovely place, we’re meeting friends there tonight.
You can’t beat a lemon tart for dessert – so refreshing and such a palate cleanser. Looks like a really lovely place!
Such a good dish to end.
That gnocchi looks so good and I love tips for my trips to London.
It’s got a good selection for veggies so I think you’d love it!
Why have I never been here?! It’s so close to my OH’s office too. Promptly adding it to my own list. Great recommendation.
It looks so simple and delicious I’m sure, the ingredients just stand out when they are prepared with few but wonderful fresh ingredients. I would just love to try that Gnocchi and the beef dish.
I still haven’t been! photos show great food actually