Chef-restaurateur Tom Oldroyd is set to become the latest to jump on the vegetarian and vegan bandwagons when he launches #MeatFreeMondays at his eponymous Islington restaurant this month. The hashtag is apparently a necessity.
From 30 April, both lunch and dinner menus at Oldroyd will be going meat-free for Monday, as the chef strives to “make Mondays a platform to showcase the humble vegetable.”
Since opening nearly three years ago, Oldroyd has become a local favourite; an early, warm reception from the Evening Standard’s Fay Maschler also reveals it a boundary pusher in its own right — a dish of radishes “reclining” on cod’s roe, now an all-too-familiar sight on menus and Insta feeds, here two years ahead of the curve. Oldroyd and his team’s singular devotion to clean and simple cooking of good ingredients — always remaining mindful of global inflections from across Europe and the Mediterranean — has earned the restaurant a place in many a London diner’s heart.
So, not shy of at least gently cracking the spine of the rule book, if not tearing it up, Oldroyd (the man), and the team at Oldroyd (the restaurant), are now to dedicate a day a week to creating “innovative, exciting and delicious meat-free dishes”, using the bountiful produce available to them, including “lesser-known” (marginally so, to be fair) ingredients such as Alexander roots, white sprouting broccoli, and three-cornered leeks.
Diners can expect those efforts to manifest in dishes like beetroot tart fine with whipped goat’s curd and hazelnut praline, alongside truffled egg yolk ravioli with Jerusalem artichoke velouté, or fritto misto di verdure with courgette flowers, violetta artichoke and wild garlic. Dishes on the Monday menus will start from £5.
Speaking of the change, Oldroyd said:
As a nation we have come on leaps and bounds in offering more dishes suited to vegetarians and vegans, or those who simply want to reduce the amount of meat they eat. It’s also something that our regular customers ask for a lot, but with such a small menu it’s tricky, so by introducing Meat Free Mondays at OLDROYD we now have the opportunity to dedicate one whole day to a delicious, fruit and vegetable-based menu.