Fresh from the success of a debut cookbook and the growing reputation of his Dalston restaurant, chef Oded Oren is bringing his version of Tel Aviv cuisine to one of London’s busiest food and restaurant thoroughfares in 2023.
Oren will open the eponymous Oren Delicatessen on Ada Street, just off Broadway Market in Hackney, this coming January. And while it’s a new venture, it’s also something of a throwback, as the offer will revolve around the prepared foods and meal kits that the restaurant prepared during the COVID-19 pandemic’s enforced closures.
His restaurant on Shacklewell Lane is anchored by breads, pita and challah, and the enlivening heat, acidity, and spice of various ferments and pickles; by selling them for retail, Oren envisions customers taking the same approach as his kitchen and using them with raw meats, fish, or vegetables to build a meal. But there will also be fully prepared meals to take away, as is currently available at the restaurant, but only during dinner service. They include his deservedly lauded Jerusalem mixed grill pita, an amba chicken leg, and a changing fish with chraime, the thick stew of tomato, hot and sweet peppers, and spices.
This diversification into a kind of hybrid takeaway/retail model appears increasingly attractive to independent restaurants with the means to do it; Llewelyn’s, in Herne Hill, is soon to open wine bar and deli Lulu’s, while Hackney neighbours of Oren, Sager and Wilde and Ombra, are opening Equal Parts and Forno respectively.
Oren opened his first place in 2019, having long cooked in Tel Aviv restaurants and then having run a few residencies in London, including a stint in the popular, now-closed rotating kitchen at Borough Wines Kensal Rise.