LOTI EATS | OREN IN DALSTON

He’s spent time at Louie Louie and running his own residency at Borough wines in Kensal Rise and now Israeli chef Oded Oren has opened his first solo restaurant. Oren has taken the place of Floyd’s on Shacklewell Lane, serving food inspired by Oded’s home city Tel Aviv.

It’s a cosy space with just 35 covers, and a few stools at a small bar. It’s definitely nailed that buzzy neighbourhood restaurant vibe – it’s always packed and the music’s always loud, so it’s got a nice lively feel. Any meal here should begin with the fresh pillow-soft flatbread served with olive oil and tomato, plus a plate of the cured salty anchovies.

There’s a couple of offal dishes on the menu and if that’s your thing, you’re going to want to head straight for the sweetbread skewers, and the Jerusalem mixed grill – chicken hearts and liver stuffed inside a pitta and topped with tahini and pickled mango. Not for the fainthearted, but absolutely delicious.

There’s plenty more to choose from if you don’t eat meat, including monkfish ‘chraime’ and hand rolled cous cous; chargrilled hake kebabs and sheep’s yoghurt; and freekeh-smoked green wheat with Westcombe dairy ricotta and fresh herbs. Although one of the larger plates is a very special meat dish, the ox cheek and hummus, which Jay Rayner praised as ‘verging on genius’ in his review of Oded’s Louie Louie residency

Zeren Wilson of bittenandwritten.com is in charge of the wine list and there’s some fantastic organic/biodynamic bottles on the list, and at not too scary prices.

We really enjoyed Oren and we’re already planning another visit for the weekend brunch, which includes the likes of chopped liver with crisp onions; ‘Sabich,’ sweet aubergines, egg and salad in a pita; and ‘Ful mudammes’, slow cooked British fava beans, tahini and pita: and challah French toast with seasonal compote.

Out and about in Dalston? Here’s where you should go.

89 Shacklewell Lane London E8 2EB
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