Olive Magazine
A table covered with dishes of food

Oren, London E8: restaurant review

Published: December 19, 2019 at 2:01 pm
Our content is updated regularly but it’s advisable to check opening times and availability with the venue before you plan to visit. Please follow government guidelines regarding social distancing

Try pillowy pittas, smoky burnt aubergine and fudgy chocolate mousse at this Tel Aviv-inspired Dalston restaurant

Looking for Dalston restaurants? Want Middle Eastern food in London? Read our review or check out more places to eat in Hackney here.


Oren in a nutshell

Israeli- and Middle Eastern-inspired sharing plates in a laid-back Dalston setting.

Who’s cooking?

Having worked in kitchens in Paris, California and Tel Aviv, after a series of well-received residencies and pop-ups in the capital, chef Oded Oren has set up his own digs in Shacklewell Lane.

What's the vibe?

It’s a typically east London, stripped-back affair, with earthy natural tones, cosy low lighting and simple wooden tables and chairs, while a bustling kitchen can be glimpsed at the other end of a small bar with counter seating.

a dim room filled with tables and chairs
Oren's laid-back interior

What's the food like at Oren?

It’s an à la mode sharing-plates approach, with the menu a mixture of small and larger dishes – from lamb sweetbreads with za’atar to ox cheek with hummus, and wild hake kebabs with herbs and yogurt.

Start with pillowy, elastic stone-baked flatbreads that you dredge through golden olive oil and a well-seasoned, chunky tomato purée, before moving onto the likes of smoky burnt aubergine, cooked to creamy softness and paired with velvety tahini (order two flatbreads to maximise mopping-up opportunities). Cured sardines – firmly meaty and anchovy-like in their saltiness – come swimming in a pool of grassy Cretan olive oil.

Simplicity characterises many of the dishes. Meaty monkish fillet comes with a Libyan-Sephardic chraime – a smooth, spicy tomato sauce with an almost jammy intensity. A mound of delicate wild mushrooms and jerusalem artichoke comes minimally dressed with lemon, parsley and garlic – the ingredients are left to speak for themselves. Star plate of the night is the Jerusalem mixed grill: two of the softest homemade pittas lavishly stuffed with lamb sweetbreads, duck hearts and chicken livers, and topped with tahini and pickled mango – deliciously messy and satisfying to eat, offal fans in particular will adore this dish. Desserts keep it simple – we try a luscious, fudgily intense scoop of chocolate mousse.

A table covered with dishes of food
Sharing plates at Oren

And the drinks?

The wine selection comes courtesy of Bitten & Written’s Zeren Wilson and has a small-grower, low-intervention theme – we try an unusual, blush-tinged white grenache and a delicate grüner veltliner.

olive tip

Head there at the weekend for brunch – it serves the likes of challah french toast with poached quince and soured cream, and boureka pastries made with aged lamb mince and sweetbreads.



Comments, questions and tips

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Sponsored content