So what do we need to know about Oren?
For starters, there's been quite the buzz about the opening of this new Dalston restaurant. Chef/owner Oden Oren has been quietly building the fanbase for his cooking while at Louie Louie and then in a series of residencies across town. Now he's set up a permanent home here in the spot where Floyd's used to be.
Where exactly is it?
You'll find it on Shacklewell Lane in Dalston - less than ten minutes walk from Dalston Kingsland station.
Where should we meet friends for a drink first?
Handily there are two recommended spots for a drink nearby. First off is the Shacklewell Arms which has a cracking beer list and is on the way from the station to the restaurant. And then, even closer, is Brewer's Bar which is an eclectic little bar set in a old butcher's shop.
Where should we sit?
As with any smallish London restaurant, they've made good use of the space here, so take your pick from either counter seating up at the bar or at one of the other tables. It's pretty cosy (although they're going to need to get a curtain over that door as the winter progresses).
What sort of food is it?
Oren says it's food "inspired from my home (in Tel Aviv) and the Mediterranean using local and sustainable produce". The menu's split into the now familiar mix of snacks, small and large plates with the latter two ranging in price from £6 to £19.80 when we went.
Here's what we had:
What about vegetarians?
On a short menu, a whole section is devoted to vegetarian and vegan dishes - and three of the five snacks were veggie too. We really enjoyed the fennel dish below and - if we'd had room - would have also wanted to try the grilled hispi cabbage with romesco and raw tahini that we've seen a lot of on Instagram.
Do they do dessert?
They do. There were three choices on the menu and we had two of them - a very nice combo of Neal's Yard Corra Linn raw sheep's cheese and membrillo (£7) and this...
What should we be drinking?
Any wine list devised by Zeren Wilson is pretty much guaranteed to be of interest. Here we really enjoyed the natural French chardonnay Swimming Poule - not least for its name (£36). Wines by the glass start at £7 with the priciest wine on the list a USA Syrah from SKY vineyards at £47. There's also an interesting cocktail list too - if you need pepping up you might want to try the cold-filtered coffee Campari (£7).
Clearly Oren has built up a loyal fanbase over his many residencies - a lot of whom were there when we visited which was nice to see. It's a lovely neighbourhood spot - warm and welcoming - and the food right now is precisely what you'd want on a cold winter's day. An East London hit.
Hot Dinners ate as guests of Oren. Prices are correct at the time of writing.
More about Oren
Where is it? 89 Shacklewell Ln, Dalston, London E8 2EB
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