By Mersa Auda
A series of successful ventures and pop ups by chef Oded Oren has culminated in the inauguration of his very own restaurant in Dalston. The eponymous Oren is a small space with an understated decor and hushed tones all around, suggesting that Oded wants the diners’ full attention to be directed at his dishes. The plates are designed for sharing, as is the trend, and are all invitingly composed. The menu is very personal to the chef as it reflects the merging of his Israeli background with his London experience. The subtle, delicate flavours of local fish and in-season vegetables are expertly combined with the stronger notes of staple Middle Eastern ingredients. The results are enticing.
The menu offering will change periodically, but you can expect to enjoy the likes of Burnt Aubergine with Mount Gerizim tahini, a creamy affair that goes perfectly well with the freshly baked flatbread, or you can find Shaved Fennel and Kohlarabi with barrel aged feta, or a surprisingly delicious Grilled Hispi Cabbage with romesco and raw tahini. A highlight of the menu are the Chargrilled Hake Kebabs served with watercress and sheep’s yogurt- a tantalising alternative to the usual takes on kebab.
For a bolder taste experience, there is the Jerusalem Mix Grill. Topped with tahini and mango pickle, this is a street food classic made with offal and served in authentic style, tucked in a halved pitta. You can end the meal with a safe bet like Chocolate Mousse, or try the Cardamom Panna Cotta. A selection of low intervention wines by small growers and biodynamic vineyards brings even more interesting flavours to the table.
The restaurant is also open for brunch at the weekends, with the daytime menu promising to be equally exciting. Already off to a good start, Oren is sure to become a favourite among local foodies.
89 Shacklewell Ln, Dalston, London E8 2EB
Tel: 020 79166114
Tuesday – Sunday: 6pm-11pm
Brunch – Saturday & Sunday: 10am-4pm