The Old Dairy, review: ‘I’m busy falling deeply in love with my steak tartare’

The Old Dairy. Picture: Joshua Tucker

The Old Dairy. Picture: Joshua Tucker - Credit: Archant

The Old Dairy reopens with a new menu that leaves ZOE PASKETT craving just about all of the dishes they have on offer

“This is the best salad I’ve ever had,” says my date, after a few silent bites of his starter at the newly revamped Old Dairy.

High praise indeed, entirely deserved and a compliment I can extend to all of the food I consume during this meal.

The salad in question is hazelnut crusted goat’s cheese with orange beetroot salad and granola crumble (£8.50). “It’s got granola in it!” he keeps saying in delighted amazement.

My propensity to feel acute food envy would be making me jealous of his enjoyment but I’m far too busy falling deeply in love with my own starter: steak tartare with spicy tomato ketchup, a soft poached duck egg and diced pickles (£7.50).

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The beautiful Grade II listed Old Dairy in Crouch Hill has been a landmark of the area for years, but I don’t think I’ve ever appreciated it enough for its food. Beer selection has always been good; the sausage and mash I had last time I was here, albeit delicious, didn’t drive me crazy.

Perhaps I was just ordering wrong – the new menu retains a few old classics: the posh fish and chips and slightly upgraded burger.

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Though already a little full by the time I reach the main course due to the sourdough appetiser being just too good, the tartare-induced endorphin rush makes me want to eat until I explode.

Flat-iron chicken with skin-on skinny fries and slaw (£15) is the perfect choice to do so. With a squeeze of lemon, the slaw is the star of the plate, due to the added texture of the walnuts.

The wonderful Irish waiter passes with an ox-cheek steak ale pie for the next table – that’ll be the next thing I try on my return. I steal a delicious bite of date’s venison haunch with hispi cabbage, straw potatoes and juniper raisin and caper sauce (£17) and want that too.

Not entirely sure if we’ll be able to cram it in, we contemplate dessert. With chocolate Nutella fondant with blackberry sorbet and matcha (£7) on the menu, of course we can, and we do so with relish.

The Old Dairy’s new menu leaves me in the happy position of being sure I ordered well and anticipating what I can indulge in next time I’m here – which will be soon. I’d like to build a walnutty slaw nest and settle in for the winter.

The Old Dairy, 1 – 3 Crouch Hill, N4 4AP. 020 7263 3337.

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