10 Jul 2014


London, UK

Hoi Polloi is a restaurant on the ground floor of the Ace Hotel in Shoreditch. It opened in Autumn 2013, by the Bistrotheque group. I went there for Sunday brunch with a friend. They serve weekend brunch from 12-6, which is a reasonable time for when you’ve slept in and don’t want to wake up to a dinner type meal. We called ahead, but they said there was no need to book because there was lots of room. A bad sign perhaps? The room was large, dark and a bit too gloomy for daytime. I do like the floor tiles a lot though, and the timber panelling and furniture do a good job in creating an atmosphere I’m sure I would enjoy at dinnertime. Considerable thought has gone into the details of this place, including the waiters’ specially made jumpers, the menu printed as a newspaper, and their logo on the table ware. We looked through the menu and started ordering a bit too much. I had a Ruby, one of their ‘cleansing’ juices, which is a blend of beetroot, apple cabbage and carrot. I didn’t love it, but that’s not to say the juice isn’t good, it’s just that I’m not a big fan of beetroot, yet for some reason I keep ordering it. To start we shared Chickpea Fritters with Tarragon Yogurt. These were some rather chunky pieces that we didn’t manage to finish. The dip was very good, but the chickpea chips thing didn’t really work. It would have been delicious with potato chips instead. We then moved onto Eggs Benedict, where we had requested that the ham be replaced by streaky bacon, an important detail for a successful brunch. I also had Buttermilk Pancakes with syrup, which were yummy but a bit too hard in their texture. I’m sure there are plenty of better pancakes within a 1 km radius of the Ace Hotel. When my Food Grid partner asked if it was worth travelling to from across town, I couldn’t really say yes. I’m very happy to have an all-day brunch place where there never are queues in my area, but there was never a moment in the meal when we stopped to give each other that look showing how good the food was. It was just convenient, safe and did the job. I’d rather meet up for brunch at Cecconi’s or Tom’s Kitchen, but when I don’t feel like moving too much I’ll gladly walk over to Hoi Polloi.

Hoi Polloi at The Ace Hotel on Urbanspoon