"Hoi Polloi is as pleasing to the palate as it is easy on the eye"Review Rating: Reviewed by Leila
The ACE Hotel, where Hoi Polloi is located, is one of a group of stylish, celebrity-endorsed hotels, having originated in hipstervilles Seattle and Oregon, back in the days when it was possible to be both cheap and chic. Now they have branches in downtown LA, Manhattan, and as of last month Shoreditch, where the restaurant is run by Bistroteque and Shrimpy’s Pablo Flack and David Waddington. Both have a background in fashion, so this is surely a match made in heaven.
The dining room is bathed in a subtle golden hue, and background music includes Amy Winehouse, Roxy Music and Sade (an 80s chanteuse being particularly fitting for somewhere called Hoi Polloi). Waiting staff march to and fro sporting turquoise jumpers along with regulation Shoreditch beards for the guys and top knots for the girls. The menu - printed as a newspaper of course - covers breakfast through to dinner with modern versions of British grub, so there are candidly titled dishes like hake, cavolo nero, black pudding, baby squid
I’m lunching with a vegan, and while there is nothing suitable on offer for her the kitchen efficiently rustles up a version of the roast squash with goat’s curd (£9.75) that appears on the dinner menu. They bring out tender squash, crunchy broccoli and toasted pumpkin seeds, and she's very pleased with it. Pressed lamb, Jerusalem artichoke, radish, Madeira
(£18) has soft meat that is a pleasure to sink teeth into; it falls away with the slightest prod of the fork and a peppery sauce, pickled radish and creamy puree are befitting complements. Chips with dripping are fantastically umami and very moreish.
The cocktail list has fun tipples like the strong, tequila-based Lilly Law (£10) with Dubonnet and lemon juice, and the sweet Meshigener Palone (£9), made with vodka, almond and vanilla jam; it’s tempting to work our way through a few more of these plus snacks like thousand layer potatoes with anchovy cream and chickpea fritters with tarragon yoghurt. Hoi Polloi succeeds in being as pleasing to the palate as it is easy on the eye.
Leila reviewed Hoi Polloi on Wed 20 Nov 2013