Hoi Polloi is the restaurant which takes up a large part of the Ace Hotel’s ground floor. It’s big and beautiful and full of East London hipsters. Seriously. We walk through the hotel’s lobby at 6pm and not a single person is without a MacBook.
You can also enter the wood-panelled canteen-style dining room through a florist shop which is rather charming. We start with the perfect Sipsmith Martini while looking into the kitchen through the open pass which adds just enough drama.
A thick chunk of cured salmon (£8.50) comes with a horseradish cream which is both sweet and fiery. An unexpected flavour is rhubarb which sounds ludicrous but fish, horseradish and rhubarb is actually a combo I’d have again. And enjoy.
A more textbook blend of flavours is crab, creme fraiche and fennel (£10.50). It’s light, fresh, Summery. Shards of crisp Rye bread add texture and nuttiness.
A beautifully charred ribeye steak (£29) is topped with chunks of bone marrow just soft enough to melt into the meat as I cut through them. Proper drool worthy stuff. Crushed roast potatoes perfumed with rosemary (£5) are so crisp and salty I don’t miss chips in the slightest.
Half roast chicken (£17.50) is mahoosive. The skin is soft and fatty while the chick keeps lovely and moist. There’s a generous puddle of gravy, some creamy mash and greens. This isn’t revolutionary cooking – just stuff that tastes bloody good.
Then there’s a snack of pickled onion rings with salt cod dip (£4). They’ve been on the menu since the beginning and for good reason. The batter retains just enough grease to be moreish while retaining its crunch giving way to soft, sweet red onion. Heavenly.
For pud, I’m transported to my childhood with a dark chocolate cookie sundae (£6.50). It’s a whopping glass of vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, cookies and chocolate sauce topped with a wafer for good measure. The diet starts next Tuesday.
The kitchen, led by head chef Elliot Plimmer, also look after the hotel’s event food and room service plus breakfast the following day AND afternoon tea – they’re non stop. What I like about Hoi Polloi is the simplicity; great quality ingredients, cooked well in a gorgeous room.
Would we go back? Yes
We dined as guests of the restaurant