This all-day brasserie in the new Ace Hotel in Shoreditch comes from the team behind uber-hip eateries Bistrotheque and Shrimpy’s. With high ceilings and a spacious canteen layout, Hoi Polloi is a restful place to while away a long meal. The restaurant décor, with Nordic-style wood paneling, Philipe Malouin pendant lights, and thoughtful, contemporary-meets-retro touches such as menus printed on college-rule notebook paper, will have design nerds in ecstasy. Background music colors the space with soft and carefully-selected, ambient electronica—and the overall effect is far from off-puttingly snooty. Instead, Hoi Polloi is a relaxed, quintessentially east London alternative to more traditional London brasseries like The Wolseley or The Delauney.
The contemporary British dishes are fresh, seasonal, and thoughtfully innovative: the slow-braised pork cheeks are given an autumnal tang with spiced apple and pickled carrots, while the braised rabbit is served with deliciously nutty girolles and buckwheat. Hoi Polloi has excellent service, which is very much at odds with the aloof, “too cool for school” approach that usually prevails with trendy east London restaurants. Open for breakfast until late supper every day, the restaurant is accessible through the Ace Hotel or from the street via the leafy environs of That Flower Shop.
Ace Hotel, 100 Shoreditch High Street, 44-20/8880-6100; Hoi Polloi; mains from US$21; drinks from US$6.50