Hoi Polloi @ The Ace Hotel

We could not have been a more appropriate group to dine for restaurant called Hoi Polloi. Inviting two friends to join us for our reserved table of 4 skyrocketed into a party of 10 drinking cocktails hopefully at the bar while the wonderful and extremely patient staff on a packed Friday night managed to arrange us a table for 6, with the spillover taking up a dining booth at the bar. It’s the kind of restaurant that invites a little raucousness, with the warm art deco style room allowing us all to believe we’re from an era that condones that sort of behavior. Sorry about that. The food is simple, stylish and tasty. We started with some Jersey Rock oysters (good), Broccoli with Salt Cod (light and tasty) and Onion Rings that were pickled then deep fried (divine). Among the mains sampled were perfectly Roasted Chicken with tons of garlic, a decently cooked Sole on the Bone and Pork Cheeks with spiced apple and pickled carrots, which were standout. Our vegetarian diner had the mushroom, artichoke and potato dumplings, which he loved. His comment that he hoped they change the veg option often just reaffirmed that we all figured we’d be dining together there regularly. The Damson ice cream sandwich proved a little too heavy after our hearty mains but the lemon curd, meringue and blackcurrant sorbet hit all the right notes. The wine list is a decent and concise collection, though a couple more options under the 30 mark would be nice. We had a Portuguese Duoro that divided opinion, before settling on a Spanish crowd pleaser. Then we all drank far too many espresso martinis, because it’s that kind of place. I’ve heard the criticism that Hoi Polloi is maybe a bit too hipster, but I think it’s somewhere my Mum would love for brunch too (apart from possibly the sweaters the waiters wear) so is also bridging the more traditional brasserie gap out East in my eyes. Overall…to say atmosphere comes to mind before food feels insulting to the delicious meal we had, but it is really that much fun. Food 4/5  FUN 5/5