I discovered this little gem of a brunch spot thanks to a friend’s suggestion, and like all hidden gems, you hear about them through the grapevine or from recommendations, and this was no different. It’s hidden in all sense of the word too; I plugged the postcode into my trusty Citymapper app and followed the dotted line to a hotel, which was clearly not lacking in humility as it was called ‘Ace Hotel’. I stood out in front of Ace Hotel for a while contemplating going in and asking for directions when my friend messaged me saying to enter via the flower shop *interesting*. Needless to say, next door to the hotel was a pretty little shop aptly named ‘That Flower Shop’ bursting with autumnal coloured flowers. Rather befuddled, I walked through the shop to the end, to some glass doors which opened out into a buzzing restaurant, Hoi Polloi!
The décor was totally different to that of the flower shop too. I was affronted by a sleek, minimalist and wood panelled restaurant with American style booths; low hung lights flooded the area with orange and yellow hues. I had sort of a Narnia moment, but instead of falling through the wardrobe, it was a flower shop in the heart of Shoreditch and I’d fallen into a place which resembled New York.
I was directed to my table, just passed the orchestral band, *yes, that’s right – an orchestra were plucking their violin strings serenading the room.* It created a fantastic atmosphere – no lousy background music required! They were playing rock and indie anthems from the Verve to U2. Have a cheeky listen in the video below (excuse the quality – I was not expecting to do any filming!)
Hoi Polloi is not just a brunch place but a full on breakfast, lunch and dinner type of restaurant. However, since I only sampled the brunch that’s all I’ll comment on.
It’s a fairly small brunch menu, with your usual healthy options of porridge or granola and then for the more daring a combination of mushrooms and ricotta or steak and eggs with jalapeno salsa. Those with a sweet tooth can opt for the pancakes. I chose the eggs benedict because although it might sound dull, I adore it! I can never get the hollandaise sauce right so why not leave it to the professionals!
The drinks were a bit more exciting, with several concoctions of immune boosting or anti-inflammatory juices. And for those on a liquid diet, that’s covered too, with three shake choices full of fruity goodness (I’m sure). I went for the Sunshine cold press juice which consisted of Pineapple, ginger, mint, coconut water and reverse osmosis H2O (I’m not sure if that last one is just a fancy way of saying mineral water!). I’d definitely recommend this drink if you need to add a little kick to your day, perfect for those saddled with a headache *as I was*.
My eggs benedict was delicious; I ordered a side of avocado for an extra £4 which was neatly plopped on the side. In terms of frills and thrills, there weren’t any. With Hoi Polloi brunch menu you’re paying for the atmosphere, surroundings and you get a decent meal too.
Would I go again?
I wouldn’t mind sampling the lunch or dinner menu but like the restaurant I would imagine the food to be minimalist. In terms of brunch, London is loaded with brunch hotspots and I’m dying to uncover the weird, wonderful and of course, hidden gems!
Hidden Gem Tip: Book a table during the weekend as that’s when the orchestra plays
Star rating: ★★★☆☆
Where: 100 Shoreditch High St, London E1 6JQ
Have you been to Hoi Polloi? What do you make of my review? If you’ve visited another brunch place in Shoreditch which you’d recommend, I’d love to know which! Leave a comment below x