If you’ve not visited London’s Exmouth Market, it’s basically a little bit of foodie heaven. It’s actually somewhere I used to spend a lot of time, as I worked just up the road, but I hadn’t been back in a while. Sadface. Excitingly, some new restaurants have popped up since I was last there – including the 70s/80s inspired Coin Laundry.
Offering up ‘comfort food’ and fun cocktails, head chef Nik Prescot’s menu looks to past decades to create an all day menu filled with classic dishes your nan probably made you on Sundays – but given a bit of a modern shake-up. Their signature dish is the humble chicken kiev, with retro dinner party desserts including pineapple upside down and trifle.
They also have a SodaStream to offer up bubbly drinks, which I was excessively excited about considering a) I’m in my twenties and b) I already have one myself. The aim of the venue is to create an all-day community ‘hangout’ for eating, drinking and whiling away the hours.
The restaurant itself has a great vibe, with big windows and plenty of fab retro touches. Big jars of retro sweets (think jelly beans, flying saucers and branded gum sticks perch on the counter alongside classic board games. Downstairs is an intimate, low-lit area with a ‘common room’ vibe and cool movie prints and neon lining the walls. The design showcases some of the original pub features, and punters can seat themselves on cosy sofas and kitschy table and chair setups.
The 70s Nostalgia Cocktails
First up to try were two new additions to the menu – The Flipper and Stone Fence. Served up in a margarita style glass, The Flipper is basically the sweet, tangy cocktail of my dreams. Made with apple sorbet and prosecco, I drank this far too quickly. Just the right amount of apple, a slight citrus tang and fizz, it’s probably one of my favourite coccktails EVER. And I’ve had quite a lot of cocktails…
The Stone Fence was a slightly hardier affair, a concoction made up of bourbon, cider syrup, ginger beer and lime. Packing a punch, it’s served with a shot glass full of jelly beans which take the edge off and bring out some of it’s fruitier vibes.
Alongside the new cocktails, I also got to try out the White Chocolate and Raspberry Bellini (£8.50). I don’t think I really need to describe what goes into this one…but what comes out? It’s basically a boozy, sparkling Pink Magnum in a glass. As someone who loves both Pink Magnums and a glass of fizz, I definitely give this bellini a double thumbs up.
The All-Day Menu
Who’d have thought the humble sardine would end up being my favourite thing on the menu? Coin Laundry’s Grilled Sardines and Tomatoes on Toast (£7) is based around a classic 70s plate, with a modern, CL special twist. The toast was crisp and the fresh-tasting sardines worked so well with the tomato salsa on top. It’s also a pretty decent portion size for a starter too. In fact, I’d definitely come back and have this for a lunch. Probably with a cocktail…
Speaking of lunches, the all-day menu also has a selection of baps to fill your middle of the day rumbling tum. I saw an onion bhaji and fried egg bap whizz past my table and OMG. It looked so good. Unhealthy as anything, but next time I’m hungover in Angel (which happens more than you’d think) I’ll defo be popping along to Coin Laundry for one of those badboys.
Alright, so the main courses aren’t the most photogenic of foods. Stay with me here.
For my main course, I chose a new menu addition, Lamb Chops with Braised Leek and Cottage Cheese (£14). The lamb was a little bit tougher than I’d usually prefer, but still very flavoursome. Conor went for the unphotogenic but pretty tasty Marinated Bavette Steak & Onions (£15), which was well-cooked medium rare and a decent sized portion.
As a side, we picked up some of the Chips and Curry Sauce (£4.50). The chips were really well cooked and had a good crispy/soft texture. I’m not normally the biggest lover of curry sauce on chips but Coin Laundry’s was actually really good – I’m talking that real classic, old-school chippy taste.
Finally, we ordered a big bowl of salad to share. With crisp leaves and a sweet vibe from the apples in the mix, it’s definitely an old-school salad. We didn’t actually manage to eat the whole thing, as it was a full-size portion which would definitely satisfy for a standalone dish.
Honestly, some of Coin Laundry’s food wasn’t quite up to standard for the price, but what they do well, they do very well indeed. The service was quite slow which was irritating, but the staff were very friendly nonetheless.
I’m not sure I’d come here for a full evening meal on the regs, but the cocktails were absolutely divine and I loved the ‘hangout’ vibe. It’s a great place to take a date or some pals for a couple of rounds after work or before heading out, and I’d also definitely pop in for lunch if I was nearby.
70 Exmouth Market, London, EC1R 4QP
*Coin Laundry hosted us for a complimentary meal and drinks – opinions always honest!