Coin Laundry

Restaurants, British Clerkenwell
3 out of 5 stars
3 out of 5 stars
(15user reviews)
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Fans of ironically retro food and drink should heart this Seventies-style addition to restaurant-packed Exmouth Market.

The British culinary achievements of the 1970s: 1. Arctic rolls. 2. Chicken Kievs. 3. Erm… It doesn’t exactly scream ‘London needs a restaurant dedicated to this!’.

Hence, presumably, the hipsterfied approach of Exmouth Market’s Coin Laundry - an eaterie that takes the gastronomic output of a decade where people used bin bags as clothing, but tries to stop it being rubbish. Think prawn cocktails packed with meaty king prawns and festooned with ribboned spring onions, chips with a (surprisingly thin) curry sauce and juicy chicken kiev legs that manage to be seriously tasty despite a surprising devotion to a Bernard Matthews-esque crumb. Plus, the odd delicious, if slight head-scratcher of a dish - Ye Olde ‘rabbit balti pie and coriander sauce’, anyone?

Décor-wise, the odd formica table and mini TV displaying a ‘chicken kiev counter’ are overwhelmed by Victorian tiling and exposed brickwork so that the look doesn’t say ‘1970s’ so much as ‘generic hipster hangout’. Clientele ranges between bearded dudes pouring water from giant milk bottles, the odd middle-aged couple lured in by the exotic promise of vol au vents, and the occasional dayglo-jumpered teen who’s brought her mum along as if to say: ‘You’ll love this place, mum! They’re deliberately uncool!’

Unfortunately, it seems to be having a bit of an identity crisis. Its website claims it’s ‘a laid-back neighbourhood bar’. But on our visit, we were told that their licence meant we weren’t allowed to order a drink in the main street level space unless we also ordered a meal. Which is neither very ‘laid-back’ nor very ‘bar’ (although there is a dedicated drinking spot downstairs, which we rated much more highly). Same too for their insistence on table service. It feels unnecessary. Pointless. Almost archaic. Still, at least the latter quality makes it perfect for a ‘70s-themed venue.

By: Alexi Duggins

Posted:

Venue name: Coin Laundry
Contact:
Address: 70 Exmouth Market

London
EC1R 4QP
Transport: Tube: Farringdon
Do you own this business?
Static map showing venue location

Average User Rating

3.3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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  • 4 star:5
  • 3 star:10
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LiveReviews|15
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Tastemaker

My friends and I didn't eat here (we had eaten in a nearby pub) but popped in for drinks at the end of the evening and the place was buzzing. The decor is fabulous and really inviting and the staff were super friendly and really know how to pour a decent drink - my friends had a slice of grapefruit in their G&T and for our friend who had a cold, they kindly made her a hot toddy with all the spices. Not sure I'm inspired to try the food, but a great place for a drink.

Tastemaker

Always wanting to change up my routine, I came here for dinner on a Monday night. Had been wanting to try it for a while after hearing so much about its 70s inspired menu – and I’m sucker for restaurants with cool names. So this massively worked in their favour.


Something else worth noting is that before dining somewhere new, I always head to their website to eye up the menu. And theirs is nicely designed, easy to navigate and has a simple interface. Big win.

The décor is interesting to say the least. There’s a lot to take in. And when you’re as indecisive as me over what to order, distractions are never a good thing. Especially because this had me wondering what exact vibe I was supposed to be getting. The tables and chairs definitely screamed 70s – pretty sure they were the same as those I had in a lunch hall at primary school. And I know for a fact they were around 20 years old when I used them in the 90s.


When it came to the menu we opted for a selection of starters to share. Probably a wise idea as there’s a lot that scream out at you, and you’d be disappointed in trying just one. The chicken kievs came with a stick of Coin Laundry branded gum, which was a great touch. Because after that shot of garlic, I think everyone on the Metropolitan Line appreciated that when I was on route home. (I don’t kiss commuters, it was just THAT strong). But I love garlic – so no complaints here.


For a main, I chose the bavette steak and chips. It looked incredible on the plate ­– with onions and cloves of garlic (YES. MORE.)  seductively covering medium rare heaven. There wasn’t much of a sauce to go with the steak which was a shame. And what was even more disappointing was the jaw-ache received from all the chewing. It certainly wasn’t as tender as it looked. To the point where I actually asked myself whether the excess mouth exercising was really worth it. (I mean obviously it was as I can never let steak go to waste). The chips were good though, and were a welcome relief from the jaw tension.


Quite clearly, pudding was happening. And this was where the real show-stopper took its crown. Because one unexpected thing I did take away from the evening was the discovery of custard porn. Yes, it does exist. I mean, just take a look at that bread and butter pudding. Dripping yellow goo really shouldn’t taste as good as this did.


If you’re after a menu of old-school classics set in a 70s bare-bricked art gallery, with friendly staff that are never too far away for your ketchup requests, then get yourself to Clerkenwell. I hear they change up their menu frequently – so apologies to the garlic lovers out there for any dishes that aren’t as cloved-up as I’ve described. 

Tastemakertastemaker

Great vibes. Coffee is ok.  Food v. disappointing

The only decent thing on the menu might be the steak & eggs or the chicken kiev.

Staff were a bit off their game when we went in but usually pretty friendly.  Nice place though and easy to get into with larger groups (esp. without a reservation)

Tastemaker

This place has really good vibes. Very friendly staff, nice 70s inspired interior - I loved the artwork on one of the walls - and of course it is on an amazing location at the end of Exmouth market. I was unimpressed by the food though. It is decent but nothing special as set by London's high standards. I tried the double cheeseburger which was just ok, a bit overcooked for my taste, and the rest was nothing special. The fish and cheap was really good though. It is reasonably priced, in contrast with other places nearby. It is definitely worth the visit for drinks and to grab a bite but maybe not for a special occasion.

tastemaker

There are so many choices in Exmouth Market - so why choose Coin Laundry? Food was no-fuss, delicious and reasonably priced (£10 for all brunch options), with an option to upgrade to bottomless brunch. Heard the cocktails were great too so hope to try that next staff. The staff here are so friendly and helpful. There's a fun and relaxing vibe - there's an area of outdoor seating for those rare sunny days and a few board games for other days. 


I was excited to visit Coin Laundry, as I'm in love with the surrounding Exmouth Market area. The vibe was charming and seemed more apt for a Sunday brunch with friends than a weekday dinner, but the evening menu was appropriately bistro (with a few British oddballs thrown in: ham egg and chips, chicken kievs etc). 


The food was pretty good. We shared a selection of starters and shout outs are deserved for the mini chicken kievs, mushrooms and haddock toast. Unfortunately the steak tartare felt a bit out of place. For mains, I had the bavette steak and chips, which was delicious and incredibly well seasoned. The chips, however, could have done with something special (truffle maybe, or rosemary?). 


I wasn't excited about the dessert menu, but I ordered the bread and butter pudding regardless and ended up very impressed. Unusually, the custard was a major highlight! I felt slightly patriotic that such a British dessert was so good.


Drinks wise, hats off to the porn star martinis. I ordered a few daiquiris which were good, but on the small side considering the price.


Next time, I'd visit Coin Laundry for a weekend brunch to soak up the Exmouth Market atmosphere and try out a few boardgames.


I'd heard great things about Coin Laundry but never made it down until we booked a table for a larger group of us for dinner. It was quite quiet as it was a Monday night but still really quick, friendly service and can imagine it's a great spot for a group on a weekend for a long lazy lunch to play one of their free boardgames. I went for the Steak Pie and it was delicious - the chicken kiev balls as a starter are also a winner. Cocktails deserve a shout-out too, nice selection and they'll also make you anything you want that isn't on the menu too. 

Tastemaker

Visited Coin Laundry for the first time after having it pop up on my radar a few times, but knowing very little about it. The menu is simple - I sort of didn't pick up on the 70's concept and saw it as a smorgasbord of retro-chic plates, including chicken kiev and ham, egg and chips. We shared a selection of starters, and the haddock rarebit did the trick for me, with nicely smoked fish slathered in gooey cheese, kissed with a splash of Worcester sauce and sat upon a crispy toast base. The garlic mushrooms were another highlight, little bite size juicy morsels encased with a crunchy breaded coating. 


In our group, most people opted for a steak and chips as a main and I settled on the rainbow trout, which arrived in a small glass salad bowl. I sensed that I perhaps had chosen unwisely when I ordered - as our server reiterated that it was a salad - so while the flavours were more pronounced than I expected, with a harmony of flaked smoked trout, juicy blood orange segments, fennel and a healthy dose of fiery chili, the presentation was a bit rushed and uninspired. 


For dessert, the cranberry and apple crumble seemed to be the popular favourite at the table, arriving as an individual portion tartlet with a jug of hot, thick custard. It was good enough to devour, even though I was bursting by that point. The evening definitely ended on a high note.


While the concept might be a bit muddled - is it a restaurant or a bar? - there are just enough craft beer options to keep diners happy (The Five Points Pale was on tap) and the cocktails received nods of approval from the group. My advice: go off piste and order the Porn Star Martini. You won't regret it.


Service was attentive throughout and the ambiance was pretty relaxed on a Monday night. It's a nice little corner of Exmouth Market that's good for a drink and a bite, but don't expect anything too gastro-quality here - the pies looked like they were the most substantial and impressive choices (and hey, there's nothing wrong with loving a classic pie).

tastemaker

Lovely little place at the foot of Exmouth Market. Tried the ham, egg and chips - pretty standard, along with a few starters: prawn cocktail, chicken kievs (lush) and baked mushrooms. Dessert: bread pudding. All tasty, but the menu could defo be a little more adventurous. Best thing about the place? Cocktails. I downed 2 pornstar martinis, one of the best I've had actually. Great selection of spirits too. Service was also stellar. Overall great, but a tad overpriced. 

tastemaker

Coin Laundry is a great concept, well delivered. It's charmingly kitsch and retro, if a little self-consciously. I went for the bottomless brunch on a Saturday when the whole place was rammed. My sausages, eggs and bubble and squeak was excellent and the pamplemousse cocktails were delcious and refreshing. I'll give it the benefit of the doubt for being busy but the service wasn't excellent, we had to chase a few times to get top-ups or the bill. Though, when around, the staff were friendly and knowledgeable. A welcome addition to a fantastic area - it's definitely worth going back in time for an afternoon here.


place is okay but there's a reason nowhere else serves 70s food anymore. I appreciate they gotta pay for their distressed decor but £10.50 for a chicken kiev? Do one.

tastemaker

Great fun interiors, friendly staff, and decent food at a decent price. On a Saturday evening, it's a shame Coin Laundry is not as busy as it should be. The chicken kiev is the best thing on the menu. Truely 70s indeed. The desserts are comfort food as its best and the drinks are pretty retro and fun. 

Tastemaker

Good comfort food and pretty cool interior. Located a the top of Exmouth market, I was surprised that the place was pretty much empty for our bottomless brunch. Reasonably priced and a better selection of drinks for bottomless than others I had been to however they were slower than other places to keep the drinks going! Staff were friendly, would probably return.


I tried out Coin Laundry's new bottomless brunch menu at the weekend and I was really impressed. There's alot of comfort food dishes to choose from, which is a major plus, but you can't go wrong with a traditional English brekkie. There's comes in a tin with a spoon, so you might be tempted to shovel it down ya - it's really that good. And they've done something magical with the baked beans - they were so tasty. Just a shame there wasn't many vegan options to pick. My veggie friend ended up settling on a selection of sides like the mushrooms, avocado and beans - but it all tasted wonderful, so it worked out. I also loved the Pamplemousse cocktail - a wicked combo of pink grapefruit, elderflower and gin. It's not a cheap brunch, but you definitely get what you pay for - and I look forward to swinging by again the next time I'm in the area. 

Tastemaker

I like everything this pub is trying to be: board games, retro, spag bol croquettes, sodastream, however I can't help but find fault in the execution.  For starters a pint is £5.50 which by London standards is nothing out of the ordinary but for that I expect a certain je ne sais quoi.  There is a decent selection of board games: Kerplunk, Connect4, Operation but the food is average at best.  I had such high hopes for spag bol croquettes, this sounds like comfort food at its best, but they were dry and tasteless.  If the price of a pint isn't a bugbear of yours and you're not bothered about bar snacks then it's worth a visit to play some competitive Kerplunk in the basement bar.  Besides you can eat the popcorn on the bar guilt free for the price of a beer.