5pm on a Sunday. My brain starts ticking on what I should make for dinner. Like many Sundays the thought is short lived and the golden words ‘sack it, let’s go out for dinner’ are spoken.
Bundled in a car. This time we headed for Clerkenwell’s culinary hotspot, Exmouth Market. Home to a new retro bar and restaurant, Coin Laundry. Think posh Chicken Kievs, prawn cocktails, Black Forest trifle and Soda Stream cocktails.
The decor surprisingly doesn’t take the seventies theme literally, so you won’t find any lava lamps, flared trouser wearing staff or groovy paraphernalia.
Instead it oozes a cool, hipster vibe with its Victorian tiling (restored from the original pub features), exposed brickwork, dim atmospheric lighting and vintage pinball machine. There was nothing cringe worthy in sight.
The basement is home to the another bar area and has a retro common room feel. Tucked under the stairs is a collection of classic board games, Kerplunk, Guess Who to Mousetrap. Handy to help while away the hours.
We started with the classic cheese and pineapple – but not as you know it. Presented on cocktail sticks, old school style. The similarities ended there. The oozing cheese is deep fried in breadcrumbs and skewered next to a cube of pineapple in jelly form. It certainly whet our appetites and left us gagging for more.
The girls followed this with more cheese (standard considering they are both called the ‘Cheese Monsters’) and tucked into cheesy toasties with tomato soup.
The soda stream drinks were a complete hit – pear and clove, pomegranate and lemonade. The alcoholic versions looked tasty too, but we refrained this time around (one is never enough) being on parental duties and all that.
I ordered the cauliflower cheese steak. Trending vegetable of 2016! A head of cauliflower roasted and drenched in melted cheese, flaked almonds, chunks of blue cheese, sliced apple and chives. The flavours were superb. Unfortunately the core was under cooked and sadly remained on my plate, when all I wanted to do was gobble it all up.
The northern lass within me rejoiced when I saw the sides of chips and curry sauce. It did not disappoint taste wise either. Although I would have preferred the traditional fat chips to the skinny french fries.
The smoked haddock rarebit with bubbling cheese was practically hoovered down. Safe to say Mr S enjoyed it!
The signature dish is the 70s classic, the Chicken Kiev. The restaurant comes complete with a ‘Kiev Counter’ counting down the number of breaded cutlets left in the kitchen.
Disappointed that they had run out of the Black Forest trifle for dessert, we opted for the Yorkshire profiteroles to share. The mini honeycombed Yorkshire puds overflowing with cream and melted chocolate hit the sweet spot.
The British comfort food menu bursts with nostalgia, along with being inventive and fun. This place ticks many boxes, date night, girls night, early dinner with the family.
It was a welcome break from the regular Pizza Express dinner haunt and for that I thank you Coin Laundry.
Do you have a dish or tipple that makes you come over all nostalgic? Let me know in the comments box below.
Coin Laundry | 70 Exmouth Market | London | EC1R 4QP