Coin Laundry Really Puts Our Tastebuds Through The Wringer
For all its claims of being a 'neighbourhood bar', Coin Laundry is essentially a gastropub, albeit with a ramped up cocktail menu. The gorgeous wall tiles and stained glass window panes just scream 'pub'. It's a step-up from your local boozer though, and has got the 'laid-back' vibe bang on. On a summer evening, the tables outside are all taken by early evening drinkers, while inside, there are those enjoying a post-work tipple and mingle, both standing and seated. Buzzy without being busy, we can imagine ourselves spending a lot of time here.
As for the menu, it's mainly small plates to share, and puts us in mind of the freshly-sourced, regularly-changing menu at Pedler in Peckham. There are a couple of larger dishes for those who don't do sharing. Placing ourselves firmly and proudly into this category, we order a large and a small plate each.
The cheeseburger is surprisingly sweet, the caramelised onion ruling the roost. It's not what we expect from a cheeseburger, the eponymous cheese drowned out by... well, everything else in there. The overriding sweetness is in battle with the kohlrabi pickles, adding a vinegary element up top. Think of it as your favourite bands — individually, they're great, but all playing on stage at once, it's a bit much.
After a few bites, we clock on that deconstructing the burger on our plate and enjoying its component parts separately is the way to go. Once that meat is allowed to shine through, it's very well cooked and pretty tasty. As for the side of fried potatoes? We could take or leave them.
The other large plate we go for is the grilled Brixham sole. Served whole, it's not one for impatient eaters, but it's well cooked and, like everything that comes to our table, the portion size is more than generous. The wild garlic fries we order to accompany it could have come from the sea themselves, such is their saltiness. The hint of garlic toes the line between subtle and overpowering, offering a much better balance of flavours than that burger.
Winner of the evening though, is the fried chicken, served with Devon chilli and yoghurt. It's cooked to perfection, with the chilli offering an ideal level of tang without ruining our tastebuds. It may well be what lures us back for round two.
Coin Laundry, 70 Exmouth Market, EC1R 4QP.
Last Updated 25 May 2018