Can retro be a good thing?
In some cases, yes of course it can. I mean just look back at some of the music we listen to whether it be from the seventies or eighties, or even video games such as the much loved Mega Drive.
But when it comes to food, bringing back some golden oldies can be a tough one to call. Should food back in the day stay in the past?
This is where Coin Laundry comes busting in and justify bringing retro old school food into the 21st century. Unfortunately they don't quite deliver.
Sure it's a fun quirky concept that has managed to get people talking and it certainly got me interested. Visiting this new restaurant in Exmouth Market was something that I was going to go to without any expectations and looking back, it certainly was a good thing and here's why.
The menu is pretty straightforward. There's bar snacks, starters, mains and desserts. The plates they offer are nostalgic and will no doubt take anyone back to their childhood, dishes such as chicken kievs, cheese toasty, chips and curry sauce. Ok so its not that exciting but I can kind of see what Coin Laundry is trying to do.
The food isn't terrible, far from it, but it's average at best. For example the cauliflower cheese steak was overpowering. Charring a nice piece of cauliflower was overshadowed by the amount of Stilton crumbled. The Steak tartare was OK, I've had better at other places and the Spaghetti Bolognese croquettes were under seasoned. Even the steak and onions were a disappointment with some bits chewy and some bits cooked on the grill for too long.
Of course it's hard to shout home about things like prawn cocktail and lamb faggots but simple things can be done well, it's just a shame it wasn't on this occasion.
|Cauliflower Cheese Steak|
|Spag Bol Croquettes|
|Lamb Faggots And Mint Jelly|
However not all of it is doom and gloom. Their speciality is the chicken kiev and admittedly that was very good. If you like your garlic, there's plenty of it bursting out of it and what was a nice touch was that they even give you their own personalised Coin Laundry chewing gum. You will definitely need it and lads chew that gum if you're with your lady.
The cockle popcorn is a good choice to make especially when you splash loads of vinegar onto it and as for the cod cheek bap, that was probably my favourite. Meaty and flaky, it worked so well with the beans. The "Not spam fritters" is worth ordering especially if you're still into pulled pork.
|Not Spam Fritters|
|Cod Cheek And Bean Bap|
Granted, Coin Laundry is a smart, fun looking joint. It's laid back environment, impressive looking bar area will give anyone a goodnight. The staff are a cool, chatty bunch and their music playlist can be awesome at times, it just the food lets them down.
FoodPunkers by all means check this place out if you're curious. It's not the worse place you'll go to but it certainly isn't the best. Retro can be a good thing but maybe certain things should have stayed in the past.
Oh and another final thing, don't go spending nearly a hundred pounds like I did, you might come out out feeling a little more disappointed.