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Exmouth Market is a short and cute street in Islington which somehow manages to pack in about 68 restaurants, 25 bars and a hairdresser called Barber Streisand. The Coin Laundry is in an area with so much competition, staying open, let alone standing is surely a challenge. Walking in for brunch I hoped this wasn’t shorthand for a half-hearted twist on the unfathomably ubiquitous avocado on toast.

THE GRUB: Hurrah! No avocado on toast. The menu is fun, imaginative and difficult to narrow down to a few options. To start with we went for fried cheese and pineapple jelly on sticks and spaghetti bolognaise croquettes. Both were good but the weirdly alluring bread crumbed encased croquettes were the winner. For mains we had corned beef and Bovril hash and a mammoth chicken kiev with a cauliflower cheese side. The Kiev was tasty and packed a robust garlicky punch but was slightly dry which may have been down to its vast proportions. The hash was decent but didn’t blow my mind. The puddings were mixed too, with a Yorkshire profiterole and chocolate sauce not packing as much of a gingery wallop as promised. The banana boat on the other hand with its sparklers and cream was as ostentatiously fun as we’d hoped.

BEHIND THE BAR: If you’re having brunch there’s a bottomless cocktail option including Bloody Maries, Bucks Fizz or Pamplemousse. If you’re looking for a cheeky late morning thump of booze go for the fiery and liberally spiced Bloody Mary. On the all-day menu there’s a nod to 1970s revivalism in the Grasshoppers and Snowballs and if you’re not on the booze there are hipster soda stream flavours to try including pear and clove. For a more grown up choice, the coffees are very good; flat whites were properly made with a nice depth of flavour.

BILL PLEASE: Brunch food ranges from £4 to £14.50 for the bavette steak. Bottomless cocktails are £18 or £7.50 for a single one and the rest of the cocktail menu tops out at £9. Soda stream drinks are £3.50 and beers range from £2.50 a half pint of Fourpure Pils to £7 for a bottle of Yeasty Boys’ Pot Kettle Black.

VERDICT: The 1970s concept could easily end up falling flat but the varied menu is pitched just right and the smiley service makes it a fun and surprisingly good value brunch option.

The Coin Laundry,70 Exmouth Market, London EC1R 4QP. 

Overall star rating 4 out of 5.


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Coin Laundry review
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