The Garrison 1

99-101 Bermondsey Street , London, SE1 3XB

The Garrison Southbank

SquareMeal Review of The Garrison

Bermondsey favourite The Garrison is a stylish, relaxed venue that regularly plays to full houses. Mismatched chairs, slightly wobbly reclaimed tables and an eclectic array of lampshades make for a quirky space that serves eaters and drinkers equally well – there's even a highly recommended pocket-sized cinema in the basement. Sunday roasts can be rather hit and miss (we like our roasties crispy), but the evening menu shows more precise cooking – think crab on toast with watercress and samphire or glazed chicken breast with sweetcorn purée, crushed new potatoes, bacon and rosemary. To finish, the flourless chocolate cake is the stuff of pudding lovers' dreams. With decent prices, terrific breakfasts, all-day snacks, unusual beers and a decent wine list, it's easy to see why The Garrison is always packed.

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5.3

Food & Drink: 6.6

Service: 4.6

Atmosphere: 7.2

Value: 4.5

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

Katina J. 02 June 2016

This is a delightful and unpretentious establishment tucked away from the main road and very good value for money, service and food. I had the full breakfast, with health juice and cappuccino. The food and drink was delicious, wholesome and satisfying. The service was quick and efficient but not overpowering or intrusive and delivered cheerfully. Excellent value for money, I will be sure to go back and also recommend this when the opportunities arise. Thanks! Katina Jones

Food & Drink: 1.0

Service: 0.0

Atmosphere: 1.0

Value: 1.0

Christian S. 16 June 2013

The set up is nice and the menu simple enough but the service is so poor across the board – waiters totally uninterested in taking orders or bringing the bill. We went for breakfast and waited 50 minutes for poached eggs on toast. When they eventually came they were not cooked. Only restaurant I have ever walked out of.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 2.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Maggie bronze reviewer 09 April 2013

The Garrison's food menu was seasonal and offered a lovely combination of meat, fish and vegetarian options. We were spoilt for choice before we'd even seen the specials board. The dishes were all simple but used a wonderful combination of spring vegetables to compliment the main ingredients. To start i had a steak tartare served with rocket and bread, the tartare had been perfectly spiced and the meat was excellent quality and a really nice colour. The ingredients were chopped slightly chunkier than i would have normally expected but i really liked this more rustic approach. My friend had the calamari and chilli jam from the specials board. When it arrived the batter that coated the squid was such a wonderful colour but it would have benefitted from just a few more seconds in the fryer as it was a little soft. But again the quality of the squid itself was fantastic. For our main course we had pan fried plaice with savoy cabbage, fillet of coley with cauliflower mash and chervil puree, and olive and rosemary braised rabbit leg with fennel and watercress. We were all so impressed with the flavour of each dish, both fish dishes were cooked to perfection and my only criticism would be that our side order of maple roasted parsnips were slightly undercooked. My companion said that it was some of the best seasonal food she's had in London. We were feeling fairly satisfied by the time we had finished our main meals and only out of curiosity did we agree to take a look at the dessert menu. We were then spoilt for choice again! We ordered the gingerbread cake with ginger ice cream and butterscotch sauce to share between the three of us. It was just the right amount of ginger balanced with the sweetness of the sauce, a delicious combination. Having nearly run out of positive adjectives to describe the food unfortunately the same high praise can't be made for the service. It was a bit sloppy and very rushed, i didn't actually feel like the staff cared too much about our experience, however when we interacted with them by asking questions they were all very knowledgable. I think there just needed to be a little bit more focus on the tables and less rushing to get back to chatting by the bar.. I would definitely visit The Garrison again, especially to try the new spring menu they are launching next week. The interior of the restaurant is quirky, cute and very welcoming and although there isn't much space in between the tables this adds to the atmosphere without making you feel like a sardine. If you would prefer to have a more private table then request one of the booths which can seat up to four people. There is a real buzz after about 5.30pm when everyone finishes work and stops by for a drink on their way home. Also open for breakfast from 8am-11.30am with a deliciously tempting menu.

Food & Drink: 2.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 1.0

Ron M. 09 March 2013

A very disappointing experience. The soup starter was cold and had to be returned, there was very little anyway. Some main courses were just lukewarm and very small, I left disappointed, hungry and feeling I had been ripped off.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 3.0

Gourmand Gunno platinum reviewer 24 September 2012

It works for me. Many try but few succeed with the (albeit highly over-used) gastro-pub concept. It's hard to say where specifically the Garrison excels, but it is probably most strongly in that ineffable idea of ambience, captured by the decor, noise level (well-balanced), attitude of the staff (very clearly going out of their way to be friendly) and of the other diners. Food on this occasion was no better than average, but it didn't really seem to matter. My salmon starter was perhaps slightly too oily and the roast beef main was generous in size, but lacking somewhat in taste. My dining comrade remarked that while her vegetarian options were more innovative than in many similar locations (polenta with peppers for the main), both her starter and main were disappointingly insubstantial in terms of size. Full marks though to the puddings, gingerbread cake was absolutely superb. On the wine list, a very good and diverse selection, but few real bargains.

Food & Drink: 1.0

Service: 1.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 1.0

Tony H. 17 August 2012

Excellent ambience and the choice and quality of food on the menu was very good, the significant issue here was the fact the venison and celeriac mash we ordered was delivered stone cold, the food came back to the table very quickly and the venison significantly more ‘chewey’ can only assume it was put in the microwave. Rather than spoil that night we chose to leave complaints until the end of the evening, at this point the particularly stubborn and rude manager, refused to leave the two dishes in question off the tab insisting we ought to have complained at the time. He also insisted he had moved the goalposts significantly by removing the £40 discretionary service charge. Was appalled by the attitude of a manager & staff who was happy to create a scene in a packed restaurant area, rather than £40 (Approx 10% of our bill) off the bill. This is a diner that in London finds it extremely rare to have course for complaints, for this reason I will be amazed if this place is flavour of the month on Bermondsey Street for much longer.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Peter W. 30 November 2011

We've been to The Garrison several times and never been disappointed. Yes, it is busy and faintly disorganised, but that is part of its attraction. The food is invariably excellent, always a good guest ale and staff are charmingly quirky. Our favourite gastropub in London – though plenty more to try!

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 1.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

Lepi H. 29 June 2010

Staff turnover is high, never the same waiter/ess. Seems like students/non professional waiting staff who are not interested in the job simply a job to make some money. Customer service aspect is inferior although the food is very good. Poor air conditioning/extraction – some kitchen smoke in restaurant. Toilets are interesting – although the male ones require you to wash your hands over the urinal where the water flows down into the bowl – great way to recycle/reuse water but means you have to keep the person behind you waiting. Food is superb – pity about the staff and lack of attention they pay to requests/detail.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

Emyr T. silver reviewer 06 May 2010

Despite sometimes feeling like more of a restaurant than a pub because of the limited space for drinkers, The Garrison is still one of the best gastropubs south of the river. The design is rustic chic, the atmosphere cosy and lively, and the food top notch.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 0.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 0.0

john b. 18 December 2009

Avoid this place at all costs. The cheapskate proprietors have drastically understaffed it, and as a result the service is utterly abysmal. The bottle of wine took 45 mins to arrive, and the vegetables arrived after we'd finished the main course. We were then told to hurry up if we wanted pudding as they needed the table. The food's not bad but the portions are meagre: eight quid for two scollops! We withdrew the suggested service charge, preferring to leave a few bob for the harassed waitress. Poor.

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