The Garrison

99 Bermondsey Street
South Bank, London
SE1 3XB
Tel: 020 7089 9355 London Bridge 0.4 miles

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The Garrison reviews

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What an extraordinary collection of reviews, from the very hot to the icily cold, as if written in turn by the restaurant's competitors and then the family of the kitchen staff. (I do not for a moment suggest that this is what has happened.) The only answer is thus to go and find out for oneself, as I and my friend did. It is a very nice restaurant with very good food and perfectly pleasant staff, and we shall go again. What is there not to like in that?

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 by the kid, 21 Jan 2011
I visited The Garrison last Sunday for lunch and was very very disappointed. The service was terrible - so slow and sloppy. We thought the food was so overpriced for a below-average roast. The soup didnt even come with bread and none came when requested. My friend ordered salmon. It only came with a tiny portion of potatoes and when we asked about vegetables they turned their noses up.

Please don't waste your time going to this restaurant. Go to The Woolpack across the road - far better!

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 by jannyham, 28 Oct 2010
Super meals; good wine; helpful, friendly, concerned staff; great atmosphere; fair prices. Highly recommended.

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 by Ian Epp, 05 Jul 2010
I've been going to The Garrison since it opened, having lived nearby for 15 years. It fascinates as a restaurant, being that it's very much the 'curate's egg': great in parts, very bad in others. The food can be very good and creative (e.g. steak sandwich - sublime) but the service is usually poor and the high turnover of staff is quite noticeable.

It is a very successful restaurant in a prime location which caters to a very lucrative market, it's just a shame it can be so hit and miss... However, I'd still recommend you give it a try when they're not too busy. Just don't go 11.30-12.30 or 3-6pm, as you will be informed with a disinterested sigh that they aren't serving food.

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 by JonnieDisco, 05 Apr 2010
I so wanted to like The Garrison. Contemporary design, buzzy atmosphere at Sunday lunch, but the food was such a disappointment. For a starter, my poached egg atop flakes of haddock was boiled to within an inch of its life and I regret now choosing mushroom risotto for main course rather than one of the Sunday roasts. It was glutinous, under-seasoned and without any discernible flavour - in fact the worst risotto I've ever (half) eaten. Pear and almond tart for pudding helped restore some credibility. My friend said her bream was dry but she did love her caramel ice cream. Was it homemade? Won't be coming back in a hurry, I'm afraid. Two stars (one for atmosphere).

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 by richostaff, 07 Dec 2009
What more could you not ask for? Rude staff: check. Kitchen so open you can feel your dinner cook as you do the same: check. Overpriced (if sadly overcooked) food: check. Bad decor: well I guess it depends if you like wallpaper circa 2001...

AVOID.

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 by nathanphillips, 22 Jul 2009
First time last night - excellent place! Food was brilliant and all the party was impressed with the service and attention to detail. Very busy, but good pace of service and chef is fantastic!

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 by delifan, 27 Jun 2009
Have been twice. The first was on a Friday night. Food was OK if a little overpriced. Second time was for Sunday lunch. Here food was not really up to par, including being served raw potatoes and very fatty beef. Desserts were huge and tasty, but didn't make up for overpriced, poor quality food.

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 by werdna101, 22 May 2009
We love the Garrison! In fact, we're going again tonight as it's such a brilliant atmosphere, crowd is really friendly and the menu/specials are always really fresh and interesting. I'm shocked by the bad reviews - are you really talking about The Garrison on Bermondsey St?! Definitely visit - especially on a Friday after work - it's bustling and great.

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 by lisajporch, 04 Sep 2008
Just horrible! Chalky, half-raw risotto and microwaved food that was cold in the middle. Our waiter was nice, which is more than I can say for a stony-faced waitress who stared over frostily after we sent back uncooked food. Don't go!

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 by carolyn c, 23 Mar 2008
Don't go there! Looks can be deceiving indeed. The cosy decor and friendly-ish staff do not make up for the diabolical food.

I took my pregnant friend to have a comfortable, lovely lunch. We were seated in a nook, which was charming and pleasant enough. Service was also pleasant until the hamburger arrived for my friend. She asked for it to be well done, it came dripping in fat and red on the inside. It was sent back. When it returned it looked as though it had been zapped in a microwave, looking drier and retaining its pink fleshy interior. It was sent back a second time. When it returned this time it looked like a dark, dry, decomposed mound of cement and mud. The 'chef' would not even get a job at McDonald's with this! I had macaroni cheese and it was made with a cheese that was too heavy; (go to Automat for the best macaroni cheese).

Don't bother with the Garrison. There's far better food up the road in Borough Market or, dare I say it, McDonalds!

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 by Melvin B, 30 Jan 2008
I have to completely disagree with the last four reviews. It's almost as if they visited a different place. Admittedly, we arrived at an indecent 6.30pm on a Saturday night (the only table available at late notice) but the service, given by largely Australian staff, was charming, prompt and attentive.

The meal itself was the best I have had in some time, with a fantastic starter of savoury chicken livers and bacon in a rich dark sauce with corn bread. The portion was enough for two and was eagerly finished by my husband after his own excellent starter of scallops and rocket salad.
The mains, of Charolais beef and slow cooked pork, were equally memorable and left little room for a dessert, but we managed to squeeze in fantastic homemade pistachio ice cream.

The decor is quaint and quirky and I would recommend this little gem to anybody. The Bloody Mary was also excellent.

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 by Kate - Beckenham, 12 Nov 2007
The staff are all from a Friday night out in Shoreditch. Way too much attitude, overrated, fashion conscious and no idea about good service. We had 'the guy with the low low slung jeans' - we could see his underpants, how that gets past mangement is beyond me. Also 'the girl with the high waisted jeans and high strung attitude' - she refused to let our group of five sit at a table designed for four. And, 'the guy with the flouro pink t-shirt' - who must have been distracted by its brightness, because he forgot our orders of more drinks and failed to order our desserts.

What finally got me was the lack of any kind of management. Staff were more concerned with standing at the end of the bar talking about themselves, rather than having any kind of genuine interest and concern for their customers. I'm pretty sure Mr. Pink T-shirt was eating our thawed-out brownies...

Useful review? 1
 by tcvarney, 17 Oct 2007
I don't know what has happened to this place but the food has definitely gone down hill. Every dish of every course with every diner in our party had a problem (undercooked asparagus and risotto, overcooked beef wellington, quite frankly awful desserts). The atmosphere remains good but they really need to sort the food out.

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 by DanL (3 reviews), 22 Aug 2006
Absolutely shocking service.

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 by Anonymous, 14 Jun 2006
This has got be the WORST pub I have ever been to in London.

Do not be fooled by its beautiful décor. The food (if you can call it food) is something they should be extremely ashamed of. I'm surprised they can dish the stuff out and charge money for it.

Especially don't order their "pea & ham soup" which is basically boiled carcass and meat fat with lumpy half mushy peas.

There was one nice person who worked there but the rest were arrogant, sarcastic and damn right rude.

I am so appalled by this place to the point where I cannot say one good thing about it and will most definitely never be going back there and will tell all my friends not to waste their money or time there.

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 by Booney, 27 Apr 2006
I really like it here - the atmosphere is relaxed and the food is well cooked. It's always busy and so necessary to book a table.

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 by fussy (14 reviews), 19 Apr 2006
The best little cosy stylish pub/restaurant south of the river. Always got a good atmosphere. Very busy weekdays and nice and relaxed on Sunday mornings for breakfast (have to book a table in advance though).

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 by Anonymous, 22 Feb 2006
Absolutely fabulous. Friendly and prompt service, gorgeous food, beautiful decor, 3 courses with a bottle of wine and water for £70, including service. Just great.

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 by Anonymous, 06 Jan 2006
Very friendly waiting staff, fantastic food and a nice pint! Great value £80 for 2 x 3 courses, bottle of wine, water, liqueurs and service. Looking forward to a return visit for Christmas.

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 by James Molloy, 15 Nov 2005


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