Behind the smoked-glass windows of its green-tiled exterior, the Garrison is assuredly more restaurant than public house, with more seated customers quaffing wine by the glass than bottles of ale from the brief list, and little standing room.
A lot of thought seems to have gone into creating an eclectic interior with a mixture of vintage furniture and plenty of curios – diners have to pass the watchful eyes of a stuffed antelope’s head to get to the toilets. While it’s a good look, on our most recent visit we found the meal disappointing. On a Sunday lunchtime, the rump steak roast came topped with an impressive yorkshire pudding. It looked good, but the yorkie turned out to be a dry pastry, which couldn’t be redeemed by soaking it in the meat’s thin gravy. The generous portion of steak also gave us plenty to chew on, since the medium rare meat was a bit too leathery. Pan-roasted salmon was a nicely-cooked piece of fish, but it seemed lonely on its pretty vintage plate – its only companions a few meagre jerusalem artichokes and a handful of french beans.
Much better were the simple desserts. A piece of gingerbread and a slice of brownie were both served with a scoop of good quality ice-cream. We especially liked the nutty pistachio, a good combination with the dark chocolate brownie.
Despite the disappointing dishes on our visit, the Garrison’s popularity doesn’t seem to falter, a testament to its fashionable location. The restaurant was buzzing while we were there and walk-in customers were turned away.