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Shotgun (CLOSED)

Restaurants Soho

Time Out says

Please note, Shotgun is now closed. Time Out Food & Drink Editors, May 2017.

In its early days of trading, the physical aspects of a restaurant have usually been sorted but there are teething problems with food and service. At Shotgun, food and service were fabulous on day one. The problem was (literally) structural.

Shotgun is the second restaurant from the team at Lockhart, a meat-loving American place in Marylebone. Here too the theme is American and meaty, and the menu simple: eight pit-barbecued meats, most priced by weight, plus snacks, sides and three desserts. There are also daily specials and a combination plate: three meats and two sides for £19. 

Of the meats we tried, low-flavour Ibérico baby back ribs were the only flop. Everything else was wonderful, especially the beef. Sides are outstanding (don’t miss the coleslaw), as are retro snacks of sour cream and onion dip, and pimento cheese. A cocktail from the doggedly inventive list was good, a classic martini flawless. There are wines on tap at low prices, but oenophiles will want to spend more.

The problem lies in the seating, at least the booths-for-two towards the front of the room. There is too little legroom, and too little space between seatback and table-edge; prepare for entangled legs. Just across from those booths, seating is a banquette facing stools with no backs. More comfortable seating may be found in tables at the back, and downstairs. 

Shotgun is long and narrow (Google ‘shotgun house’ to learn about the name), and very elegant: leather, dark wood, striking lighting in the booths. But despite the surroundings, it isn’t expensive. Our waiter recommended ordering the smallest portions (100g) of meat. ‘It just takes a few minutes to get more if you want it,’ he assured us – and we didn’t want more. Drink modestly and you can eat well for £30 a head. For cooking of this quality, in swanky surroundings, that’s cheap. Further reason to love the place: filtered water’s free. And a further one still: you can eat lightly throughout the day, even outside mealtimes, at the very cool-looking bar. There is a lunch menu in which sandwiches feature prominently, but for us Shotgun is a dinner kind of place.

Steer clear if you need elaborate cooking or a leisurely pace: snacks and mains arrive fast. And definitely avoid if you’re vegetarian. Everyone else should get to Shotgun like a gunshot. Just be careful where you sit, especially if you’re long of leg. 


Address: 26 Kingly Street
Transport: Tube: Oxford Circus (exit 6)
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