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Garlic and Shots, Soho

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user reviews of Garlic and Shots, Soho

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

We found ourselves here late on saturday night. The ground floor bar was filled with tourists and diners. The basement bar was great. It was dark with loads of biker types and heavy music playing. Not much beer, just bottles I think but the shots were great. Try the bloodshot. It might have been expensive I cant remember.
fozzy123 - 20 Aug 2018 11:12
This place used to get packed in the early 00's and beyond that I would dare say. However due to other clubs or nights of a similar genre (Rock / Metal) moving away from the immediate location has lost alot of trade. Used to be barely able to move in there, now you get served in no time, even on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday. The bar staff are also friendly and talkative, although I thihnk that might be due to sheer boredom these days. Great novel place to go, would not redcomend the pricey, small [portion food upstairs though.
Serlo - 1 Jun 2014 08:34
went in last night with the boys after a comedy night at the nearby soho theater. no ales at all, and only carlsberg draught, stella and san mig in bottles. then again, you know this place isn't really for the ale drinker. it is however, great fun, with a very friendly barmaid in the downstairs bar. have yourself a garlic beer and a chilli bloody mary shot as a chaser. then get the hell out of there for a proper beer in a "normal pub". a great place and well worth a diversion for something different, but you're probably not going to spend all night in there!!
TommyRogers1979 - 11 Jan 2014 18:10
Ok Place.Had never heard of but was meeting my mate Angela for a few drinks and she loves this place,so this is where we went.
Tiny little place that sells Vodka and Vodka cocktails of all descriptions.Only beer is bottled San Miquel and Stella.After about 20 minutes,the back table in the "crypt " became availble so we went in there.Aimed at a Metaler crowd, and plays music accordingly.prices werent as silly as i thought (for the west ed)£3.50 a bottle. would go back again. I Would imagine it gets very crowded weekends though
tottenhamsean - 22 Mar 2013 15:24
Quirky but questionable idea which made us want to try the restaurant as it differs from our usual fare. Having been almost refused a table due to having 'not made a reservation' we were shown into the garden where there were some free tables. Ultimately we chose to go back into the main front dining room when a table suddenly became available - although the restaurant was by no means packed from around 20.00 to 22.00 on a Saturday night when we went.

Waiters friendly albeit slow; we had to wait around 40 minutes for our meal. Mine (the pasta noodles) was a satisfying main and the dessert - garlic chocolate truffles - was excellent. My boyfriend chose the XXX hot chilli burger that, as a chilli aficionado, he was looking forward to. However, our whole experience was marred by the fact that, en route home, he started to complain of acute stomach problems.

At home, he spent the whole night vomiting and feeling sick, and although starting to recover the next morning, was still weak and tired for the rest of the day. I called the restaurant, concerned about my boyfriend's food poisoning, and the owner, flatly denied it. I was surprised by his firm attitude that his restaurant had nothing to do with it - even to the point of questioning my reliability. He kept insisting that he had probably had some seafood or something from another establishment (this was not the case).

As a restaurant owner I call into question his integrity when dealing with a serious complaint such as this. Initially offering compensation, he then retracted this offer and said he didn't believe us and would take the matter no further without evidence (!). He persisted in his line that he had had nothing to do with it, and that anyway he had no idea what to do next.

We love eating out, especially in Soho, and all in all it has to be said that we had had, in each others' company, quite a nice evening out of it. So it is not compensation we are after. It is an apology.
Anonymity - 10 Apr 2011 17:25
I used to love going into Garlic and Shots in the evening and having a few brinks at the bar before a night out, but having recently eaten there it is very much lowered in my opinion. The food was average, the waiting time was abysmal (we waited nearly a whole hour for our starters while other people who had arrived ages after us were served) and the staff were really rude.

All together I cant really recomend this place.
princesslu90 - 16 Oct 2010 21:48
I love places with character and this has plenty.

It doesn't though forgive how rude the staff are - particularly the manager. You're made to feel as if you're putting them out by spending money there.

Best avoided until they have a staff change. Shame really as could be so much better.
MikeStar - 29 Aug 2010 19:55
This is a bizarre place that has been around for ages. Not a budget option, but good range of spirits and the quasi gothic theme / garlic beer (complete with grated garlic) makes it fun to take "out of towners" there ....but if you're the wrong side of 30ish , then probably not quite your scene ....
The_Speckled_Hen - 27 Jul 2010 14:45
Great place. Excellent food.
Horrible customer service.
If you are looking for a place to have a beer and shots, it's perfect.
If you want a restaurant the food is amazing but the crew is rude and arrogant.
If you want tapas, nibbles, salads, appetizers, FORGET it. You cannot even sit if you doesn't look live having a proper meal. They do good efforts to make you feel uncomfortable.
suberbthings - 17 Feb 2009 12:58
A good Soho bar with great character. The twist manages not to be too annoying and garlic vodka goes down a treat. The only problem is that the Goth music of today - Marilyn Manson etc. - is way inferior to the Eighties variety and that's saying something given that the original stuff was fairly ropey (the Cure may have had the haircuts but the music was bever properly Goth). This place is rare in that it's an acceptable place to spend an evening in Soho - the Thorpe Park of London drinking.
BoehmBawerk - 3 Jan 2009 07:44
Just spent New Year's Eve here 08/09 with a bunch of metal friends visiting from CZ.
Had the greatest time and enjoyed the food, atmosphere, Bloodshots and Tony Montanas and above all the music :-)
The staff were very friendly and contributed to one of the best New Year's Eve's I've had for a long time.
I just wish I lived closer (not 30mins tube away) as I would make this a more regular haunt (no pun intended) for my evenings.
If you like Garlic - and by that I mean Love Garlic - then you will not be disappointed with the food.
Great night guys and appreciated - I hope your afterparty was as much fun!

MadprofX - 2 Jan 2009 09:27
The place only does two beers - San Miguel, or Stella Artois. A bit like Sophie's Choice really, it's not a pretty decision.

I opted for the San Miguel and a famed Bloodshot, and quickly realised why only two horrendous beer options are required. The Bloodshot strips out your taste buds, and your beer is going to get necked in a search for fire relief. Now...I've consumed a lot of stupid things in my time, but nothing before that made my eye sockets feel like vomiting. Wow! I think anyone who fancies themselves as a bit of a spice fiend needs to come here and try one of these. Like the hottest Bloody Mary you've ever had, times 10, in concentrate form.

Anyway, if Bloodshots don't sound like your bag, there's 100 others to choose from. The bar downstairs is nothing much (it's painted ceiling to floor in black, what is there to describe?), and plays metal. The upstairs looks much better, but as we weren't eating we quickly got whisked downstairs. Seemed an odd way to run a business - sweep everyone out of sight (downstairs or in the back patio) so your place looks empty, but it's been around for ages, so must work I guess.
topdog_andy - 2 Aug 2007 14:59
This place is hilarious. Went in with some mates and just went along with the whole thing, drank some kind of vodka shot with garlic and chilli in it - foul and at 2.50 a shot left me wishing I'd put another 30p to it and got a pint of Landlord at the Dog and Duck ... but nonetheless a comedy interlude, not as funny as Dr Gibbles smashing a rancid cigar like a yank tourist he insisted on buying from that whisky shop on Old Compton Street.

I can see some people would love this place. They probably didn't enjoy school much thoughbut.
anonymous - 6 Sep 2006 23:11
Very Metaaaaaal. You can never go wrong with the music at the G&S.
Beer6 - 6 Sep 2006 22:34
I love this place! Good mix of people, decor is interesting and good food/drinks. Reaosnably priced and the secret outside spacce is real treat!
sueoil - 8 Aug 2006 17:01
If you like garlic and shots that kill your liver, this is the place for you.
but do try and get the crypt in the back, as the place gets really busy on a saturday night.
Give the mummy at the bar a Liver massage from me.
cosmicbongo - 22 May 2006 21:47
Absolutely reeks of garlic, but the experience of being in here was all good!!!

Avoid the "bloodshot" unless you want to achieve the ability to see thru time!
CheekyShepherd - 8 May 2006 16:08
The garlic shots and metal dungeon aren't quite my cup of tea - the beer garden is heated and a great place to sit and drink San Miguel all year round.
anonymous - 14 Apr 2006 15:26
This place is an institution that you'll either love forever or hate dearly. Friendly staff, friendly and cool (in their own way) customers, great music (goth / metal), good atmosphere. A buddy of mine from NY insists on a night out here every time he comes to London. I went after work in a suit once, and was asked (quite reasonably really) by a vampire what I was doing there. I said I'd been drinking there for fifteen years, and the bloke was genuinely apologetic. Cheers!
anonymous - 11 Mar 2006 12:22
Small basement bar lacked atmosphere and half of the shots on the vodka menu. Having said that, the chilli & garlic vodka was a treat. Yum!

Beer selection was terrible, but staff were friendly and helpful.

Decor and music were a bit of fun if you like scandinavian prog metal and sub-tussaud waxen zombies.

Must try the food next time, as the stench of garlic was all pervasive and very tempting.

Lots of young hipsters drinking there and a couple of incongruous Wernham Hogg style office workers. Our arrival brought a little colour to a hitherto monochrome clientele.
redshot - 24 Feb 2006 11:00
Great little place. Great music. Crap selection of beer, but worth a visit.
edrok666 - 19 Feb 2006 22:23
Great place for a late night drink with a difference in the Soho area. Escape to the beer garden to seek a break from the death metal. Blood shots are a meal in a glass.
pezza132 - 14 Dec 2005 14:52
Sadly, I didn't visit this pub for the first time while I lived in London, but rather on a one-off visit otherwise it might've become my local (even if it was a 20 minute tube ride away).

The crypt has a nice dungeon-like atmosphere and although the musical selection can be repetitive, it was still very refreshing to hear Slayer ("Angel of Death" no less...) and Iron Maiden in a pub. The beer selection is pretty weak (when I visited, I believe the only choices were Stella and San Miguel), but the shotlist is incredible.

It wasn't packed when I went there, but I also believe we went on a week night.
AnotherYankeePoof13 - 10 Dec 2005 02:01
Goths. Biker jackets. Metal. Garlic. Always packed out between about 11 and 12 due to the late licence but a great atmosphere. My advice is to grab the big table in the crypt if you can. The Bloodshots are simply awesome - they'll cure any illness known to man. Many a legendary drinking session in here - it's always an adventure. Good food too, and given that many of the punters look like vampires ingesting that much garlic is probably a wise move.
tim_eyles - 6 Nov 2005 19:31
This place at first seems tiny however the more you go the more noks and crannys you find. It has lots of character kind of goth but tounge in cheek with road signs for tables?! The music is good and the shots are alright. It's a Swedish bar so alot of Scandinavian women go there and they are hot too. Jeff and Janet the bar staff downstairs are ok but the ones upstairs are grupmy, maybe because they do the garlic side of things (ie cooking) up there rather than the shot side downstairs? However it gets packed,too packed and I'm a man who likes to drink in my own comfort.
LOL81 - 21 Oct 2005 20:59
Mind blowing METAL downstairs!!!
Some nice rock chicks too, hope to see you again January. ;)
Hell462 - 4 May 2005 10:40
Great place to have a drink if you can catch a night when the bar is visible beyond the oceans of hair. No draught available, but a mean list of shooters calls for beers with chasers all the way - go for the Blood Shots or Tony Montannas. Shame the Kopperbergs pear cider is gone mind, and death metal all night long can get a bit much. A bit of decent punk would be nice! That said a good place for a session.
anonymous - 17 Feb 2005 18:04
The best pub in London for metalheads. This is by far my favorite pub in London even though the downstairs bar is (a) tiny and (b) the only one you can buy beer a-la-carte from. I have made more than a few friends here. I just wish they'd vary the music more and play more new stuff. How many times do I need to hear old AC/DC or Iron Maiden songs? That stuff's cool occasionally for nostalgia's sake, but there's a ton of killer music out there that many people haven't heard. And if the kind of people who come to Garlic & Shots heard it, they'd ask about who's playing, guaranteed . . . a win / win situation.
Jeff Bunds - 16 Sep 2004 18:19
The most fantastic place on earth.Tasos-Norway
Tasos - 1 Sep 2004 20:03
Downstairs very entertaining (and I'm not the world's biggest metal fan). Great atmosphere.
anonymous - 31 Aug 2004 16:32
Love the downstairs dungeon style bar,it is very quirky with a model of a mummy for good measure.Beers are limited in choice,can be pricey and the bar is tiny,but hey its culture man!
Nick Hamer - 9 Jul 2004 18:40
Love this place - Great when everything else is shut. The staff are hospitable and dont do things by halves (when I used to drink here it was double shots or nothing. Out the back is good on summer nights. Gets packed with continental metalheads.
Aaron - 14 May 2004 04:07
Heavy Metal! If you like it heavy and getting absolutely annihilated on various flavoured vodkas this is it! Staff are super friendly - make sure you buy the bar staff a shot when you're there. I recommend the Bloodshot or the Harley Davidson Oil.

There's a beer garden out back with heaters for when it's cold. Garlic and Shots is open slightly later than the rest of the bars in Soho. Gets packed full of European rock chicks and goths after 11:30. I LOVE IT!!!!!
The - 27 Mar 2004 18:01
Straannnggge. Resembles what I imagine 'metaler' hangouts in the Med to look like. Upstairs latin fuses with goth whilst downstares things take a darker turn. Here the barman does not know what a white wine spritzer comprises of, which is rather disturbing, as is his extremely stoned demeanor. Absence of draft lager/bitter a problem but what saves this pub from total oblivion is it's wonderful beer garden. Hemmed in by the adjacent buildings it's like a private party in some baroque back alley.
Good for: summer evenings of course
thenationofjames - 26 Feb 2004 14:17
Can get REALLY packed downstairs. So much so that it's actually hard to leave sometimes! Having said that there's usually a great atmosphere - make sure you try some of the shooters!
Chris - 24 Oct 2003 13:07
cool rock pub thing, serves very very garlicky food, and even puts raw garlic in your beer, should you want such a thing. has an inside food/bar bit, an outside patio area thing and downstairs bar with not a lot of seating... does a range of about 100 different shooters, priced about 2.50 each. the beer is expensive, 1.90 for a half I think it was... but nice. the garlic bread is great, half a crusty loaf smothered in garlic butter and really hot for 2.95. :)
sarah - 9 Sep 2003 16:26

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