• Sophie Ward

The Punchbowl Churchtown

I just wanted to thank & highlight the Punchbowl Restaurant in Churchtown. Having recently being re-taken over by previous owners the menu and food hadn't really altered so I didn't at first consider this restaurant would be on the cards for me to dine at. Especially at the moment when still suffering from all the foods I consumed in Cuba. 

Eating out has just been a no-go, and caused me major anxiety.

Luckily the owners knew my Mum & Dad and ringing to book a table my Mum did (kindly) make them aware of my intolerances and asked if they could offer me boiled rice & vegetables. Just giving the chef and the waiters a heads up before arriving.

On arrival the owner was a little taken aback my the fact my meal was so stripped back and not very exciting. I seriously wanted sweet potato 🥔 🍟 fries as well, but I just couldn't risk it. I was still recovering from the evening before eating fries so it would have been silly of me. However many of you like myself far prefer sweet potato fries so if you are craving a yummy sweet potato fry head to the Punchbowl as their menu is wide-range, English, pub dishes so they have catered for a wide-range of people's tastes. Of course they were also brilliant with me and ensured I got all I asked for and that is was prepared correctly and care was taken in the cooking process. None of this:

 'Well butter and oil may have been around the ingredients.'

'Cross-contamination is likely.'

'We can't be sure.'

Or simply the waiter, waitress or/and the chef don't understand or choose not to cater properly to your needs. 

I recently watched Gogglebox which showed a chef f*ing and shouting when waiters/waitresses were coming into the kitchen's asking him to make slight changes to dishes because people needed them to be lactose free etc and his response was shocking! Despite the f*ing he went on to state, 'Why do these people leave their homes? They shouldn't come out!' 

This is truly out of order!

It is hard enough for sufferers to find something to eat when out anyway, they are already embarrassed from being 'fussy' and upset that they can't eat the dish they want to eat/how it should be served without that kind of reaction. Maybe it is all well and good we don't hear chef's reactions to our requests and requirements if they are like the above.

I understand that he has put the menu together, he has pride in the dishes he has created and he wants people to enjoy his work. Unfortunately we can't control allergic reactions and reactions from intolerances and we have a right to deserve to enjoy foods, social dining, and have our requests met.

What was hard, was watching some of the Gogglebox viewers agree with the chef, that this was his 'baby' and he wanted dishes delivered to the diners as he had created. Whilst some were very much alarmed like myself over the chef's reaction.

For those agreeing with the chef, I feel it is probably because they have been blessed with never suffering a reaction and don't have any allergies or intolerances, allowing them to enjoy anything on the menu they fancy - (the dream ey). They always say people don't understand pains etc until they witness and feel them first hand and I think this is the same story here. 

Frightening and alarming. Something that should never occur within a kitchen. 

It's upsetting - as after only receiving part of dishes we are charged the standard rate of the dish. We normally just accept this as we the chef's and restaurant have catered to us and we are just pleased to have got a safe dish and being able to eat alongside friends and family. Knowing that chef's can react like this makes you feel sick that you are paying so much and your money is going to people with that attitude. 

The Punchbowl also charged me a price in line with a 'side dish' price! Which was so lovely of them as I had received roughly 3 side dishes worth of food.

So again, not only did they follow instructions and cook my food carefully, they didn't cause embarassment or make me feel like I was any trouble. Then hardly charged me. 

This makes my experience SO much better and easier. I now know if I want to eat out I know I can!

That fact right at this moment in time is such a blessing I can't tell you. 

The Punchbowl may see what they did and how they treated me 'the norm' but no, they stand out from the crowd. They are leading the way. More restaurants and food outlets need to take note and be willing to cater around dietary requirements or provide a menu catering for special requirements. There should not be a horrible and frankly mean attitude from chef's, emabarrassment put on the waiting staff or caused to the customer or such unreliablity of where and how food is prepared ( cross contamination). 

Have any of you guys had any uncomfortable, bad and embarrassing experiences when dealing with chef's, waiting staff or restaurants themselves?

Please share your stories & let me know if there are certain outlets you reccomend me to try!! 

Your comments and views mean & help so much. 

Finally, a HUGE thank you to the Punchbowl -  I will be returning and I am extremely impressed with the service I recieved, along with the delicious food. Truly grateful, thank you.

Not dined at Punchbowl for a while?! Get on down there! You are sure to have a yummy meal, surrounded by a well decorated, friendly atmosphere. Take your friends, family the whole clan- there is sure a dish to suite everyone's taste buds.

Love and peace to all.


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