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The Punch Tavern (Bar, Restaurant)

Picture of The Punch Tavern in City of London, London

99 Fleet Street, City of London, London, EC4Y 1DE
Cuisine: British Average Price: £8.00
Tel: 020 7353 6658 | Email to The Punch Tavern | Transport: Blackfriars | Write review

The Punch Tavern Review

As a child I found Punch and Judy shows to be predictable, behind the times and profoundly unsatisfying. In spite of this, I had high hopes for a pub named after the show's brutish protagonist. Sadly, akin to it's name sake 'Punch' promised a great deal and delivered very little. This is truly a shame for such an exquisite venue, full of the charm you'd expect to find in a period tavern (teamed with a little of the unexpected in the form of jovial carvings and decorative features, harking back to the seaside show), and yet somehow the potential of this discreet eatery remains untapped.
 
The casual and relaxed atmosphere was reflected by the clientele; mostly city workers seeking a little alcoholic lubrication after a day at the office or a cheap bite to eat before heading home. The order of the day appeared to be pints, accompanied by home-made chips or complimentary bombay mix. The bar offers a small selection of cocktails as well as the usual spirits, wines and beers, with special offers applied to some of the beverages.
 
Upon selecting a table to sit at (the one chosen sadly had scatterings of the aforementioned bar snacks), my dining companion and I were presented with an 'Evening Menu' which proudly announced it's selection as 'The Best of British'. If this is true then Britain is in a very muddled and confused state indeed. Spring Rolls, Samosas and Chili Prawns all featured in this 'British' selection. I was tempted by Deep Fried Brie and Dips to start. The ungarnished Brie proved quiet rubbery while the 'dips' turned out to be a dip. Singular. A disappointing muted and watery salsa. Or perhaps a tomato relish - it's was quite difficult to distinguish. The saving grace of the first course came from the wine list (we chose a rather chipper Domaine La Prade Sauvignon Blanc), a concise selection of mainly European wines that are recognisable and unthreatening.
 
While I'm not one to languish over a meal, the speed at which the main course was served left me wondering if there was a little microwave-centered foul play taking place behind the scenes. The Punch's menu states that all dishes are 'prepared freshly' in their kitchen, but I would enquire as to the author of the menu's interpretation of the word 'freshly'. The fact that the chef seemed to spend every spare minute in the bar watching football on a big screen TV, simply added to my gastronomic woes.
 
The second course, selected from a list of mains all rather oddly priced at £8.50, was 'Salmon and Crab Cakes with wilted Spinach'. The dish smelled delightfully tantalising, although appeared a little sparse in it's presentation. Upon tasting the cakes I discovered that the majority of the filling was not fresh flaked salmon or robust crab meat, as I had expected, but was instead, potato. Meanwhile, the wilted spinach surpassed it's description and proved to be positively impotent. My companion's choice of Sausages, champ cake and onion gravy seemed a great deal more palatable, with an exclamation offered about the sausages in particular.
 
Hoping for an uplifting finale to the meal, I ordered from the 'Puddings' selection (all priced at a generic £4), after having decided upon Bread & Butter pudding with custard; a traditional dish which is a timeless crowd pleaser. I imagined moist slices of bread from a fresh white loaf, baked in a creamy, seasoned custard with plumptious sultanas crowned by a crisp and sugary crust. What I was presented with was, in essence, two slices of stale brown bread which sandwiched a grating of orange peel. I managed one mouthful of this sweet (although sweet is misleading as the dish was not sweet, nor savoury - just utterly void of any flavour whatsoever), before the tough and gravel-like texture persuaded me to put down my spoon and fork.
 
Pleasant and attentive bar staff atone for some of The Punch Tavern's downfalls, but this venue has proven that even with charming surroundings and friendly staff, the absence of a consistent and mouth-watering options, that actually deliver, means dining out can quickly become a bore. So if you find yourself on Fleet Street and are looking for a swift post work pint or you need to check the latest football results, by all means head down to The Punch Tavern. But for a tasty and satisfying meal, the City has a lot better to offer.
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Customer Reviews for The Punch Tavern

Average (based on 3 votes): 3 Atmosphere: Value: Quality:

The following customer reviews are not endorsed by Fluid London and are simply those of users who wish to publish their independent experiences of The Punch Tavern.

“Great food, if I can suggest something you must try the pies ... are Amazing!”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Alexandra, london (6 years 9 months 8 days ago)

“A relaxed pub, great for an after work drinks. They've got football on the widescreen tv - never a bad thing!”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
andrew, - (9 years 24 days ago)

“Fantastic revamp has resulted in seriously good bar. Great cocktails, music, food & service in a very chilled and relaxed atmosphere. Superb!”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Gareth McKeever, [ Unknown ] (14 years 8 months 21 days ago)

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Food

Best traditional British award winning pub food. All food is prepared fresh and we source ingredients from quality British suppliers. Award winning pies, great fish & chips, home-made burgers, roasts and everything that is the best of British.

Updated 09/10/2012

Lunch Menu
Lunch Menu served from 11:30 - 14:30 Mon - Fri
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£19 Three Course Christmas Menu
Christmas menu available from 1st of December. Bookings only.
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£23 Three Course Christmas Menu
Available from 1st of December. Booking only.
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£26 Three Course Christmas Menu
Available from 1st December. Bookings only.
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Canapés Menu Christmas Party
Available from 1st December. Bookings only.
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Drinks

Wine list, Cock Tails, Bitter, Lager, Fresh Juice, Ice Tea, Lemon.

Updated 07/02/2012

The Punch Tavern Opening Hours

Monday: 8:00am - 11:00pm Friday: 11:00am - 11:45pm
Tuesday: 8:00am - 11:00pm Saturday: 11:00am - 6:00pm
Wednesday: 8:00am - 11:00pm Sunday: 11:00am - 6:00pm
Thursday: 8:00am - 11:45pm    

Additional Information

Special offers, discounts and deals at The Punch Tavern

Free Cake! with every lunch time birthday booked you recieve a free cake and decorations!
Free Canapes! with a party over 20 people booked you recieve £40 worth of free canapes!

Updated 31/07/2007

Events and other great things going on at The Punch Tavern

Punch Tavern offering a different types of event such as:quiz (every 1st and 2nd Tue of the month), wine tasting, charity fundraisers, poker, ping pong tournaments, national week events and many more.

Updated 31/01/2012

The Punch Tavern Hire Details

We are available for hire during the week and weekends
No hire fee
We will decorate the venue for you
We can host for you numerous events such as darts competition, quiz or poker nights or charity

Updated 31/01/2012

Name: Back Room
Type: Private Room
Days: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
Cost - Hire Fee: £ 0 / Min Bar Spend: £ 0
Options: Food Available, Seating Available,
DJ: Optional
Capacity: 60
Notes: No hire fee. Minimum spend requirements will vary depending on the day of the week.
Name: Whole Pub
Type: Entire Venue
Days: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
Cost - Hire Fee: £ 0 / Min Bar Spend: £ 0
Options: Food Available, Seating Available,
DJ: Optional
Capacity: 120
Notes: No hire fee. Minimum spend requirements will vary depending on the day of the week

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Venue ID: 2259

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Loved

"My Gulascheintopf war perfekt and so was the Weissbier. I was in Kingston Steins. I do have a few suggestions for decor and table. 1. you need a little jar of toothpicks on the table to get meat out from..." Which venue is this?

Hated

"I visited browns alone after work and got convinced to spend an hour in the “VIP” room with Jennifer - which is just a corner of the private dance area - no privacy at all. I essentially paid £500 for..." Which venue is this?

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