Punchbowl Inn Askham, Cumbria (Not to be confused with The Punch Bowl Inn in Crosthwaite)
Visited: May 21, 2007 - Dinner
The Punchbowl Inn in Askham has the traditional look and ambiance of a pub, with low ceilings and exposed beams. The night we dined it was quite smokey (read: cigarette smoke) in the main room and we chose a small alcove to avoid some but not all of the smoke. On a Monday (the evening we dined), the main restaurant is closed but a full bar menu was available. There are a few plastic tables outside in the front as well. There is a wall menu in addition to the regular menu and we ordered off of both.
We had pints of Peeterman - a very nice middle-of-the-road-beer, on draught.
Chicken Liver Parfait
A very nice thick slice of chicken liver pâté with a delicious chutney which paired well with it. There was also a small side salad. Only one small roll came with the pâté and it wasn’t even close to being enough to match the large serving of pate.
Smoked Duck Salad
Three or four slices of mildly smoked duck mixed into a salad with green onions, cucumber, raspberries and cherry tomatoes. The dressing was also mild. Sort of a strange salad as it was served in a very deep bowl and it was necessary to cut the duck to eat it.
Battered Cod with Garden Peas and Chips
A large piece of battered cod with chips and a choice of mushy or garden peas. The fish seemed very fresh and was well cooked and flakey. The batter was crispy and nicely done. Chips were good. Peas were likely frozen “garden peas”.
A filet on a rice pilaf with a cheese element to it and a nice brown/red sauce. The Venison was tender. The dish didn’t pull together well as a dish – I think something else like a stewed vegetable, hot chutney or hot slaw of some type would have pulled it together better. Vegetables served on the side.
Rump of Lamb with Dauphinoise Potatoes
Not very tender. The potatoes were so salty as to be inedible. Steamed Vegetables served on the side.
Three of the four offered were local: Five Counties, Red Rose and Cobble Tasty.
A sponge filled with mixed berries (raspberries, blackberries and blueberries) soaked in coulis with a splash of heavy cream. A very tart dish indeed. Needed something to counter the tartness of the fruit. Either more cream (or whipped or clotted cream) or more sugar overall. A bit puckering to eat.