“ Address: 16/19 Chapel Street / Guildford / GU1 3UL „
My Local Restaurant
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ASK is an Italian restaurant which serves a large range of pasta and pizza dishes. Although my local ASK restaurant has been there for at least 2-3 years I never actually noticed it before. My local ASK is located in the main town so is a very short walk from a number of different car parks. From the outside the restaurant looks quiet but also looks as though it has a lovely atmosphere and is kept very clean and tidy looking. It doesn't look like an expensive restaurant but doesn't look like a cheap one either. I had pre-booked a table for our Christmas work meal which I did online from their website. I was the first one to arrive at the restaurant and I walked through the main door into the restaurant. I stood by the till and waited for a staff member to some and show me to the table. There were 2 sides to the restaurant, one side had mainly 4 seater tables and the other side had tables for larger parties such as ours so I was led round to the other side of the restaurant past the kitchen area. I was shown to my table which was long and was laid up with cutlery, napkins and Christmas 3 course menu's which we could choose to have if we wished. Whilst I waited for everyone else to arrive the waitress asked if I would like a drink. I had unfortunately had a poorly tummy during the day so just asked for a glass of tap water. This was presented to me in a short, stubby round glass with ice (I asked for no lemon). I was given a menu to look at whilst I was waiting for the others to arrive.
I had a good glance around the restaurant whilst I was waiting. The restaurant was decorated very simple but was nice as there were a few decorative vases around the restaurant. Behind the table where I was sitting was a long bench and a long table where a party of about 12 people would be able to sit. The lighting wasn't too bright in the restaurant but wasn't dim and it had a lovely atmosphere and feel to it. There were 2 small candles on the table in glass holders, how-ever I was a little surprised at the glass holder as it looked as though they had been dropped as all the edges were chipped and were actually quite sharp upon feeling it with my finger. My work colleagues arrived shortly after me and were shown to the table where they took their seats. The waitress asked if anyone would like a drink and also asked if we wanted anything to nibble on such as olives or some bread. We declined this offer and instead had a look at the menu to see what we were going to order. We actually had a new waitress serving us now rather than the one who showed us to the table when we arrived at the restaurant. I liked the table where we were sat as I was facing the kitchen area and could see the food being cooked and the flames coming up from the grill which lit up the kitchen area.
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The menu has a small range of starters including garlic bread and soup. The main items on the menu are a range of different pasta's, pizza's, pannini's and salads. There was only a choice of 3 different meat & fish dishes and this included breaded chicken and Sea Bass. A lot of the pasta didn't come with meat and you had to pay extra if you wanted meat such as chicken with the pasta. I was a little surprised at the small choice of items on the menu and would have only eaten about 3 other things on the menu apart from the pizzas. I decided to have Spaghetti Carbonara, whilst my other colleagues chose Chicken & Mushroom pasta served with a side salad, Cheese & Tomato Pizza, Ravioli and Chicken with Potatoes in a mushroom sauce. A lot of the items on the menu are suitable for vegetarians and can be made gluten free as well; how-ever you do need to request this when ordering. There is a small selection of wines, spirits, beers, fruit juices, and hot beverages to choose from as well as milk and milkshakes. If you are not a fan of Pizza or Pasta dishes then this is clearly not the place for you to go and eat. The dessert menu included wines and hot beverages as well as sweet treats such as cheese cake, chocolate pudding, ice cream and more.
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Whilst we waited for our food we had a chat about a few different things. We only had to wait for approximately 15 minutes before our food was served to us on white plates. My dish looked delicious with long spaghetti pasta covered in a lovely white creamy sauce and crispy pancetta. It was also garnished with some parsley on the top as well. I had a quick glance around the table and saw that the other meals also looked delicious. The pizza was made on a thin crust but was larger than I expected and it came with its own pizza cutter to ensure you could cut the pizza easily. The waitress came round with some black pepper and some Parmesan cheese and asked if anybody would like some. I asked for some of the cheese and she held this over the top of my pasta and grated it on. The pasta was cooked perfectly and wasn't overcooked or undercooked. The sauce wasn't too rich and creamy and stuck to the pasta which made it taste delicious. The crispy pancetta pieces were lovely with the pasta and the creamy sauce, how-ever I think there probably could have been a bit more as the dish seemed to lack in this. After finishing the dish it was nice to see that the plate wasn't full of sauce which to me tells me there was just enough sauce for the pasta and not too much.
Although a lot of my other colleagues though their food portions was small I found my portion more than enough and filled me up enough not to feel hungry but not too much that I felt over-full. The waitress collected our plates about 10 minutes after we had finished out meals and this is when we were asked if we wanted the dessert menu. A few of us wanted it so she went to get the dessert menus for us. Although the restaurant was quiet it took the waitress a good 10 minutes to come back to us with the dessert menus. She did how-ever apologise for the delay. I chose something called the Chocolate Nemesis which was a hot chocolate pudding with a rich molten centre of chocolate sauce, served with a scoop of vanilla gelato. When this came out on the plate I thought that it looked very sickly and so sweet. I pushed my spoon into the sponge which was very soft and the warm, runny chocolate seeped out onto the plate to mix with the scoop of vanilla ice cream. The chocolate centre was very hot, so care needs to be taken when eating this. The chocolate pudding was delicious and of course a little sickly. The vanilla ice cream was also delicious; how-ever the taste of chocolate seemed to take over the vanilla taste in the ice cream which was a little disappointing.
Crispy pancetta with Pecorino and Grana Padano cheeses cooked in garlic and fresh parsley, topped with shaved Grana Padano - £8.95
CHOCOLATE NEMESIS (V)
Hot chocolate pudding with a rich molten centre of chocolate sauce, served with a scoop of vanilla gelato - £5.40
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The staff in here were well dressed and looked smart in black trousers and a matching top. The staff were very friendly and helpful when asking questions or queries about the food on the menu. Although it wasn't that busy in the restaurant the waitress was quite slow in removing our plates from the table after we had eaten and she also seemed to forgot that we had asked for the dessert menu's when she collected the plates. Although this wasn't a huge let down it was a little disappointing as the rest of the experience was quite good. One of my work colleagues is actually polish and the waitress spoke polish to him to try and explain what some of the food on the menu was as some of the things he wasn't too sure about. This was really helpful and also very nice of her to do this.
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The toilets were located in the 2nd half of the restaurant away from the main door. You had to simply walk through one door which leads you into a small corridor where both male and female toilets were located. As I pushed open the female toilet door I was surprised to see that this was actually the toilet. I was expecting a few cubicles with a few sinks; how-ever there was just the 1 toilet with the sink inside. The toilet was very, very clean and tidy so I can't fault the toilet facilities in any way. There was plenty of hand towels and soap so you could wash your hands.
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The atmosphere of the restaurant was really nice and relaxing and it's a lovely place to out for dinner with your partner or friends. I have never been here during the day but the atmosphere during the night was lovely with the lid candles on every table. The restaurant was very clean and tidy and the toilet facilities were also very clean and probably couldn't have been any cleaner. The food is average priced and isn't bad value for money, how-ever I didn't think the food was out-standing or particularly brilliant. The main thing is that the food did taste great and I didn't have any issues with my food, how-ever I think it could have tasted better and I have eaten better pasta in other restaurants. Their menu does mainly consist of pasta and pizza so if you are looking for something meaty such as a steak or fish dish then I wouldn't recommend going here. I enjoyed my time here but am not sure I would go again as although the food tasted great it was only average. The dessert was delicious, how-ever I did feel that this was quite expensive for the size that it was. I'm going to give this particular restaurant 3 out of 5 stars.
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16/19 Chapel Street
Tel: 01483 577 027
Mon - Sun: 11:30 - 22:00