Newest Review: ... game after-all. Losing the Ask Italian outlet in Victoria London barely will make a ripple considering Ask Italian has over 130 restaurant... more
Ask and you shall get
Member Name: caz-3124
Advantages: Excellent mains menu
Disadvantages: Not so excellent starters and desserts
Ask is one of my favourite restaurants. I am a huge Italian fan (also liking Pizza hut, Pizza Express and Prezzo) so this sort of thing is right up my street. Ask restaurants can be found in most towns as they are a chain of restaurants.
The atmosphere of their restaruants is always quite buzzy. The tables are quite close together and they have an open kitchen so you can watch the chefs cooking away should you so choose. All the restaurants I have been to tend not to separate the tables into sections and thus it is generally like one big hall. This means it can get very noisy and on some occasions I have found it difficult to hear what the other person has been saying. Along with the fact that all the dish names are in Italian I am surprised that there aren't more incidents of the wrong dish turning up for the customer. It always seems quite popular especially with the younger crown and it is never quiet.
The restaurants are always quite pleasant to be in and tend to go for a rustic theme with those straw like chairs and plants and so on. The washroom facilities have varied according to the restaurant. They do not play background music. The staff have always been friendly so far although we were forgotten on a recent visit but she was very apologetic about it.
The menu is divided into starters, mains, desserts and drinks as in most restaurants. The starters menu offers things like garlic bread, olives, soups, mushrooms and so on. I don't offer have a starter as the mains tend to be filling. I once tried the ciabatta bread before with a friend and although it was okay I felt it was over-priced considering what it was.
The mains menu is the best bit I think. It is divided into pizzas and calzone, salads, pastas and risottos, and stone oven baked dishes. The pizzas I have tried before and are all syled in the traditional thin based Italian way. They have a mix of varieties ranging from the classsics like margherita or ham and mushroom to some more unusual flavours like the Fiorentina which is spinach, olive and egg which I tried and liked. Sometimes I have found their pizzas a little tough though and have had to really use a lot for force with the knife to cut it which got tiring after a while and is quite off-putting when you feel you really need a saw. So I would say the pizzas are a mixed bag. The other dish I love is the Penne Al Pollo Della Casa which is chicken breast, mushrooms (which I ask not to be added as I detest them) and pasta in a creamy sauce with white wine and a chese topping. This is always absolutely fantastic and the flavours blend so well together and even though it is a very filling dish I never ever leave any of it. I could eat it every day.
The desert menu I have only tried twice as the mains tend to leave me feeling stuffed full. I have tried the ice-cream which was nothing special and could have been out of the fridge at home and the apple pie which I had heard was amazing but didn't live up to the claim.
Prices are as you'd expect from a restaurant like this. Starters are about £4 on average, and the main dishes vary from £7 to £12, though about £8.50 is an average price. The deserts are about £5 each. Drinks which range from juices to soft drinks and coffees are about £2 each with a glass of wine at £3.
It is worth bearing in mind that they also do a takeaway menu which offers quite a few pizzas at a competitively priced £5.95 no matter the flavour, some of the pastas at £7.45 and salads at £7.95. I have not tried this but the pizzas cetainly sound good value though my favourite dish is sadly not available as a takeaway. Furthermore, they often have a voucher available whereby you can get a second main free which I often make use of. This can be obtained by going to the website. To sum up a good restaurant with a lovely mains menu but a bit let down by the starters and desserts.
Summary: A good Italian