Too many times people underestimate the quality of food in chain and kid friendly restaurants. I’m not sure if it’s the vast selection of food on the menu which makes people think that there is too much choice to be able to give each dish the right ‘attention’ or if they think that a place where mostly families go with their children are all about kids colouring books and accepting kids being loud that they don’t take the quality of their food as a priority.
Well, Ask Italian is the place to prove this wrong. There are many locations of Ask Italian across London, we went to our local one in Gloucester Road.
We were three mums and three children between the age of 2 and 9 on a Thursday evening.
The place was buzzing from early seating. We were seated on a lovely spacious round table which is I always enjoy as it gives sense of all being seated not to far one from the other and is easy to chat whilst keeping an eye on the kids. Make sure you watch the video below from our You Tube channel for the full experience.
As we arrived, the restaurant manager greeted us. She was kind and friendly. One of the waiters followed shortly after to hand us menus and for the children and take our drinks order.
We spent a lot of time looking at the menu and were overwhelmed by the choice of delicious food Ask Italian offers. The menu consists of long lists of ‘Breads & Nibbles’, ‘Starters’, ‘Primi piatti’, ‘Meats & Fish’, ‘Calzoni’, ‘Pizza’ and delicious desserts. We couldn’t decide what to have so we decided to pick several starters to share between us three. We couldn’t wait to tuck in.
From the ‘Breads & Nibbles’ was selection of breads, plain & with garlic, olives or cheese ‘fonduta’. We were tempted, but the Polenta chips from the ‘sides’ section caught my eyes immediately and we ordered some of those to start while waiting for the rest of the food. I love polenta; it reminds me of Italy so much that every time I see it on a menu, I must have it. The chips were delicious served with a garlic dip: a perfect way to start our Italian feast.
Both starters and mains on the menu cater for all tastes and palates. As ‘Starters’ they offer baked aubergine or mushrooms, bruschetta and Caprese salad as vegetarian option or Mussels, king prawns and calamari for seafood lovers as well as hearty meatballs for those who prefer meat.
We ordered Calamari (golden-fried baby squid breaded and served with garlic mayonnaise), which were well cooked with a perfect crunch to them. Followed by Butterfly King Prawns (succulent kind prawns, oven roasted on Italian bread with garlic and parsley). This was my favourite dish, the smell of garlic and parsley was divine and it all married perfectly together and tasted even better than I had imagined.
As ‘Primi piatti’ they serve risotto and pasta, again offering meat, fish or vegetarian options followed by baked or roasted ‘Meats & Fish’.
Following on the menu were traditional Italian ‘Calzoni (folded & stuffed pizza) and Pizza. With 4 different Calzoni and 4 different pizza types to choose from, it’s hard not to satisfy your cravings. You can also add toppings to your pizza to make it just the way you like it.
As much as we would have loved to try their pizza and calzoni we just couldn’t, especially as we were determined to have Tiramisu for dessert, my all time favourite. So we kept it light with a Goats cheese salad, served with toasted bread and tomatoes on the top. The ingredients were fresh and together all tasted delightful. This was just what we needed before our wonderful creamy and full-flavoured Tiramisu.
The children were starving after a full day out sightseeing and enjoying a beautiful sunny day in London. Their mums ordered for them a healthy starter of ‘Vegetable sticks with garlic bread soldiers and dip’ to nibble on while waiting for their mains which they ate happily. As mains they ordered Pizza and pasta. We were very happy about that and looked forward to tasting their food.
While waiting for their food the children were given some activity papers to keep them active and entertained, which worked wonderfully.
The kids enjoyed their meal, when we asked them about their experience at Ask Italian this is what they said:
” I really liked the colouring, it was fun to do. My pizza from the kids menu was delicious. I was so stuffed that I didn’t have anymore place for the dessert”.
“I loved playing with my hand puppets while waiting for the food to come. My mummy ordered a creamy a butterfly pasta with chicken and Broccoli as its my favourite”
The place’s decor is modern, bright and fun. The food was served on colourful plates and the walls around us were covered with paintings. My favorite was a bright art piece shaped as a map of Italy saying ‘You may have the universe if I may have Italy’ by Giuseppe Verdi. Being Italian myself, I LOVED it and totally agree.
All in all we really enjoyed our evening at Ask Italian, the staff was very attentive and made sure we were looked after throughout our meal. They were kind to the children and showed interest in their coloring making sure they always had what they needed to keep busy. The place was busy and got busier as we ate. There were tables of two, families of and larger groups around us who seemed to be enjoying their time and food. The restaurant was very kid friendly offering high chairs and baby chasing facilities as well, even though we did not make use of this as the kids at the dinner were older.
*Ask Italian also offers a wide range of gluten free pastas and pizza.
Thank you Ask Italian for having us and treating us to a wonderful evening. We will be back!