Today’s guest quester was Ross, who was along for the fantastic meal that L’Escargot Blanc owner Fred Berkmiller had treated us to a few months back. It was basically a nose to tail exploration of short-horn and wagyu beef which was quite remarkable.Upon arrival, today, the very friendly waiter, who looked after us in fine style throughout, gave me a number of seating options. I eventually settled upon a window booth which was suitably comfortable. Ross soon joined.
The interior has a smart but slightly generic feel to it. It’s a chain and it feels quite like it; nothing wrong with that, I guess.
The menu was typically broad, both in terms of physical dimensions and range of options. We eventually settled upon a dish each from the starters, with Ross going for calamari while I chose melanzane, then followed with pizzas from their lunchtime pronto menu. We liked the sound of both the stromboli and the pollo piccante so ordered them both, sliced them in half when they arrived and had half of each.The starters arrived and looked pretty good. They proved to be very good eating. The calamari looked a touch darker than you might expect, but this reflected a lightly-seasoned crumb coating. It was really good and definitely well above the expected level of quality. Likewise my melanzane, although not the biggest portion in history was really good. This was an impressive start.
The pizzas that followed weren’t quite as good, but fans of thin and crisp bases, of which I’m one, will be very pleased with things. I found the toppings just a little unremarkable though, so there’s some room for improvement there.So overall, I was pleasantly surprised by ASK. Of its type, by which I mean Jamie’s, Zizzi, Carluccio’s, Pizza Express etc, I think it’s towards the top of that group of smartish Italian chains. Service was a major strength and the whole experience was really rather good. I’d be happy to visit again.
Blythe scores ASK
3.5/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
4/5 for service
3.5/5 for setting
giving an overall 14.5/20
Today’s questers were: Ross, Blythe
We ate: calamari, melanzane, pronto pizzas
We drank: water
We wore: blue jacket; grey trousers
Total bill: £24.90