Friday, 26 August 2016

Family Dining At Ask Italian

We love to eat out as a family, but for us, it's a little more difficult, we have a small list of places that we can go to that suit the children's needs. I had seen Ask Italian in Piccadilly gardens and it looked like a really good option for us. As 3 of our children have autism, we need a really open and spacious restaurant, quick service and a variety of menu options that suit all 4 of our children's need. We also tend to visit at lunchtimes when we know it will be quieter than an evening service.
We headed in for our 12.30 booking and I was relieved to see that it was relatively quiet, ideal for the children. There was a table for the 6 of us set up towards the back of the restaurant in a lovely quiet corner and we were seated immediately by the lovely Kelly.
Children's Menu & Colouring Card
All Ask Italian restaurant teams are proud to offer our ‘Amici kids’ experience, which is everything they do to involve children within the restaurant. From serving their food first to providing smaller cutlery and highchairs, these differences keep your little ones happy – which means you can relax and enjoy themselves. The children were each resented with their own menu, the reverse has a fab colouring activity on and there is a pot of crayons on your table. They even get their own Luca & Lucia finger puppets to colour in which if you share your design on their Facebook page you can win a fab prize. The children's menu is a great prize at just £6.95 and includes a starter, main, dessert and a yummy babyccino to round off their meal. The options are great and there was something for each of my fussy children that they liked.
Children's Starter
The children's starter is 4 yummy garlic bread soldiers, carrot & cucumber sticks and a nice dip to accompany them. The kid's starters were brought straight out when we ordered and it was a great distraction while we waited for the main meals to be freshly made. We opted for the adult starter's to be brought out with the main meals.
Cody's Luca & Lucia Finger Puppets
Eating out with 3 autistic children can be quite stressful and while we waited for our food Mr L got a bit anxious and stressed. Miss S was very excited and was verbally stimming a lot that day and this particularly bothers Mr L, he is very noise sensitive, so he requested to move to another table. Kelly sorted it for us straight away and it was no trouble for him to sit at another table with his Dad and brother while I stayed with the little ones. He was much happier and we were all able to enjoy a meal without stressing each other out.
We all really liked the relaxed atmosphere in Ask Italian, there is no loud music playing, the waiting staff have the perfect balance of asking if you require anything else without being too intrusive and nothing is too much trouble.
Children's Menu Penne
Children's Menu Cheese Pizza
 I was really impressed with the children's main dishes, they were a great size my children's appetite. Mr C struggled to finish his Penne dish, but he did dive into the chips and dough balls we got as adult sides!!

The choice for us adults was immense! There is something for every taste on the menu from chicken, pasta, pizzas and salads. It took us a while to all decide what we wanted and I went back and forth a few times, we had out starters/sides served with our main meals. This wasn't a problem at all and the restaurant were happy to hold them back and cook them a the same time as our mains.
Baked Dough Balls £4.95
Chips & Garlic Mayo £3.50
The dough balls were amazing, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. You have the option of having Fontal cheese & chilli, pepperoni or a mixture of both. We decided on the mix, you dint know the flavour until you bit in! The chips were equally as good and came with a lovely garlic mayo dip on the side, Mr D loved the mayo and asked for more, which they were happy to provide.
Linguine Carbonara £9.75
Chicken Caesar Salad £10.25
Stromboli Pizza £9.95
Mr RTR opted for the linguine carbonara, its one of his favourite dishes and he said he wasn't disappointed with this. It was so creamy and the pancetta was really cripsy, its a brand new item on the Ask Italian menu and we highly recommend it. You can opt for a half sized portion with a side salad for £1.50 less than the menu price if you have a smaller appetite. I went for the caeser salad, which is another new item on the menu and it was delicious. I was surprised at how big the bowl was, it was an impressive portion for the price, I really enjoyed it the chicken was cooked to perfection and it had just the right amount of caesar sauce on. Mr L who is 12 ate from the adult's menu with us and he opted for the Stromboli pizza, this would be ideal for sharing between 2 people as it had 8 slices. It had a nice crispy Italian base and Mr L said it was the best pizza he ever had and he's fussy!
Children's Menu Chocolate Pizza
Children's Menu Tip & Top Ice Cream
Children's Menu Ice Lolly
There are 4 options on the children's dessert menu and we tried 3 of them. Mr D opted for the chocolate pizza, a sweet dough topped with hazelnut chocolate spread and strawberries, it comes with a pot of mini marshmallows & sprinkles to decorate. Mr C opted for the tip & top ice cream, 2 scoops of icecream in a flavour of their choice, a meringue, pot of strawberries and a pot of marshmallows. Miss S opted for ice lolly which is available in strawberry or tropical. The 4th option is Frutti which is strawberries, raspberries and grapes.
The kid's desserts went down a storm, I think you can tell from their faces that they loved them! All their plates were empty. As part of the kid's menu they also get a babyccino, which is the perfect way to round off their lovely meal.
Children's Menu Babyccino
Now the kids were all sorted we had the task of deciding which of the amazing desserts we would like to round our meal off with. It was a really tough choice for Mr L and Mr RTR, but there was only 1 choice for me when I saw the menu.
Grande Gelato £4.95
Honeycomb Cheesecake £5.95
Ice Cream Profiteroles £5.95
I just had to have the Grande Gelato, meringue, strawberries and ice cream are 3 of my favourite things, the dish is topped off with a dash of cream and was heaven in a bowl. Mr RTR went for the new recipe honeycomb cheesecake, with crunchy honeycomb, white chocolate and a scoop of vanilla gelato it looks fab. Mr RTR said it was really good and he isn't a big dessert fan. Mr L opted for the ice cream profiteroles, filled with creamy Italian ice cream and topped with hot chocolate sauce, a delicous mix of hot and cold, Mr L loved it.

We can't fault Ask Italian, the service was fab, the food was nothing short of amaing and the staff were incredible. Especially Kelly who looked after us for our entire visit, nothing was too much trouble, she chatted with the children, got us everything we needed, arranged an additional table for Mr L and was polite and courteous throughout. Infact even the satff who weren't serving us were polite and friendly and made a point of saying hello and goodbye. Our meal for 6 people which included 3 courses and 2 drinks each came in at less than £100, which works out at roughly £15 per person. I think it was well worth it and we will definitely be visiting again in the near future.
Thanks For Reading
Mandy
*We visited Ask Italian for the purpose or review, our meal was complimentary. This does not affect our opinion.

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