Christmas Shopping Break and Pizza:
It’s that time of year when everything seems to slip. Deadlines come and go, schedules end up crumpled in the bin and even basic things like writing Christmas cards get missed. I like meeting up with my God Daughter and always intend to see more of her. But, work has to come first. When I’m lucky enough to be able to combine work with something that I know she’ll enjoy I do just that! So, when ASK Italian suggested that I might review one of their restaurants as a way to sweeten my Christmas Shopping and #makeitspecial, I took the opportunity to invite her along to share some Italian food.
ASK on Wigmore Street is a stone’s throw from one of my favourite shopping areas – St Christopher’s Yard. Just head north through a narrow alleyway off Oxford street opposite Bond Street station and you’ll find yourself in a courtyard of quirky places – including a rather beautiful Mulberry store, the Hampstead Bazaar, Whistles and the sort of shops you’ll find presents that are not in any of the department stores. A little further north is Wigmore Street – home to a very famous concert hall and to one of the ASK Italian restaurants. The man behind the ASK Italian group menu is Theo Randall, one of my favourite chefs, so I was curious to see how the food stacked up, against places like his restaurant at the Intercontinental Hotel and River Cafe, where he trained. Obviously a different type of occasion, but things like provenance and quality should still show through.
ASK Italian on Wigmore Street is decorated in pretty pastal shades. It has all the buzz you’d expect from an Italian Pizzeria – and plenty of choice on the menu, from classic Italian dishes through to some more contemporary dishes if you fancy experimenting. I enjoyed a prosecco and olives while I waited for my God Daughter to arrive with her friend. ASK is one of those places that works well for everyone; on a mid-week lunch time just before Christmas there were a few office parties, one or two business people and shoppers eating alone or in pairs and few family groups.
We ordered for three and what arrived would easily have fed an extra person. My butterflied garlic prawn starter was a nicely presented dish of large, plump shellfish. Bruschetta looked ultra fresh and the garlic bread was served ‘white pizza’ style and was enough for all of us to share.
I’d recommend the Prima Pizza – stone baked and served on wooden platters. My Salsiccia made with uber trendy n’duja sausage meat, roasted red peppers, pancetta, caramelised onions and Fontal cheese did need the extra chillis to work for me, while the Caprina was as pretty as a picture and looked almost healthy.
The classic pizza stromboli looked excellent too. I like the options of extra chilli or chilli oil and I much prefer the thin, crispy stone baked crusts of the ASK pizza to the doughier versions you sometimes find.
We ordered some zucchini fritters too, which were chunkier than I might have expected, but which we ALL enjoyed.
And for dessert, of course it had to be the chocolate sharing board which the menu says is plenty for two to share – and which turned out to be more than three of us could manage!
All in an excellent meal for around £75 for three (including the prosecco).
Now, the lovely people at ASK Italian would like to offer one of you the chance to try some of their delicious food for yourself, with a voucher for a meal worth £50. There are branches of ASK all around the country too. Just check the ASK Italian website for more information. All you need to do is follow through the rafflecopter, remembering to comment below.