ASK ITALIAN ~ a very last minute review
Hello beautiful readers, welcome back. So, recently I have been spending more time with loved ones after a pretty naff few weeks and this week took us to ASK Italian with a few of my pals to celebrate one of my best mates birthdays. A very civilised do as she's currently 4 months pregnant so, this is a alcohol free shindig I'm afraid.
This post was not planned in the slightest, hence the poor image quality as I've took these on my iPhone. However, I could not resist shouting about this place as our meals were amazing and I really wouldn't have expected this from your kind of 'bog standard' Italians or so I thought was just a standard Italians. Firstly, stupid me thought this place was called ASK Italia at first, but ASK Italian was a go to place for us as one of my friends is vegan, and the other is a picky eater so we thought a this would be a perfect place after reading their menu online and seeing there was a separate menu for vegans as well as some more plainer foods.
We were sat straight into a booth on arrival and offered a small glass of homemade lemonade on the house as a palate cleanser which I must say was delightful and I kind wished I ordered a larger glass. We were pretty much asked what we would like to drink straight away which was really impressive considering the night we went was student night at Intu Eldon Square and everywhere was super busy! We ordered our beers and soft drinks (designated driver perks) then we were asked what we would like for our starters and mains. No puddings this time as we well and truly stuffed ourselves with pizza and pastas.
I ordered Arancini which I have never tried before as I thought a rice starter would be incredibly stodgy and over filling, but I just fancied it this evening. Risotto, mixed with spinach, ricotta in a bread crumb coat and served with a spicy tomato dip, it was gorgeous. Not too much, but not too little so you weren't desperately hungry between courses. The only downside was my friends starter didn't come with the rest of the groups and she ended up eating well after we had already finished. But this wasn't too much of a issue as she proceeded to pick at her starter with her main. Garlic breads, mixed nuts and Arancini balls consumed or at least part consumed, the mains pretty much arrived as soon as our plates were taken away. (Arancini £5.95)
I ordered a Calzone Pollo, a folded pizza, or a pizza dough pasty as I like to call it, filled with Chicken (hence the Pollo), mushrooms, peppers, olives and mozzarella. All within a tomato sauce. Absolutely devine! The pizza base was cooked so there was crunch but with a little softness to the dough. Just how I love my pizza base. Served with a light side said, this dish tasted incredible and was packed with punch and full of flavour. If I had of been driving, I would love to have paired this meal with a dry glass of white wine, however I settled for a glass of coke zero, just as tasty. My biggest fear of the Calzone is a undercooked filling or a under filled dish (girls gotta eat) which can often leave me a little underwhelmed but neither of these were present within this tasty dish. Unexpectedly wonderful! (Calzone Pollo £12.95)
Overall, we had a lovely experience with ASK Italian with its quirky yet on trend restaurant setting and decor and their very pleasant staff with menu to suit all tastes. I was very surprised at their vegan and vegetarian options and was amazed at how similar the dish offerings were in quality and quantity. So far I've suggested this place to 2 different groups of friends who have been and agreed that although they've been before at another location, this newcastle restaurant has overseen their expectations. Perfect for a quiet night out or a family lunching. ASK Italian, we will be back!