Many restaurants have listened to their customers and included vegan options on their menus- but it’s not often you walk into an eatery where there is an entirely vegan menu on offer.
ASK is proud to be one such destination, so I was thrilled to check it out on Friday night. Let’s face it, there is nothing like eating hearty Italian food when it’s wet, dark and miserable outside.
The menu boasts several options within its sections; breads and nibbles, starters, pizza, pasta, salads and desserts as well as a selection for children AND a vegan wine list. In other words, there is plenty of choice and no awkward conversations with waiters over how existing dishes can be veganised.
We began with the Rosemary and Sea Salt Bread which came with bowl of oil and balsamic to dunk the bread in. It was warm, soft and salty, and the rosemary provided a lovely homely undertone to this hearty appetiser against the tanginess of the dip. I think this will be my staple appetiser when I go back.
To start, I ordered the Vegan Baked Dough Balls- which were again served with a bowl of balsamic and oil. On reflection it was silly of me to order bread and then more bread as it fills you up rather fast but fun nevertheless to dunk the handy sized dough pieces in the dressing!
The dough balls were admittedly a little bland but were livened up by the dip. They were also plentiful, so enough to share if you can’t manage a starter all to yourself.
My husband had the Bruschetta on toasted Pagnotta bread with marinated tomatoes and fresh basil. I would strongly recommend the bruschetta if you are looking for something fresh, light and tangy. A real palate cleanser before the main course.
For our mains we opted for the Vegan Prima Pizza where you can choose from three toppings with a vegan mozzarella. I am warning you- this pizza is big but luckily if you can’t finish it like me, a member of staff will kindly box it up for you to take home. I liked the flexibility of being able to choose my toppings as generally they are already decided for you- so this is a great way to get creative with your flavours and textures. As the pizza is thin, it’s all about the toppings so choose wisely!
My husband went for the Vegan Fettucine Con Verdure- flat ribbon pasta with courgettes, oven roasted tomatoes and spinach seasoned with chilli, garlic and topped with olive tapenade.
Although this was a very simple dish- the choice of ingredients ensured this was packed with flavour. It’s always a treat to have a pasta dish in an Italian restaurant- I don’t know what they do but it always tastes amazing with minimal ingredients! I can never recreate it at home!
To finish we had the Vegan Sorbetti- two scoops of Italian specialty sorbet in raspberry and mango.
The raspberry was my favourite as it wasn’t too sharp and was a light and refreshing end to the meal. The mango tasted more like melon to me- which I am not too fond of- but if you are- this is the perfect dessert if you still have a little room left.
The Vegan Blood Orange and Chocolate Tart is the winner of the PETA sweet treat award- a zesty dark chocolate tart with nut and date base served with tangy raspberry sorbet. The cool, fruity sorbet offsets the richness of the tart and the base is much lighter compared to pastry so you don’t feel like you are overdoing it! If you like your dark chocolate, this has the bitter taste of a luxury bar but in a gooey, thick consistency. An must have whether you're vegan or not!
We washed it all down with a San Pellegrino in Blood Orange and Limonata- which I would strongly recommend as something different from a coke or lemonade as a refreshing and tangy accompaniment to your meal.
The courses came promptly, and the food was all prepared fresh in front of us as the kitchen is open plan for all the diners to see their food being cooked.
I was really impressed by the large range of dishes there were for vegans and even more so by the addition of the children’s and wine menu. I have never seen this offered in any other restaurant before, so it was great to see that ASK has really embraced their plant based offerings.
Thank you to Emma for being our wonderful waitress!