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Sunday 5 June 2011

Our Family Roadtest an Ask Restaurant

If you have ever read my other blog you may well know that I have very lively kids.  Nice kids you understand, but they are not exactly quiet and they have a real sense of fun!  This is OK, I don't mind, I always wanted children to be full of life and to have their own personalities but this can present challenges when we want to go out and eat as a family.

Not to be deterred, my hubbie and I have taken the children to restaurants from an early age and thus they have become used to having to sit down but that does not mean they like it! When I heard that Vouchercodes.co.uk online lifestyle magazine, Most Wanted were putting together the Fuss Free Dining Report I thought this sounded like an excellent resource for parents who feel a bit nervous about going out to eat with their children.

Our family task for the Fuss Free Dining Report was to eat at an Ask Italian restaurant earlier this week and we got the children to fill out scorecards and let us know what they thought.  Dh and I also give our review here.

6pm on a weekday we decided to head to our local Ask restaurant in Hertfordshire.  It was not too busy and we were seated straight away.  We were aware that this was later than normal for our kids to be eating so this could present some challenges but great we thought, lets see how the restaurant deal with it.  Upon being seated the kids were given a children's menu that they could draw a picture on the back of. Plenty of pencils were handed to us as well.  All the kids were quite happy and when they saw there was a display wall just behind us they were ecstatic to think that their prized pictures could be featured in the restaurant for all to see!

We were pleased with the children's menu, it is £6.10 for garlic bread,  a small Mediterranean salad (cucumber, cherry tomatoes, pepper slices and olives)  and a main and dessert of their choice.  Miss M and JJ went for a pizza each, these were very authentic and tasted great and Miss E opted for a creamy pasta dish, her portion was enormous!  Dessert was banana, ice cream, sauce and sprinkles for the girls and JJ ordered his own Gelato, because he did not want ice cream! lol

The drinks for children was a bit lacking in selection, the only thing on the kids menu was milkshake, which costs £1.95.  JJ had one of these and thoroughly enjoyed it, Miss M just had tap water and they were happy to oblige with this and Miss E had milk and this was not on the menu but there was no questions asked, it was just served and we got charged £1.40.  There did not appear to be any squash available and the juice was £2.45 a glass, so on the steep side for a child.  This is perhaps an area they need to think more about.

This is the only thing I could knock to be honest, so they did very well.  The food arrived quickly, the serving staff were attentive but not too much so.  My husband had a pizza and it was large and full of topping, he also ordered a side order of fries with garlic mayo to try out and these were tasty but nothing special really.  My main meal the chicken Marsalla was divine and I loved it and would certainly order again.

Another factor that made our meal even better is that we had a 2 for 1 voucher direct from Ask.  About once a week I get an email from them with their latest deals, this is certainly worth signing up for.  Our meal for 5 people, including starters cost us just over £41, you can't knock that!  We were in the restaurant for about 1 hour 20 minutes and it was a pleasant experience.  I would highly recommend Ask as a family friendly restaurant.  When the girls wanted to go the the toilet numerous times during the meal (just to have a look around you understand) no one batted an eyelid and when the noise level rose and they had a bit of kiddish fun, we fitted right in as there were numerous other families with children in the restaurant.

We were asked to rate the restaurant on a scale of 1 to 5 (with 5 being the best I assume!) on the following categories -

Friendliness of service       4/5
Range of choice for kids   5/5
Entertainment on offer    3/5 (only the colouring really!)
Value for money  5/5 (with the voucher, perhaps 3.5 without the voucher)
Quality of Food    5/5

I asked each of my kids to give their opinion on our meal out and they all said big thumbs up! JJ said the best thing was having his picture on the wall for all to see, apparently we have to go again soon so he can see it displayed.  Miss E said she loved her pasta and Miss wants more pink ice cream!

Yum, I could eat this again, right now!

This is a review post.  I was renumerated to eat in the restaurant and to report back on our findings.  I was not instructed what to write and I remain honest.

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Thanks for your comment, I will respond real soon. Mich x