I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…. who doesn’t love pizza?
Or even pasta come to that!
Well, I for one LOVE it!!
And of course it goes without saying that children absolutely love pizza and pasta too. Whether it’s something quickly popped together at home, or a lovely meal out!
ASK Italian have rather excitedly just launched their super new kids menu alongside their wider #ServingUpSmiles campaign, and through this I was invited along on Tuesday night to our local ASK Italian restaurant to sample some of the delicious new dishes which were on the menu.
Obviously though – and as the title sort of suggests I wasn’t alone in this task. My lovely husband and two little girls came too, along with a couple of my friends who both had their own little ones in tow – one of whom actually has some food allergies and intolerance, so we were extremely keen to see how they catered for him too.
Pasta is just one of those easy peasy dishes to throw together quickly for your kids isn’t it. And pasta sauces are such a brilliant way of hiding lovely fresh veg from questioning little eyes which would normally home in on the slightest speck of green leaf or tomato pip which your blender didn’t whizz up thoroughly enough!
And at home in the past, we’ve created our own pizzas with the kids sometimes too as it’s a bit of a chance for you all to get a little creative, pretty messy and eat what you’ve just made! Perfect!
One of my girls’ favourite dishes just has to be good old spaghetti bolognaise! It’s an out and out winner! They just can’t seem to get enough of it! Especially Ella who will just devour hers in minutes and swiftly ask for more ‘scetti’, with a very innocent looking but bright orange face and a pasta moustache!
I also think it’s a perfect all year round dish – it’s warming and makes you feel all snug and cozy through the dark winter months, yet in the summer, it is perfectly reasonable to sit with a lovely homemade lasagna out in the garden for a spot of ‘al fresco’ dining with some garlic bread, a lovely green salad, and some wine.
Gosh – I’m salivating as I type!
But also, every now again its particularly nice to go out and eat too.
And personally we love to do this as a family. As often as we can!
It’s just nice to get away from the norm and make a bit of a big deal about lovely ‘sit down’ family mealtimes. And of course it’s even better still if you don’t have to clear up afterwards! Winner!
But, as every mum or dad out there knows (probably along with the customers who have no children and are sitting on the next door table!) – that eating out with kids, especially the small ones, can be somewhat tricky, and I’m sure we’ve all been there before and had our moments!
Like the ones where, Little Johnny doesn’t like his carrot so hurls it behind him only to hit the poor man behind him square in the eye….
Or the ones at ‘those’ type of restaurants (you’ll know the ones I mean) where as soon a child walks through the smart glass doors and into the restaurant –the diners turn and stare, the air turns cold, and you back out as quickly as you came in as your business is clearly not welcome there!
So, it goes without saying, that finding an easy, friendly and welcoming place to eat is most definitely half of the battle!
One that actively goes out of their way to make you feel at home with your little ones there, the ones who might provide colouring papers and crayons, who have an adequate numbers of highchairs, who have comfortable baby changing facilities or where the staff laugh alongside you when the drink gets spilt all over the table before they dash quickly off to grab a cloth and help you out!
These are the places we feel at home in – the ones to be honest where we are likely to return to time and time again.
And in our opinion- we’ve always thought this of ASK.
And Tuesday night was no different.
It was perfectly family friendly – and it really did make for a much more relaxed and stress free experience for us as parents!
It’s a place for anyone and everyone to go too. Nobody in there was out of place! Candlelit suppers for two, large party tables or tables full of happy families.
So now onto the new kids menu – because after all – that’s why we were there in the first place isn’t it?!
The choice of freshly produced pastas, pizzas with smiley faces, crudites with garlic pizza bread soldiers and dipping sauce, brightly coloured fresh-fruit cocktails, fresh fruit ice lollies, bowls of ice-cream with little dishes of sprinkles, marshmallows and fruit for the little ones to decorate it with and even chocolate covered sweet-pizza! Oh and of course there’s the Babyccino’s too – which are always lovely and a bit of a hit as the kids feel very grown up when they sit alongside mummy and daddy who are merrily sipping on their own after dinner coffees!
The main points we loved:
• Large child portions – which ok, might mean that little ones would struggle to eat a whole dish themselves, but if you needed to – they could always share. But what I really liked about the larger portions is that it’s inclusive for older children too who have a bigger appetite – but who, at the end of the day, are still children – who shouldn’t have to pay for a full priced main adult dish if they didn’t have to.
• At £6.75 for a starter, choice of main, dessert and a Babyccino – I felt this was really great value for money.
• If your child has food allergies – you can ask to see the ‘allergen menu’ and a member of staff will gladly discuss your requirements with you.
• With the children having a ‘starter’ option too – they can feel grown up like the adults, yet their little tummies won’t be kept rumbling whist waiting for their main dishes to be prepared and cooked, or while the adults are nibbling on their own yummy sharing starter platters!
• The food was delicious! Both from the kids menu and the regular menu (we know because while the children weren’t looking we would sneak a couple of bites here and there!)
• The staff were extremely courteous, friendly and really went out of their way to help.
All in all we had a fantastic time.
The new menu has an excellent selection and the catering for those with food allergies is just second to none!
We were really very impressed indeed.
A perfect family meal out – lots of smiley happy kiddies and some rather full up and stress free adults to boot.
We will most certainly be back.
I’ve added a few photos of our visit to this post – I’m afraid they aren’t of the best quality because the children were far more excited about eating their yummy dinners and playing with the colouring and some toys!! – But I’m sure you get the idea!
And lastly I would just like to say – Thank you ASK Italian for a thoroughly enjoyable evening!
Now it’s Competition Time!!
WIN a £50 Voucher to spend at your local ASK Italian!!!
So now it’s your chance to get your hands on a fantastic prize of a £50 voucher to spend at your local ASK Italian and try all the lovely new dishes out for yourselves.
All you have do is enter the below Rafflecopter competition and let us know your favourite Italian meal. Are you a pasta lover – or does the pizza just call out to you?!
The competition will close on Friday 21st August at midnight, so be sure to get your entries in by then.
The winner will then be selected at random and contacted via email.
Unfortunately this is open to UK residents only.