Bear Experience: Brother’s birthday at ASK Italian

So – yesterday was my brother, Nishant’s, birthday. He has now turned to the tender age of 35. A lot of people look at him and then look at me and can’t believe that there is a 8 year gap between us.

We didn’t really know what to get him for his birthday but my dearest father mentioned that he wanted the new Liverpool kit, so I decided to get him a personalised one and also a copy of Tekken 7 (one of those games we used to always play together as kids). Below is an image of when we went to Anfield to present him with his new shirt before he starts his new season at Liverpool as a winger (totally not edited).

New Signing
The proud manager shaking the hand of his new top player

Every birthday we decide to go out as a family and spend a good day or 2 trying to decide where to go – this time we managed to come to an agreement on ASK Italian in Centre:MK in Milton Keynes, UK. Apparently I’ve been there before, but I don’t actually recall going, but hey-ho I thought let’s go (see what I did there).

What I want to talk about in this post though is more about the food and experience there. I guess it’ll be more of a “lite-review” of the restaurant, so here goes.

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Situated in one of the many corners of the centre

Lets first talk about when we arrived. As it was a Tuesday evening, it was hardly “peak time”. I think at the time we arrived we were the only ones in the whole restaurant. We were seated in a reasonably sized booth with little shot glasses of some kind of lemon drink and neatly laid out cutlery and napkin (with a humorous message).

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Always nice to learn a little Italian from a tissue
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Felt it was kind of pointless but an interesting concept nonetheless

Okay, let’s talk about the food I had then. From the menu I had a taste of the following:

Starters:

  • Burrata Caprese (V)
  • Baked Dough Balls (V)

Main:

  • Pollo Piccante Con Pancetta
  • Chicken Caesar Salad

Sides:

  • Chips (V)

Dessert:

  • Blood Orange and Chocolate Tart

Drink:

  • San Pellegrino Aranciata Rossa (Blood Orange)

Burrata Caprese (V)

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Creamier and more indulgent than Mozzarella, burrata is served with Santos tomatoes, rocket and basil. Burrata is a cheese made from mozzarella and cream

So, this was my starter which consisted of rocket, tomatoes and literally a leaf of basil on top of the burrata. I am familiar with the taste of mozzarella, and because it looked exactly the same, I expected a similar taste. It did literally melt in my mouth but it had no flavour. I had to drizzle some chilli and extra virgin olive oil to add some taste to the dish.

Score: 2/5

Baked Dough Balls (V)

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Served with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and balsamic vinegar. We got the vegetarian option with fontal cheese and chilli

Everyone loves dough balls; I don’t know about you but whenever I go to restaurants like Pizza Express, I always order them. They even have chilli and cheese in the middle, which makes it even better! So I grab one, get a good coating of the dip on it and put half of it in my mouth and expect a burst of flavour with a slight stringy pull from the melted cheese…..WRONG! What I in fact got was a dough ball which was 80% dough and 20% everything else. I didn’t mind it because at the end of the day, a dough ball is a dough ball. I may have been unlucky and got a batch that was like this but that was my experience of this dish.

Score: 3/5

Pollo Piccante Con Pancetta

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Seasoned chicken breast, pancetta, roasted peppers, red chillies, mushrooms, spinach, rosemary and Fontal cheese.

Just look at the caption, all those ingredients in 1 stone baked long based pizza. I have to say this now, for the amount you pay for this pizza, you definitely get a decent sized portion. To be honest, it was an average pizza. I was hoping for more flavour from the pancetta, but being Asian, I was happy with the spice factor from the red chillies.  I really liked the way the pizza was cooked, apart from the fact that I had a lot more cheese on one half of the pizza than the other.

Score: 3/5

Chicken Caesar Salad

I don’t have a picture of this dish as it was Nishant’s, but he let me have a taste (by let me, I mean he fed me a bite). The croutons were well-baked crunchy bread slices; they were seasoned well and were basically – yummy. It was a decent sized portion, and even when Nishant ran out of Caesar dressing, they were more than happy to provide more. The dressing was a bit too tangy for my liking but was still nice.

Score: 3.5/5

Chips (V)

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Chips with garlic mayonnaise

Oddly enough, even though this a “bog-standard” dish, it was probably the best dish for me. Why, you ask? The chips were piping hot and had a very soft crunch to it. The potato inside was fluffly when you bit into it and the garlic mayonnaise was really good. It wasn’t too “garlicy” or “mayonnaisey”, just the right balance.

Score: 4/5

Blood Orange and Chocolate Tart

Blood Orange and Chocolate Tart
Zesty dark chocolate tart with a nut and date base, served with tangy raspberry sorbet.

As described by Nishant, “It’s like a jaffa cake”. He’s not too far off; the cake was very rich and the orange wasn’t too over-powering. When you cut a piece using the spoon, you get a nice smooth consistent slice all the way through. Then when you take a bite you get a mix of smooth rich chocolate and if you’re lucky a bit of a nut (might be Brazil). The raspberry sorbet was really good, but I wouldn’t pair them two together on a single spoonful. I ate both elements of the dessert separately.

Score: 4/5

San Pellegrino Aranciata Rossa (Blood Orange)

This was just a standard soft drink available on the menu, You can’t really go wrong with a San Pellegrino. The taste was very subtle and was ice cold.

Score: 4/5

All in all, although my dad and mum had nicer food compared to what I had, I’d say it was just average.

Bear Experience Score: 3.75/5

One Comment Add yours

  1. Muhibur Rayhan says:

    Very good blog, need a halal food review now!

    Like

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