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“Surprisingly Great”
Review of Ask Italian - Kew

Ask Italian - Kew
Price range: $9 - $17
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Reservations
Description: ASK Italian in Kew is a place for great food and warm service. Think fresh bread made to tear and share. A glass of fine wine worth deserving of your time. Delicious main dishes prepared the traditional way. Everything we know and love about Italian food is served straight to your table. Take a look at our Kew menu and, if you like what you see, book a table.
Hove, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
56 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Surprisingly Great”
Reviewed August 2, 2014 via mobile

On a recent family trip to London, we ended up at Ask, rather reluctantly as the reviews were worryingly bad. However....we had a fabulous meal, served by friendly staff, especially Lewis. Our food was fresh, I had rigatoni with pesto and courgette, my husband had baked pasta dish, children had a variety of pizza and pasta. It was all good, fresh and tasty. No waiting even though the restaurant was fairly busy. Absolutely no complaints!

Helpful?
Thank lucy c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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120 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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    17
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Polish first
  • Any
English first
Level 6 Contributor
96 reviews
69 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“3 Musketeers”
Reviewed July 31, 2014 via mobile

A great place for meeting - in this case with a couple of photography students; had booked online, then had to amend both the time as well as the numbers, which (when I finally got through on the 'phone) was not a problem.
Busy enough for a pleasant ambience, there was still a choice of tables outdoors; good food allied with great service...

Helpful?
Thank debal07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
175 reviews
70 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
“Outdated, Outmoded, Outclassed”
Reviewed July 30, 2014

ASK was one of the early chains (like Zizi, Strada) which opened in the 1990s and, at the time, was a reliable alternative to the perennial Pizza Express for "pasta n' pizza". It was good for the kids and the food was generally well-cooked, some dishes were excellent (I remember enjoying tagliatelle with spinach and gorgonzola, and the penne pasta di casa - oven-baked chicken in a creamy mushrooom sauce - was a favourite), the service was cheerful and the price reasonable. What could go wrong? Well, I should have been alerted by the fact that on a Saturday night, when we had been unable to get into Pizza Express because it had a half-hour wait, ASK was nearly empty.And this is in an affluent part of London, in a riverside location on a warm summer's evening.

The waiter was cheerful enough - although rather slow to get to us. In fact, his cheerfulness became relentless - maybe because he knew the horrors that awaited. The menu seemed to have shrunk and there were a LOT of pasta dishes with mushrooms (of which more later) - a problem as one of our party cannot eat mushrooms. Alas, no tagliatelle with gorgonzola. The starters took a while to come - and I have no idea what mine was. It was supposed to be some kind of artisan bread with stuff on - it looked and tasted like the end of a baguette with a smear of some kind of grease. Dreadful. For main courses, the non-mushroom eater had resorted to pizza - which looked, and probably was, ready-made and frozen - thin, uniformly yellow-and-red liquid topping - I could have bought better at the local supermarket. My husband had the penne - which looked grey from leaked mushrooms juices (wrong kind of mushroom) and had been over-cooked in an oven - curled up dry edges to the pasta. I had mushroom tagliatelle. Now, I like mushrooms - a lot. But even I balked at the way this dish had been slung together. A smallish portion of tagliatelle drowned in a greyish mushroom sauce and topped with - yes, chunks of portobello mushrooms. Appalling, both visually and gastronomically. Needless to say we skipped dessert.

Does this place even have a chef? if so, he needs retraining. These were not difficult dishes - any competent chef should be able to cook pasta and sauces. But I think the real problem lies in the concept - it is well past its sell-by date. There are now a wealth of more authentic, owner-run Italian restaurants throughout London, diners are more discriminating and more informed and poorly-executed, bog-standard "Italian" just will not do any more. Strada has the same problem. These "concept" chains need to update themselves if they are to survive the onslaught of newer and fresher places like Cote Brasserie, Real Greek, Cafe Libanais etc.
Spaghetti House - around since the 1960s - has managed it - just - with a constantly updated menu which responds to new tastes.

Desperately disappointing.

  • Visited July 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank liz_croft
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Oh dear what an awful experience”
Reviewed July 23, 2014

Have eaten here lots.of times great food but tonight 23rd July what a nightmare. Seated by lovely person then wait wait wait to order, wait wait wait for drinks but no almond nibbles. Wait wait wait no starters Told starters were ready wait wait wait no starters
. No one came to check if we were ok and very galling to see people who arrived after us served with drink and food whilst we waited and waited
. So sorry to say after 45 minutes we left ruined our evening
Won't be going back

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Linda B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
74 reviews
61 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“I should read the reviews before trying ...”
Reviewed June 27, 2014 via mobile

We were lucky because we were not so hungry. 11 pounds for a rubbish they call chef salad.... And the service was very cold and really really slow. Never again. This can be my worst time in an Italian restaurant

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Antrodher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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