Another date night, and another meal sandwiched between two movies (Wonder Woman and the new Pirates of the Caribbean, in case you were wondering). We decided to go to Ask Italian as it’s really close to Odeon on George Street, and one of the few places offering a student discount in Oxford that we haven’t tried yet.
Things were off to a good start when the waitress presented us with two free small glasses of freshly made pink lemonade shortly after we were seated. This wasn’t something I would expect from a chain restaurant and it was a nice surprise. I’m sure it’s a great marketing ploy because this lemonade tasted seriously good and I was pretty tempted to buy a full glass, as I’m sure many other people do.
It took me longer than it should have to decide whether to order pizza or pasta. In the end I settled for pizza as I figured it would be a bit trickier and more expensive to make at home, and I’d had pasta for dinner the night before. The pasta dishes did sound delicious though, and the bowls looked enormous, so I’m sure I’ll be going back to try them soon. As a big fan of Zizzi’s vegan pizza, it was good to be able to have something to compare it to. This pizza comes with your choice of three toppings, and even that took a little while for me to decide on, as they all would’ve been amazing, but in the end I went for artichokes, aubergine, and mushrooms. When the pizza arrived, I have to say I would have preferred more vegan cheese as it was a little sparse on that front, but they were generous with the vegetable toppings – more so than the times I’ve had pizza at Zizzi, I think. The pizza was delicious and just the right size, leaving me with enough room to order a pudding.
Ask offer a couple of flavours of sorbet, surprise surprise, but more importantly and fairly new to their dessert menu, which I’d been dying to try out, they offer a vegan blood orange and chocolate tart. It was served with a scoop of raspberry sorbet, and this I could actually get on board with, because it cut through the incredibly rich dark chocolate so was a nice refreshing addition to the dish. I properly enjoyed this dessert, it was really tasty, but I did question where the orange was, I certainly couldn’t find it. Regardless, this was basically a slab of what tasted like brownie mix, gooey and chocolatey and delicious. The base was made out of nuts and dates, a typical raw vegan pie base combination, but it tasted very different from other raw desserts I’ve had, as there’s no way you could attempt to pass this off as healthy. I don’t know what they made the chocolate out of but I’d love to find out, I’m sure you could convince anyone that this was the dairy-filled alternative they’re used to. After polishing this off I was comfortably full and thanking myself that I hadn’t ordered a starter too as that would definitely have pushed me over the edge. Maybe next time!
If you have an NUS card, you can get a massive 40% off your bill on Mondays and Tuesdays. If not, Ask were offering a deal on their website for 50% off main courses, and I’m pretty sure they have similar offers on every week if you are prepared to sign up to their newsletter. We got a main course and a pudding each, and our bill came to around £21, excluding drinks, which I thought was great value. The service was quick, but we weren’t rushed through our meal, despite the fact that the restaurant was full. It was a really nice chilled out evening meal, and once again made so much easier by the fact they have a vegan menu to choose from and cater well for different dietary needs. I’d recommend coming here if you’ve got family visiting who all have different preferences, or for a decent value date night.