Monday, 22 December 2014

#MakeItSpecial at Christmas with Ask Italian. Review & Giveaway

Having spent our last two summer holidays in Italy we are all big fans of Italian cuisine. As such it was a no brainer to take up the offer to visit the recently refurbished ASK Italian in Aberdeen's Union Square Shopping centre. We went en famille for an early dinner on the Saturday before Christmas. Foodie Loon, Boy and Girl had spent the afternoon Piping, Drumming and Bag Packing in the local supermarket so were in dire need of sustenance. I suspect the shoppers and colleagues were in dire need of earplugs.
My absolute top tipple when on holiday in Italy is an Aperol Spritz. Delighted to see it on the menu as many Italian chain restaurants for some reason don't serve this typically Italian aperitif. Loved the chunky glass that it arrived in but would have like to have had it authentically served with an orange slice and green olive. The Alternato glasses were also used as wine glasses and were available to buy. We spotted two sets being sold during our visit. Secretly hoping that some were bought for me when I was at the loo.
The refurbished restaurant looked great and was also bedecked with stylish Christmas decorations. We particularly liked the utensil rails with foodie girl loving the rotary egg beaters. The atmosphere was buzzing and there never seemed to be an empty table. Service was fast, friendly, knowledgeable and unobtrusive. Time to peruse the menu and make our choices.
Antipasto, Arancini and Panzerottini were chosen form the standard menu and were all delicious. Girl discovered that her cheese doughballs were actually cheese and chilli, she should learn to read the menu better but she finished them regardless and promptly ordered a glass of milk to cool her mouth. I ordered Zuppa Di Aragosta from the Christmas Menu. It was fantastic. Lobster soup made with brandy and champagne. Totally up my street.
Pizza all round when we came to mains. Again I opted for a Christmas Special with a Prima Pizza Bianco Natale. I love a white based pizza and this one was festively adorned with Luganica sausage, mixed mushrooms, spinach, chestnuts, Fontal cheese and dollops of crème fraîche. A great combination of flavours. I'd have loved to have seen it Christmassed up a wee bit more with the addition of some cranberry sauce for a touch of sweetness. Girl aged 10 is at the difficult stage of being somewhat in between a Child's Menu and an Adult one. She perused both but opted to go large and made a very good attempt at finishing the whole of her Pizza Pollo e prosciutto. Strombolini with added Chillis and Calzone con carne piccante were our final two choices. All tasted great but not sure about the 'smiley face' salad presentation with the Calzone. 
Iced glasses for all drinks was a fab touch. I'm not sure if my Peroni even touched the sides. Nothing beats an ice cold beer. I should point out that the pathetic pouring was mine not a member of restaurant staff! We were all pretty much stuffed after starters and mains so bar Girl who had Mango Sorbet we all skipped desert in favour of hot drinks. Cappuccino and a festive Hot Chocolate Orange. 
The total bill for our meal came in at £105 for 4 starters, 4 mains, 2 alcoholic drinks, 6 soft drinks, 1 desert and 3 hot drinks. We thoroughly enjoyed our meal and the whole ASK Italian #MakeItSpecial experience. It was a great opportunity to spend time as a family before the onslaught of Christmas week. As we were too full for desert I'll share with you one of my own Italian influenced festive pudding recipes.
Pannetone and Ginger Bread and Butter Pudding

500g Panettone
Butter
Spiced Ginger Preserve
200ml milk
150ml single cream
50g Caster sugar
3 eggs
Freshly grated nutmeg

Slice the Panettone horizontally and spread bread generously with butter and spiced ginger preserve. 
Cut each slice into quarters and lay upright in an ovenproof dish.
Whisk together the milk, cream, sugar and eggs and pour over bread.
Top with nutmeg.
Bake for 30-40 minutes at 180 degrees.

Ask Italian have provided a £50 voucher as a giveaway for readers of Foodie Quine so you can have your own #MakeItSpecial experience. Entry is via the Rafflecopter widget below. 


To enter, let me know in a comment "What's your favourite Italian Dish?" For additional bonus entries you can follow me and Ask Italian on our social media accounts and tweet about the #MakeItSpecial Giveaway. Closing date is 05/01/15 Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure - ASK Italian commissioned and compensated me for my time in creating this post. All views expressed are my own.

528 comments :

  1. Carbonara is fab x

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  2. lasagna, my weakness!! I make an awesome one myself :)

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  3. Carbonara

    Hazel Rea - @beachrambler

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  4. Any kind of pizza

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  5. Vege Calzone. Can't get enough of it! Merry Christmas

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  6. Lobster and Prawn pizza - yum!!!

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  7. The best Italian food has got to be a pizza with fresh buffalo mozzarella!

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  8. Pizza with anchovies & garlic.

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  9. pasta arabbiata

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  10. Pasta arrabiata

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  11. Genovese Pesto and Gnocchi

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  12. pasta with chorizo and mushrooms and peppers

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  13. Such a hard one, Italian food is my favourite by far! But I think pizza wins it, mmmmm x

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  14. Lasagne, spag bol, pizza and carbonara - can't decide between them!

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  15. Mmmm, pasta. Bolognese or with meatballs.

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  16. Any pasta is a winner for me

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  17. I love lasagne.My absolutely favourite meals are anything to do with pasta.I really like spaghetti bolognaise too.

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  18. any pasta or risotto dish yum

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  19. i love meatballs and spaghetti :)

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  20. Lasagne, don't eat much Italian

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  21. spaghetti with prawns - delicious!

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  22. spaghetti bolognese always has since a little girl and is also my 2 year old daughters fave too!

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  23. Tournedos Rossini - just love it.

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  24. Pizza! Although, it is very hard choosing just one!

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  25. Spagetti with Scampi and baby tomatoes and asparagus

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  26. Always homemade pizza with a chilli sauce base, delicious xx

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  27. Gelato - all flavours and in large quantities!

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  28. Pasta and Meatballs with a nice garlic bread on the side...perfect

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  29. Spaghetti Bolognaise and home made pasta! Would love to considered Many Thanks and Merry Christmas x

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  30. Virgin olive oil soaked Ciabatta

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  31. Pizza (@bexallum)

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  32. pasta with meatballs in tomato sauce

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  33. Cannelloni... Love trying different fillings

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  34. Pizza with extra cheese and chorizo - yum!

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  35. A proper Italian style Spaghetti Ragu :)

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  36. I love to pick and choose so an antipasti board with meats, olives and cheeses would be great for me!

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  37. spaghetti carbonara with a crusty baked parmesan topping

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  38. I can recall a local Italian restaurant (which unfortunately is no more) which served a delicious Seafood Risotto. Italian food is delicious, pasta and ice-cream etc being most popular with most including myself. I recall being in Rimini, Italy and being served a white bean soup, delicious. Ice cream sundaes at outdoors cafe Wonderful, great selection, good sized portion and well presented / prepared. Italian food :- Just Wonderful!

    Rachel Craig

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  39. I love all italian food but my favourite has got to be pizza! :) xx

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  40. florentina pizza :)

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  41. Mine is pizza, thanks for the lovely giveaway.

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  42. Linguine al Pesce di Mare

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  43. I love a good lasagne, but also go crazy for a Marco Polo pizza...yum!

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  44. hello there fab blog !
    our fave is Zucchini Lasagna :) x

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  45. has to be pizza, tuna, prawn and sweetcorn to be precise!

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  46. Pizza!
    Helen booth

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  47. I love proper homemade italian pizza

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  48. Anything hot, spicy and vegetarian is good for me.

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  49. Proper cannelloni stuffed with ricotta

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  50. I love a good meaty stuffed calzone.

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  51. Hawaiian Pizza

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  52. Calzone Pizza... with Anchovies!

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  53. Pam Francis Gregory29 December 2014 at 13:58

    Pizza

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  54. Pasta salad
    (Spencer Broadley)

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  55. Italian Baccalà (Salt Cod)

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  56. Anything pasta. I even make my own.

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  57. Pasta with a creamy sauce.

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  58. Scaloppini alla milanese with spaghetti

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  59. I'm obsessed with Italian food! I love pizza but my favourite dish is probably pasta e broccoli!

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  60. Gnocchi with bolognese sauce 😃😃 but I love ALL Italian food

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  61. Isabell Whitenstall29 December 2014 at 21:02

    Pizza, any type

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  62. A tough one! Probably bruschetta. EJ Dunn

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  63. Nothing fancy. Just a spicy pepperoni pizza brings me great comfort and joy

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