FOOD REVIEW: The Dish Detective investigates ASK, Fareham

Ask, West Street, Fareham
Ask, West Street, Fareham
Katherine Ryan

REVIEW: Katherine Ryan at the Portsmouth Guildhall

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‘Where are we going?’

‘Ask.’

‘I just did. Where are we going?’

‘Ask.’

‘Are you deaf, stupid or both? WHERE ARE WE GOING?’

‘We’re going to Ask.’

Mum was delighted by the puddings... They look like sculptures

‘Oh.’

My name is James, I’m two months old, and already I’ve worked out my parents are idiots.

(My real name’s not James, obviously; I know how this Dish Detective thing works. But I’m delighted to step in for the week).

So, we were out in Fareham for the day. I’ve not been to many town centres but Fareham is OK – in the pram I have a particular liking for the bumpy cobbled section of West Street, and on a hot day I’m quite partial to the air conditioning in Tesco.

Mum and dad seem to have differing views – mum looks delighted when we get there and disappears for an hour or so, and I just see my dad. We spend a lot of time moving around outside, and he looks more and more bored. But he perked up a bit when food was mentioned – don’t we all – and then there was a bit of daft conversation and then after a while we went inside.

The building was good; normally when we go inside places when I’m in the pram we bash into things, and I get jolted about. This time there were no crashes, and I even managed to doze off not long afterwards.

It wasn’t too hot and it wasn’t too cold, although I did need a blanket, but that’s OK. It was lunchtime, and I could hear other voices, but it wasn’t loud. From listening to my parents, apparently vouchers are the way to go. There are always online discounts for this place, which again made dad happy. My mum just seemed happy to be out.

They ordered a calzone carne piccante(£12.75), a turned-over pizza dad said had all the good stuff inside – pepperoni, fresh chillies, ham, and even more meat in a beef and pork ragu, plus mushrooms. He said he liked this type as everything stays moist inside and doesn’t dry in the oven.

I was lifted out of the pram for a while – I got hungry too – and it looked pretty big to me (but then again I’m only 11lbs).

My mum had a beef and gorgonzola pizza (£13.45). She clearly liked it, as she went quiet for a while. This is rare.

They also managed to put away garlic bread (£4.75) and a bowl of olives (£2.95). In fairness, I was up late that night because I’d been sleeping so much in the day and I didn’t see them eat again. All in all the bill was £38.08, and that includes almost £8 off with a voucher.

I liked it there. Like I said, there were no bumps when I went in and it wasn’t cramped. My pram fitted between tables and didn’t get in the way of anyone. While I was being breastfed the waiters came over and were friendly and welcoming, and I know that some places are less friendly than that. Also, the baby change room was one of the best I’ve been too – it was clean, and there was loads of space.

Mum and dad said that with the side doors open on a hot day it felt like we were on holiday (and Fareham, nice though it is, is definitely not a holiday; even I know that).

The final thing I remember is mum was delighted by the puddings and wants to go back. They look like sculptures. It was a warm day when we were there and she chose ice cream (£5.95), a bowl of three scoops of salted caramel, vanilla and hazelnut ice creams with chocolate-covered coffee beans and biscuits. They may be sleep-deprived and a bit frazzled, but I’ll give them this – my parents seem to make a decent choice when they eat out. I can’t wait to grow teeth...

RATINGS (out of five)

Food 4

Value 4

Ambience 4

Child-friendly 5

Tel: 01329 239210