Wednesday, 20 May 2009

RESTAURANT REVIEW: Garden Cafe at the Dome

Hidden Charm
May 2009

We, as dwellers of this fine city on the sea, cannot deny that when our old friend, the sun, decides to show its face occasionally, we chase and we celebrate it. Today, not only has my favourite acquaintance made itself known, but it is actually warm. This is, in my eyes, the first (and possibly the only) day of Spring so it is fortunate I've planned to lunch in the outdoor Garden Café situated at the Dome's back door.

With the entrance just off Rose Street, shoppers, lunch-breakers and sun-seekers occupy the sweet garden furniture interspersed with potted flowers, plants and trees. Accordion music plays and baskets of lemons, oranges and limes hang from the outer walls of The Dome. In this storybook scene I am armed with a book, a pair of sunglasses and a glass of that immortal springtime nectar - pinot grigio (delle Venezie £4.50).

The abundant and attentive staff swiftly bring a starter of chicken liver parfait (4.50). It is too much food for me personally but it is delicious. The texture is almost like mousse with the flavour flirting with richness but never overpowering. It spreads easily onto some tasty Scottish oatcakes, though the red onion chutney that accompanies isn't as exciting as I had hoped.
A salad is definitely in order on this sunny afternoon so I try a new addition to their menu - the warm and spicy Mexican chicken salad (£12.00). I am brought a seemingly endless bowl of marinated chicken breast over lettuce with guacamole, sour cream and jalapenos. It is simple yet something I've not had before and very refreshing. Again, a lot of food, however a lot of very good food!

Dessert is considered but I couldn't dare! The temptations include a lemon tart with white chocolate sauce, The Dome Scottish cranachan, The Dome apple pie with vanilla ice cream, Scottish cheeses and a selection of Italian ice creams and sorbets (£4.50-£7.50) - all great reasons to return soon while there's still a chance they will cool us off from that fickle sun.

Also published here in Bite Magazine.

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