When you think of The Dome, what comes to mind? Opulence, grandeur, sophistication and Christmas might be some. Those were the ones that came to my mind before we went for lunch one Sunday. Now, the only word that comes to mind is overrated.
There’s no denying the setting is still all of those things. They seem to, however, just be resting on those laurels as they know they’ll always get customers because it’s The Dome.
The menu is classic British & European and with top end price tags you’d expect perfection.
They only offer their menu, there aren’t any specials on offer – our waiter said ‘there were some last week but…’ and they don’t offer Sunday lunch options.
Now I know a Caprese Salad was never going to set the world on fire, but it is one of my favourite dishes when done right and when it’s £9.00 I’d certainly like them to try. I literally could have gone to Tesco and knocked this up for a third of the price. They say the devil is in the detail and not coring a tomato when slicing it for a salad seems indolent.
My boyfriend went for the pan fried pigeon (£8.00, how is it cheaper than some mozzarella pearls and sliced tomatoes) which tasted nice but was overcooked.
For our mains, I went for the lamb rump with crushed potatoes, green beans and pea and mint pesto. The potatoes were soggy and sadly the piece of meat I was served was very fatty so some of it was inedible. I love coriander so my plate being topped with it was welcome but it was an odd combination alongside a traditional lamb jus and classic peas and mint (and pine nuts?!).
At £23.00 a plate, I did expect the meat to be of good quality. I commented to the waiter, when he came to clear our plates as they didn’t do a check back while we were eating, that it was very fatty. We then got a visit from the floor manager, I assume, who came to ask how things were. I explained that I had mentioned to the waiter that the lamb was very fatty. He said quite bluntly that I should have sent it back. I know that everyone’s opinion on this matter varies but my personal opinion, and in the interest of this blog, I take the plate I am served and I eat it. It is not my job as a consumer to “check” the chef’s ability to cook something. It’s not my job as a customer to “test” a piece of meat to see if it’s fatty and inedible and send it back, to sit and wait empty plated while my dining partner(s) finish their meals, to be served a new one and then eat that one on my own. Particularly when the price point is at the top end, I expect the chef(s) to be know their ingredients and be able to cook them, first time around. Furthermore, as a blogger I take what I find and I write my experience as I find it. It’s what makes my blog my blog and I report my findings honestly.
My boyfriend went for the steak and fries with peppercorn sauce. It didn’t set the world on fire either but he was content enough with it.
I always think the sign of a good restaurant is when the waiting staff “flit” around you – where they’re always there but never there. Not so with the Dome staff who made avoiding eye contact a sport and seemed to stomp past. It certainly wasn’t as slick as I thought it would be. Oh and that’s before the waiter poured water on my phone. By this point, we weren’t even disappointed anymore, just bemused.
The Dome has been around for decades and probably will be around for a few more; it’s something of an institution in Edinburgh but I’d only recommend people go there for the cocktails (which incidentally I couldn’t try) and at £71.00 for lunch, it was a pretty punchy bill for an average meal.
Comparably, Miller & Carter where we had a meal for four was £130 including drinks and far more enjoyable.