Dome Café: Good Food, Great Coffee!
Reviewed by : Stephanie Lim. Other Foodadvisor Writers?
Cafes in Singapore have certainly proven their worth of late by offering gastronomical delights that are as enticing as the brews they serve. A perfect example would be Dome Café which can found at various locations across the island. This one, located atop Dempsey Hill, certainly impresses with its laidback atmosphere and delicious menu, making it an ideal venue for lazy afternoons or evenings where you just need to wind down.
- The Vibe
The café is fronted by a small, but charming al fresco area. Even with the rain coming down on us on the day of our visit, spirits are not dampened and the sizeable crowd on a weekday afternoon was warm and lively. The interior is tastefully colonial with the use of dark timber and marbled tabletops, giving the place a warm and cozy feel. While the high ceilings certainly gives one the comfort of space, the large dining area gets rather noisy during peak hours and can certainly cause a little discomfort.
- The Food
It might prove to be a challenge deciding which items to order considering a rather sizeable selection of salads, pizzas, pastas, sides, drinks and desserts. While the selection of mains is rather limited, the variety provided by the rest of the menu is certainly remarkable.
To start you off, why not try a ubiquitous salad but with a definite twist? The Mango Chicken Salad ($12.90) is light enough to be a guilt-free mid-afternoon snack and tangy enough to whet your appetite for a full meal. Roast chicken and fresh mango atop fresh greens are drizzled liberally with a sweet Thai chilli dressing, resulting in an amalgamation of flavours that is really quite pleasant. Another dish perfect for sharing would be Wing Zing ($8.00), comprising of six pieces of fried chicken wings served with a small salad and sweet Thai chilli sauce. If you like your chicken wings spicy, you might be a little disappointed as the spice is rather subtle. However, the wings are surprisingly tender and not oily like those found in most establishments.
For something more substantial, try one of their famed Gourmet Pies ($12.90), available in two different fillings. While the fillings are due to be changed very soon, if the seafood cream sauce we sampled is anything to go by, the pies are indeed worth a try. As a top-crust pie, with its pastry cover baked over a bowl of savoury filling, the dish is not too filling and provides a nice balance with a generous side of salad. The Pepperoni Calzone ($11.00) on the other hand, is a little heavier in terms of flavour and portion. With pepperoni, mushrooms, onions and cheese baked into a half-moon pizza; what results is something reminiscent of the local curry puff, albeit much larger in size. The pizza base is noticeably chewier than usual pizza, but it goes with the tangy tomato-based sauce quite well.
Coffee is definitely the highlight of the Dome experience and no visit is complete without them. While there are options available for hot brews and iced creations, the selection is quite limited for a coffee place. Nevertheless, the Café Latte ($4.60) and Flat White ($4.30) will please coffee fans. If you need a cool drink on a warm day, the Iced Mocha with Gelato ($5.60) has received rave reviews. Patrons indifferent to caffeine need not fret as they also serve smoothies, juices, beers and teas. Fans of the pulp must try the Lime with Aloe Vera ($4.50), especially on a warm day. While the lime drink was a little sharp, it was complemented well by large chunks of sweet and crunchy aloe vera pulp.
- The Service
The service is passable by café standards, but we were certainly impressed by the staff's attentiveness and pleasant service.
The SD Food Advisor's take on Dome Café
For a place that is essentially more focused on its coffee and drinks, Dome Café certainly provides decent chow at reasonable prices. There are, of course, gems of a find such as the perky Mango Chicken Salad or the Lime with Aloe Vera. While many items are common to those found in most cafes, one can be assured that Dome certainly pulls a twist on the ordinary, turning it into something quite extraordinary indeed. The café is set to revise its menu in December 2007, so diners can certainly look forward to interesting creations like a Barley Cream Chicken Pie. One must definitely look beyond the coffee and desserts to discover the regrettably less illustrious side of Dome Café.