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The Garden Cafe at The Dome
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The Garden Cafe at The Dome
14 George Street,
Edinburgh,
EH2 2PF
[View Map]
0131 624 8624
Mon-Sat 10am onwards

 

The Garden Café opens every year as summer hits the city.  The entrance is on Rose Street and you descend a few steps into a beautiful sunken garden lush with pretty plants and flowers.  I visited on a scorching day to sample this year's menu and the place was buzzing.

To start I chose  the traditional smoked salmon served with watercress, lemon and horseradish cream (£9.50) and my friend went for the starter portion of the classic Caesar salad with crispy bacon bits (£6.50). The Caesar salad is actually a favourite of mine so I didn't need to pinch any to know that the mix of plentiful vibrant green lettuce, salty parmesan and bacon was delicious. She did however, heartily agree. My salmon was rich and luscious, the peppery watercress a refreshing summery garnish and the simple bread and butter a perfect accompaniment. Portion sizes at The Dome are reliably gargantuan so you can be assured of value for money.

With this in mind and one eye on dessert we decided to share the spinach, ricotta, and chilli and garlic oil pizza (£10.50).  Fresh spinach, clusters of milk white ricotta, and a thin crispy base made for a delicious pizza that was still appropriate for a light summer lunch. We chose it above fig and Parma ham although I am sure I will return for this and I hear the gorgonzola and mushroom is equally good. As we ate and chatted we watched plates piled high with nachos, sandwiches and pastas sail past.

For dessert we agreed on the chocolate cheesecake with caramelised oranges and crème Anglaise. It was presented on a pretty blue glass plate dusted with icing sugar. The base was chocolaty, the filling a rich, satisfying mousse, the cream light and frothy.

We had a thoroughly enjoyable lunch and stayed much longer than planned. It is an unbeatable place to enjoy a summer afternoon.


Review written May 2010

REVIEW
THE GARDEN CAFE AT THE DOME

A taste of summer

WITH OR WITHOUT SUN, THE GARDEN CAFE AT THE DOME IS PERHAPS ONE OF THE BEST PLACES IN EDINBURGH FOR A LITTLE TASTE OF SUMMER.  OPEN FOR THE SEASON, THE CAFE ENTRANCE IS ON ROSE ST WHERE YOU DESCEND A FEW STEPS TO A VERY PRETTY AREA FULL OF LUSH GREENERY, BRIGHTLY COLOURED FLOWERS, TABLES WITH UMBRELLAS AND, IF NEEDED, GAS HEATERS.

The menu consists of crowd pleasers such as soups, pizzas, baked potatoes, sandwiches, salads, nachos and pastas; but don't let this deceive you, the quality of the food is very good and there are some very tempting versions  of these popular dishes. For example, imagine for a moment, smoked salmon and crayfish girasole (sunflower shaped ravioli), Strathdon Blue cheese salad with poached pears, honey and mustard dressing and caramelised pecans, a wedge of pork, cheese and pickle pie with salad, smooth chicken liver parfait with spicy cranberry dip and oatcakes. Feeling hungry?

Myself and my dining companion were and we both chose the soup of the day, watercress and potato, for starters ( £4.00).  I have had soup at The Dome before. It has always been good and today's was no exception. The simple, yet often neglected essentials of good stock and plenty of seasoning were both very much in evidence. The balance of potato and watercress was more or less equal and this resulted in a both satisfying and seasonal starter. The complimentary olive bread accompaniment was freshly baked, delicious and full of said olives.

Next up, who can resist a pizza? I went for goat's cheese, with roasted peppers, basil and pine nuts (£9.50) and my partner had pepperoni and red onion pizza (£8.50). Both were large, thin, crispy, with plenty of topping and were scrumptiously 'fired' at the edges. The Mediterranean flavours of my pizza combined well: juicy, fire-engine red peppers smothered in olive oil, tangy cheese, sharp fragrant basil and resinous pine nuts.  My partner shared a slice of her pizza and the onions were caramelized nicely and contrasted well with the spicy meat.

No room for dessert I am afraid (we should have shared that pizza!) but if the mood takes you, there are ice creams and sorbets, lemon tart, chocolate Bavarois, sticky toffee pud and apple pie.

Indulge, and enjoy your summer.

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