As I’m not a coffee drinker – can’t stand the flavour in any food or drink – I never really consider Dome Café as a desirable destination (though from what I’ve heard, many coffee connoisseurs don’t either). So when my friend Chris suggested a catchup at the Canning Vale one, I wasn’t expecting much in the way of satisfying refreshments, but vaguely thought I might grab a milkshake or piece of cake while I was there.
The Canning Vale branch of Dome looks pretty new; it’s situated amongst a sea of up-and-coming housing estates, in one of those homemaker-centre style shopping areas where you find big stores like The Good Guys and JB Hi-Fi. Dome’s seating area is big – they’re catering for crowds – and it was certainly busy on a Sunday afternoon, possibly due to the apparent lack of other food or coffee outlets in the area.
So, with my Lacteeze tabs at the ready, I browsed the menu and decided on the Fluffy Koala Espreski: a non-coffee mix of blended Caramello Koalas, milk, ice cream and I assume some chocolate syrup. Just in case this didn’t involve enough sugar or chocolate, I found something on the separate winter menu which was promisingly titled ‘Triple Temptation’, described as a chocolate brownie topped with rocky road. Tick. Chris seemed to have similar sucrose goals in mind, choosing the Squashed Frog Espreski and a large slab of fudge cake.
The line to the counter was actually out the door and it looked like only one person was taking orders. Not good. I know there are many reasons restaurants can be short-staffed but it still irks me when customers are kept waiting for ages. Maybe there was only one till, in which case there should have been two. Bad planning either way.
A short time after ordering, the two Espreskis arrived and whoa, they were good. I don’t know if it’s my lack of experience talking – my last shake was in October 2009, and before that, probably my teens – but my Fluffy Koala was amazing. It had tiny chunks of chocolate through it and a really thick texture. I didn’t touch the cream on top, though, as I felt it could take away from the milkshakey taste.
The Triple Temptation was similarly delicious. It didn’t taste home-made – you know how you can sense mass manufacture? – but that was overshadowed by the rich taste of the melty rocky road and warm chocolate sauce oozing over the brownie. Well-played, Dome.
The brownie was served with massive sides of cream and ice cream, which was appreciated but totally unnecessary. I scooped off a bit of ice cream to eat with the brownie and left the cream untouched.
Even for a chocolate addict like me, consuming the brownie, ice cream and milkshake felt very naughty – maybe because I never eat that much dairy in one sitting. But cue plug for Lacteeze: it’s now four hours later and I do not feel queasy nor look seven months pregnant. It amazes me that Lacteeze is not front-and-centre in chemists (instead the shop assistant and I usually do an Easter-egg style hunt amongst the aisles) especially as so many people are lactose-intolerant. I picked up a bottle of 100 tablets last week. Bring on the ice cream, baby.
I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised at Dome’s offering today – the shake and brownie were both delicious. I won’t be going out of my way to visit Dome when there are so many quality independently-owned coffee shops and patisseries around, but when I find myself there with a group, at least I know there’s something non-coffee-related for me to enjoy.