Monday, 25 November 2013

Introduction & Dome, Perth Airport, Western Australia (Alissa and Don Eat Asia Day 1, Part 1)

As with all travelling stories in the de Souza family, it all starts with a coffee at Dome. Whenever any member of my family travels overseas we always make sure we’re at the airport with sufficient time for one last cup of coffee together, and in the ensuing years it’s become something of a family tradition. Not that the coffee at Dome is particularly special or there aren't any other options (albeit from Perth Airport’s very meager food and drink selection), but so entrenched is this familiar ritual that it just would not feel right to start a journey without it.

For most of these cups of coffee Dome was as far as I was going. This was my parents’ travelling story, and my role in the adventure ended with goodbyes at the departure gate. Sometimes I went with them too - in 2009 and 2011 I joined my parents on their then-biennial voyages to India. But this trip is different. For the first time it is my parents staying behind in Perth. For the first time this travelling story belongs to me – and my favourite dining partner.

Friday 25th October, 2011 was the last time I went through those departure gates, travelling with my parents for a food odyssey to Hong Kong, Mumbai, Udaipur, Munnar and Singapore. This was an exciting trip that I’d been looking forward to for months; however a part of me didn’t want to go. See, just 5 days before departure I’d met a girl. Or rather, it wasn’t that I met her (we’d been friends of friends), but that we’d started seeing each other. And I liked her, and felt immediately that I’d found someone truly special. With the bad timing of my departure we chatted online just about every night I was away, and though we’d only been on two dates beforehand I felt even then that I wished she had been there with me for all of it.

6 months later we were engaged, with November 23rd, 2013 being our wedding day. And now exactly 2 years after I left for my last overseas holiday, I’m correcting the wrong of that last trip by taking Alissa to all the cities I told her about every night I was overseas. With meals booked at 5 of San Pellegrino’s Top 50 Restaurants in Asia - 2 of which also boast 3 Michelin Stars – and 5 weeks of amazing meals planned it seems only fitting to open the Ministry of Gluttony with our first travelling story – Alissa and Don Eat Asia.

Alissa and I have talked about ratings for food. With food varying from 3 Star Michelin to a simple temple meal, how does one rate a meal on its own merits? Additionally, as people who enjoy eating we probably find most food is at least passable, therefore its probably more important to distinguish between varying levels of good. Rather than allocating a star rating of giving a score, we've come up with a rating system for our blog that we feel better reflects our experiences in a straightforward manner:

Poor - Food that is of an unacceptably low quality. Best avoided
Okay - Passable food of acceptable taste and quality. Not bad but not exactly 'good' food.
Good - Worth a try; a satisfying meal if not exactly mindblowing.
Very Good - Recommended food to eat if you are in the area; a satisfying meal +
Fxcellent - A very satisfying meal; food that you should eat if you are visiting this place.
Exceptional - The very best food of its class. Food and/or a food experience so good that you should make travel plans to eat here!

So with this in mind... back to Dome. Alissa and I ordered long macchiattos (a strong or double shot latte in correct terms) with Alissa eating a chicken wrap and a ham and cheese croissant for myself.

The coffee was okay. Not a bad or a particularly excellent coffee. It served its purpose of waking us up after getting out of bed for 3:15am. What wasn't so good though was the paper cup - I'm fairly certain that in the past we've been given proper cups at Dome, so someone made the unenvironmentally friendly decision to switch to disposable since our last trip. 

My croissant was not very good. The pastry had obviously been given the microwave reheat treatment and was lacking the crisp flakiness I associate with a good croissant. The filling was very poorly spaced out - so much so I basically ate half of my croissant before I even got to the ham and cheese, and then it felt as if they'd put way too much in this half as it seemed overly generous. I would have preferred a more evenly spread out filling, and I finished my meal wishing I had ordered something else, like Alissa's chicken wrap.

Alissa's order looked a lot more appetizing, and had clearly been seared in a sandwich toaster, making me wish mine had had a similar treatment. I had a bite and appreciated the well-seasoned chicken. Thankfully I hadn't taken a large enough bite to have noticed something Alissa later pointed out as a fault - as the wrap had been microwaved to reheat, the thickly sliced cucumber had become warm and semi-cooked with a weird texture. As someone who doesn't like thickly sliced cucumber, perhaps the ham and cheese croissant was not such a bad choice after all.

The Verdict: Okay
Its a family tradition, so we'll keep coming back. However, as the food is only of a passable standard I cannot exactly recommend it as a place of interest.


  1. Hey Don and Alissa ... great opening to your food/honeymoon travelling story. Love that Don started with his feelings on his last trip right after he and Alissa started dating. btw the thickly sliced warm cucumber thing really made me smile! xx Mum

  2. Your entry made this sentimental old fool all teary. I am glad that it was too soon after my first breakfast to order a second one there. You know how I feel about any lack of crisp flakiness in my croissant!!!
    I guess the important thing though is the sharing of quiet time before the whirl of the holiday kicks in. We were only too glad to return the favour of dropping you two off on your food adventure – especially as brand-new husband and wife.
    Eat well and enjoy every meal of this exciting journey. We look forward to the range of goodness ratings throughout - in preparation for our next travelling story.
    xx Dad