Rhodes @ The Dome Restaurant on Plymouth Hoe
My husband (Steve) and I have a have a small Internet business silver2treasure.com and every year we go out for a firm’s Christmas meal, except it is never usually around Christmas time and we went out for lunch for last year’s meal (2012) yesterday 27th February 2013.
I decided to book a table at the newly opened Rhodes @ The Dome, on Plymouth Hoe which is an iconic building which was originally built and used as a little museum showing the history of Plymouth and of course our famous Son Sir Francis Drake. The view from here is quite spectacular with a panoramic view over Plymouth Sound, and to be honest, you would be hard pressed to find views as stunning as this anywhere.
However over the last few years this building has laid empty until Gary Rhodes decided to turn it to a restaurant. As with most celebrity chef restaurants, it is only in name and Gary does not actually work here, but he oversaw the transformation and set up the menus and will continue to oversee forthcoming menus. You can stop in just for coffee and lite bites in the bar area taking in the stunning views or venture into the large restaurant area to have either lunch or an evening meal. It will also be a venue that you can book for Weddings.
I booked our table using their online system and was very impressed how easy it was, and the confirmation email was received immediately and a courtesy email on the actual day. It was very smooth and very professional.
Steve and I arrived a little early, so sat in the bar area and had a drink before we went through to the restaurant. All the staff were in very smart uniforms and the whole place was obviously very chic and clean. We were shown to our table which had wonderful views and we were waited on by very attentive waitresses. We could choose from either an A la Carte Menu or a set menu (3 courses for £17.00).
First impression of the menu was quite good and very good prices, although me being a non fish eater, there was quite a lot of fish (which I suppose is only natural as Plymouth being a fishing port) and being surrounded by the sea. Even a pork dish included prawns, which I have to say was not needed, and that therefore ruled out another dish for me. No doubt they would have omitted the prawns if I had asked, but to me they should not have been included in the first place.
For starters both Steve and I chose the Duck Liver Parfait which was served on a wooden board with a little glass preserve jar of grape chutney and bakers breads. It was very nice, although a bit too much parfait for the amount of bread.
For main Steve chose Parma Ham wrapped Roast Haddock (he likes fish) with sage butter and celeriac and sweet honey mustard dressing and was served on the plate with a small spoonful of spinach. He said it was very good.
I chose the West Country Braised Lamb Squab Pie (which apparantly is a Devon dish, and although I am Devon born and bred I did not know this) served with clotted cream, yes, clotted cream. When I read this on the menu I actually queried it with the waitress as I thought it was mistake, but she assured me as the pie is quite sweet, the clotted cream goes really well if you put the cream through the hole in the pastry top so it melts and oozes out into the gravy in the pie. I did have reservations, and I have to say that it definitely did not work, and clotted cream is far too rich to go into a savoury gravy. I thought it was quite awful so left it. I do love clotted cream on most puddings, but definitely not with a savoury main dish.
Also with our main plates we had a very small dish of seasonal vegetables, consisting of 2 chunks of carrots each, 2 halves of a new pototo each and about 4 runner beans each. This however was ideal for lunch, but I would suggest that you order extra side dishes if you were eating here for dinner as it was a bit sparse.
For pudding, Steve chose the Tiramisu Bockerglory, which came in a lovely shape glass and did look very nice, but he did say it was quite runny and it was not that good. I ordered the cheese with breads, biscuits, apple, celery and grapes, which was very nice and again served on an attractive wooden board.
We finished off with a cappuccino coffee for me and Steve had a French liqueur coffee (I did the driving) and both came with lovely and very tasty petit fors.
There was a nice gap between courses and we did not feel rushed at all, and on the whole we did enjoy it, but I think that the view played a very big part, particularly when we saw a dolphin playing with three boats that were in the Sound.
A couple of little minor points, it had very shiny wooden floors throughout, which was a bit difficult to walk on in heeled shoes and the background music was a little bit too loud, although it was stopped halfway through.
Would we go back, yes I think we would, the food was mostly very good, and reasonably priced, although it would be bumped up a bit if you ordered extra side dishes, but not excessive, and the view is to die for!!
Rhodes @ The Dome Restaurant on Plymouth Hoe