Please note: The Dominion have improved their service significantly since this blog was posted. The updated review can be read here.
I recently found out that I have type-1 diabetes, which has somewhat limited my career as a corporate food blogger. I went on a zero-sugar, low-GI, low-carb diet for a few weeks while I waited to start injecting insulin, which basically limited my choices to non-root vegetables and meat. With no insulin, and no food at home I took the opportunity to venture down to The Dominion for Wednesday Steak Night to get my fix of meat and veg.
Like most steak meals, The Dominion serves the their cuts of beef with a side of potato mash – a starchy vegetable that turns to sugar fairly rapidly. I’ve never been a fussy eater, but my insulin-less state meant I couldn’t stomach the mash. Luckily, the price for a side of potato mash was similar to the price for a side of vegetables, so I expected the kitchen to be able to perform a simple swap to accommodate my new diet.
But I was met with resistance and engaged in my first major food-related battle. The waiter had to get the manager, who then told me this was not possible because the chef couldn’t do it. Naturally, I questioned the chef’s inability to exchange potato with vegetables. The manager then had to go and discuss with the chef before coming back saying the chef was going to make me pay extra for the vegetables…but he was going to do me a ‘favour’ and only charge me $3 extra…how generous…
At this point, the conference around our table with the waiter and manager had created a huge scene. I was just keen to eat, so I agreed to the manager’s stingy offer.
Turns out the chef was as incompetent as he sounded. What was supposed to be a medium-rare steak was medium, overcooked, chewy and bland. The vegetables were quite nice, but the whole ordeal had made them hard to enjoy.
The Dominion is just another stock-standard DB pub and is hardly a welcoming environment. The interior lacks character and is just as bad as its grey, lifeless exterior. The poor service doesn’t help either. Consider it for a lunch option when you’ve run out of other options.
The cost was reasonable, $15 for a steak meal – the Wednesday special. But I ended up having to pay $18 because of my request.
When it comes to The Dominion, you get what you pay for. Consider it for a pub quiz or a place to get rowdy, but their customer service and food quality needs work if it’s to be taken seriously as a gastro-pub.
Overall rating: 3/10
- Location: 5
- Value: 5
- Service: 1
- Quality: 4
- Environment: 3
- X-Factor: 0
The Dominion, 234 Dominion Road, Mt Eden