By SeeFoon Chan-Koppen

I usually don’t expect good food at a club. A simple bowl of noodles or fried rice is about all I allow myself and with some luck it’s served in an air-conditioned environment.

When it comes to gourmet food, I usually look to the ‘fine dining’ establishments like Citrus or Indulgence. Recently, with a complete revamp of the menu under the expert guidance of Director Christian Bock, the Dome at Meru Golf Resort has undergone a total transformation, offering up some tantalising nosh that can hold its own at any of the gourmet restaurants in Ipoh and maybe even further afield.

For starters, the menu is now looking very posh with a floral bouquet on a lilac hardcover. But naturally the proof of the pudding is in the eating and it’s the menu items that count and of course the taste. And both do not disappoint.

In fact there are even some superlative surprises in store for me as I tasted a variety of the menu items on several visits. The Blossom Tuna Tataki which is Grilled Tuna loin drizzled with wasabi goma dressing served with tossed mesclun baby greens in passion fruit dressing is an offering straight from a gourmet menu. Not only did it look good on the plate but the taste was just right: pink in the centre and slightly charred around the edges encrusted with sesame seeds – RM19.

On another occasion I had a hankering for a small snack to go with my beer and the Crispy Anchovies with Cuttlefish and Mermaid, which is stir-fried anchovies, cuttlefish & mermaid (a curly type of anchovy) with cucumber in savoury Thai chilli absolutely sated my craving for something savoury, tangy and sour. This was heaven on a plate – RM16.

Soup Kambing Berempah, a local traditional Malay soup made with herbs, spices with potatoes, carrots and Dorper Lamb chunks was delectably fragrant, umami and cooked to perfection…..none of the watered down, overly curried versions that are prevalent in other places – RM13.50.

I have always loved the Chicken Wings at the Dome finding myself forever ordering a six-piece portion in addition to whatever else I may be having – RM17 for six pieces and RM28 for 12 pieces, but I have now found a yummilicious alternative to this ‘side’ dish in the Chicken Strips, deep fried battered chicken strips, served with coleslaw, French fries and lemon wedge served very attractively on a wooden board with the chips in a stainless steel basket, accompanied by a traditional barbecue sauce and another the chef’s special secret sauce – RM18. All these can be found on the menu under snacks.

There are two burgers worthy of rave at the Dome. These are firstly the Gourmet Wagyu Burger, a home-made Wagyu Beef patty seasoned with spices and herbs, accompanied with turkey bacon, vegetables and topped with a slice of cheddar cheese. Served with truffle fries and a side of coleslaw – RM31.

The second, the Meru Dorper Lamb Burger is a home-made Dorper Lamb patty seasoned with spices & herbs, accompanied with turkey bacon, baby gherkins and vegetables, topped with a slice of cheddar cheese and served with truffle fries and a side of coleslaw – RM28.

Ask for either of these medium rare and you will have a juicy mouthful of one of the best hamburgers you’ve ever tasted.

Under Western cuisines, I had the pleasure of tasting their Oriental Cod Fish, pan-fried ocean fresh Pacific Cod in a soya reduction, accompanied by delicate baby French beans, baby pak choi, and seasonal Shimeji mushroom. Crispy on the outside, the soya reduction accentuating the umami taste and feel of the cod – RM41.

Their  Mediterranean Wagyu Oxtail Stew served with roasted potatoes and toasted cheesy gourmet bread was tender and sauced robustly. – RM35. And for a simple bite, their Fish & Chips, battered fish deep fried to a golden brown, accompanied with tartar sauce, coleslaw, French fries and a wedge of lemon at RM17 is a mouthful of crispy delight.

The menu at the Dome is extensive with dishes to suit all palates and pockets from the luxurious Wagyu Steak at RM118 for 180g to the simple Meru’s signature Prawn Mee with Meng prawn, fish cake, sliced chicken, beansprouts, kangkung and half a slice of hard boiled egg at RM10.50 and the Wat Tan Hor, wok-fried kway teow with sliced chicken, fish cake, prawns and vegetables in thick egg gravy – RM8.50.

There is now an interesting offer for families where a Set Menu A RM55 (for 4 to 5 pax) is on offer comprising Seafood Tom Yum Soup,  Sweet & Sour Fish, Chicken Curry, Egg Foo Yong,  Steamed Rice and a Set B RM45 (for 4 pax) consisting of Meru Fried Kway Teow, Singapore Fried Bihun, Fried Chicken Wing (4 pieces) and Samosas.

Now that the new menu is in place, I will certainly be dining more at the Dome than ever before. Weekend barbecues are another favourite where one can choose from a plethora of items and have Chef Desmond grill them for you to perfection. Chef Desmond who has been instrumental in creating the new menu with Director Chris has been working overtime to bring this new menu to fruition and deserves a pat on the back for a job well done.

Non members are welcome to the Dome as can be witnessed by the numbers of office workers from around the Meru/Jelapang area who now frequent the Dome at lunchtime, particularly on the 25th of each month as Meru is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year and a set menu is available for RM25 on that day from now until the end of the year.

Meru Valley Resort Berhad
DOME RESTAURANT
Jalan Bukit Meru, 30020 Jelapang.
Reservations:  05 529 3358
Business Hours:  Monday 11am-9pm
                           Tuesday-Friday 11am-10pm
Weekends & public holidays: 7am-11pm