Hidden on a residential street at the non-Quarter end of Claremont is a little café that has the power to transport you to another place. Perhaps the black and white tiled floor in the main room will remind you of your Grandma's kitchen. The long enclosed verandah, walls lined with vintage magazine pages, harks back to a time when hair was 'set' and corsets were a necessary part of a woman's wardrobe.
However we preferred to sit outside, in the shady decked area. A white picket fence matched the recently painted tables, crops of brightly painted mushrooms sprouted out of the pot-plants. It's tropical meets whimsical, and the mushrooms are for sale ($40 for a set of five).
The leafy outdoor area, perfect on a summer morning
The menu at Domain changes seasonally. The spring menu has all your breakfast favourites such as big breakfast ($22), big vegetarian breakfast ($20), eggs Benedict ($20) and macadamia muesli which comes layered with yoghurt and strawberries ($12).
They have some more interesting offerings such as American style griddle cakes with maple syrup and bacon ($17) and scrambled eggs with pickled chilli and honeyed ham ($18). It turns out American styled griddle cakes are just pancakes, still, they sound cool.
We ordered the field mushroom stuffed with spinach, sundried tomato and feta and topped with poached eggs ($18). This was a really tasty dish, although it really would have benefited from a piece of toast to sop all the egg and feta crumbles leftover at the end.
A number of dishes are available in kids serve size, which is a very welcome thing to see on a menu. When we visited, the vanilla pancakes, French toast and griddle cakes all came as kids serves for $10-$11 compared to the full price of $16-$17. They are still very decent serves.
There can be a bit of a wait for your food after you have ordered, even if they don't seem that busy. Still, it is a pleasant wait, unless you're starving. The staff are very friendly and there are no problems with making small changes to the dishes. Some chefs are very strict about not making changes to their dishes, but I found the staff at Domain to be very obliging.
One small issue was when a friend ordered a ham and cheese croissant – normally a very simple request – and when it arrived, after a bit of close inspection, prodding and sniffing, we decided it was silverside not ham. After questioning the staff it was confirmed that yes, it was indeed a silverside croissant.
Now, I'm no food critic, but I am pretty sure that cows don't belong in a croissant. As my friend said, it's a bit of a kitchen faux pas.
Rosemary and sea salt pizza with bacon and fried eggs
One of the other interesting dishes was the rosemary and sea salt pizza topped with crispy bacon and fried eggs ($18). I like my bacon soggy not crispy and the kitchen was happy to oblige. Apart from a super crispy base which made cutting it a bit of a challenge, this was a totally cool and tasty breakfast. There was a layer of tomato relish under the bacon, the eggs were perfect and it came with a dinky shot class of sweet chilli and mustard dipping sauce, which comes with a few of the dishes and is a real cracker.
The breakfast menu is available from 7am seven days a week until 11.30am (later on Sundays and public holidays) at which point the lunch menu kicks in. It is conveniently located if you're having your car serviced down the road or if you're after a pleasant meal in Claremont but are over the crowds at the Quarter.