The East Garden Chinese Restaurant is over the pharmacy on the hill in Kilcullen, Co. Kildare, and is one of the best Chinese restaurants in the county. The entrance into the restaurant is through a large reception area, which doubles as a waiting area for Take away customers.
Inside the restaurant is split over two levels, is subtly lit and low background music creates a relaxing atmosphere. There is a choice of round and square tables, depending on your party’s size and there are glass partitions dividing the tables giving a sense of space and privacy.
Two large bowls of prawn crackers and a jug of water were brought to the table as we were reading through a very extensive menu and wine list. The menu is divided between starters, soups and mains, and the influence is definitely Cantonese with a small Thai section to the rear of the menu.
Starters had all the usual suspects including butterfly king prawns with sweet & sour sauce, crispy aromatic duck served with pancakes, salad and ribs with a choice of sauces including bbq, honey, Peking and sweet & sour, or satay skewers made with either chicken or beef.
The main courses list all the Chinese favourites and a couple of European dishes. Under the chef’s specialities there were dishes such as salt and chilli shredded fillet of chicken or beef, pepper chicken, amber fire steak or king prawns with a garlicPekingsauce. Prices were very attractive, with starters from €3.00 to €14.00, while main courses ranged from €5.90 for a vegetable Chow Mein to €12.00 for a roast crispy duck with prawn stuffing.
The wine list is broken down by region with selections fromFrance,Italy,Spain,Germany,Australia,New ZealandandSouth Africa. The house wines are Chilean and prices run anywhere from €17.00 a bottle for the house wine to €31.00 for either a red or a white burgundy. We chose a bottle of Arniston Bay Sauvignon Blanc, a good South African option at €21.00.
To start we went with a selection of chicken satay, crab claws stuffed with prawn and a bowl ofPekinghot & sour soup. The Satay was good, bu the star here was the crab claws which we picked back to the shell.
We followed with salt & spicy shredded crispy fillet of chicken with noodles, spare ribs with curry sauce and a sizzling trio of chicken, king prawn and fillet of beef in satay sauce with fried rice. The shredded chicken was dry and spicy, and the sizzling trio was the business, good flavours, well balanced and a kick.
We skipped desserts and finished with tea and coffee. EastGardenis better than the usual Chinese fair, serving their food with style. The bill for 2 adults and a child was €93.00, perhaps a little on the dear side for a midweek dinner, but take the wine away and it’s more like €70, and EastGardenis a particularly good Chinese and for that we felt the price was justified.