Alannadale Chinese restaurant is on the Main Street in Leixlip, over the Spar shop in the centre of the town. The entrance is off the street a little, and you reach the restaurant up a flight of stairs.
The dining room is pretty traditional, and the colour scheme mixes dark reds and blue, while the chairs are nicely upholstered and comfortable. The restaurant was fairly busy, even though we were eating early on a weekday evening, and since the tables are cleverly divided by panels, the result is a busy and buzzy atmosphere, that still gives a measure of privacy while dining.
Chinese restaurant have perhaps suffered a little in recent years; Thai food has taken over as the default choice for a lot of diners when it comes to Asian food, but good, well made Chinese food is still a treat. I much prefer to see shorter menus with some authentic Chinese dishes on it then the never ending list of every type of meat with every type of sauce, laboriously listed and lacking imagination, and it was just such a short menu that greeted us in Alannadale, and like a lot of Asian restaurants now, there were some Thai and Malaysian dishes on offer.
The starters list most of the favourites, but salt and pepper crab claws, Yuk Sung – minced meats wrapped in lettuce leaves and unusually enough, a prawn cocktail caught my eye. Main courses are listed by the type of sauce, and again you will find the usual suspects including black bean, sweet and sour and Szechuan and Thai curries. In amongst these there are also Beijing hot pots and some typically dry and spicy Singapore dishes.
We loved our starters of Shanghai ribs and beef fillet Yuk Sung. The ribs were especially good, almost sticky and spicy and caramel sweet at the same time. The lettuce wrapped beef was fresh and crispy and the meat was tender and well flavoured.
Main courses continued to impress; salt and pepper chicken was dry and spicy, and a chicken hot pot was a slow cooked pot of flavour that blew us away. Fluffy and light fried rice, and a portion of noodles made up our meal and we ate like kings.
We couldn’t finish everything, and dessert was out of the question, but we enjoyed a selection of dishes that were well made and delicately flavoured, but not afraid to let chilli do what is it is meant to do. Spicy when it needed to be, cooling when possible, it was well balanced and delicious.
Alannadale is one of the better Chinese restaurants I have eaten in, the food punches above the location, and the dining room is pretty. Good service and nice coffee capped it all. One to visit.
** They also do a take away and delivery service.