The Keadeen Hotel is the oldest family run hotel in County Kildare, located in Newbridge and only a stone's throw away from the Curragh race course. It is a great location for a shopping trip with the girls to nearby Kildare Village, the perfect base for a day at the races or a romantic setting for a wedding. Set in 8 acres of beautifully manicured gardens and home to the Keadeen leisure centre and beauty rooms, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
The Club Bar & Bistro is a large open room divided in two by an open fireplace and bar. The setting is casual and welcoming with large windows opening out onto the terraces and gardens, and heavy drapes and comfortable seating which give a warm, cosy feeling.
It's the ideal spot for a business lunch, a casual bite from the all day menu, or a pre dinner aperatif. There is a very popular afternoon tea, and indeed we have found ourselves here several times on the way to The Curragh, getting in a spot of nice dining before the rigours or racing and betting.
The evening menu is served daily from 6-9pm with a selection of starters priced between €5.95 for their soup of the day to €10.95 for baked puff pastry parcel with mushroom & chicken in a white wine sauce. Other choices include honey & lime baked crispy chicken wings, baked Crottin of French soft goats cheese wrapped in Westphalian ham or a proper Caesar salad.
Main courses are divided between from the grill or the sea and a selection of other choces. The homemade 10oz Angus burger with all the trimmings is alweways good, and the steak is locally sourced and is very tasty with the brandy and rich pepper sauce. Seafood offers roasted Lough Duart salom in a soy glaze or pan fried market fresh cod, whille there is a daily fish special as well. There is also a good choice for both coeliacs and vegetarians which is nice to see.
We visited on a Thursday evening and there was a nice buzz in the bar with a mixture of corporate clients that you would expect to see during the week, and families with young children getting a short break in before Easter.
The wine list is short and to the point with four whites and the same of reds all available by the glass at €6.50 or €22.95 by the bottle with the French selection coming from the vineyards of George Duboeuf and the popular Kawin Sauvignon blanc or Cabernet Sauvignon as the Chilean choice. In addition you can order from the bar, and as designated driver I stuck to the sparkling water while my husband enjoyed a pint of Guinness and our daughter had a Coke.
When we were settled in and had order we were surprised with an amuse bouche of chicken veloute with white truffle oil; it was delicious and full of flavour, and a great taste of things to follow. The head chef is Kevin Curran previously of Hodson Bay, and his food is really very good.
I started with the pan fried white Irish crabmeat & savoury herb fishcake wrapped in leek, topped with a duo of crab claws with micro salad, with a red pepper & tomato sauce. the falvours were just right and in amonsgt all the crab falvour came through, while the claws were just more-ish.
Fred had the Keadeen's own Atlantic seafood chowder with a homemade Guinness bread, which was full of fish and very tasty, while daughter Keisha had the tomato soup with sourdough rolls. All the starters were well presented and you could tell the chef was particular about presentation as his attention to detail was noticeable.
To follow I opted for the deep fried plaice special; three generous fillets served with a house salad and chunky homemade chips while Keisha enjoyed an Indian style curry with savoury rice, mango chutney & crispy poppadum. Fred went with the special of half roast duck which was served upon a bed of stir fried vegetables and a mango, sweet soy and chilli salsa. All the dishes were delicious and very well executed, with generous, or even over generous portions throughout.
Dessert choices were tempting and good value at €5.95 each with a choice of Bailey's cheesecake, profiteroles or a medley of fresh fruit salad. We shared a cheeseckae while keisha was happy with a homemade vanilla ice cream.
All in all we had a lovely evening and the Keadeen is a lovely place to visit. There are other dining options as well; Saturday night in the Derby Restaurant is a far more formal affair and for that special occasion it's definitely a good choice, while there are also evening bar specials which change frequently depending on the season.