The Silken Thomas
Located in the center of the heritage town of Kildare. Take exit 13 off the M7 motorway and follow the signs to the town centre. Chapter 16 is part of the Silken Thomas complex
On a recent excursion to the south, Brendan and I were in Kildare town looking for an early evening bite. We decided to try our luck at Chapter 16, and boy were we glad we did. A part of the Silken Thomas complex, which encompasses the Tigerlilly Nightclub and the Lord Edward B&B, and in the center of Kildare Town, Chapter 16 is a wonderfully modern Irish restaurant & steakhouse, and a perfect place to start or finish an evening out. Inside, the polished wood flooring and tables, coupled with the light, mooted tones of the surrounding décor, make for an impressive, but unpretentious, contemporary feel.
There was plenty to choose from on the starter selection, and a little bit of something for everyone, with dishes like a Cajun chicken Caesar salad with Cajun spiced crispy chicken, bacon lardons, croutons, baby gem, aged parmesan and a house Caesar dressing; garlic mushrooms with a garlic aioli and mixed leaves; as well as their Silken hot n’ spicy chicken wings. Always a fan of a proper prawn, I went for their crisp panko prawns in tasty panko breadcrumb with a salsa of sweetcorn, chilli, coriander, spring onion and tomato, whilst himself had the potted crab dressed with a citrus and chive mayo, avocado mousse and served with toasted bread.
There were some great sounding fishy mains, like a pan fried fillet of seabass with sautéed baby leeks, mange tout & spinach, celeriac purée & red wine jus; or a crisp Crean’s beer battered cod fillet, mushy peas, fries & tartare sauce, but we were both in the mood for something meatier, like perhaps their crispy half roasted duck with stir fried vegetables, honey, soya & sesame dressing served with egg fried rice; or maybe a baked supreme of chicken on a bed of mushroom puree, bacon & parmesan bon bon, with roasted red onion and a red wine jus. Though I considered the Silken 8oz tower burger, which sounded great, on a brioche bun with lettuce, beef tomato, bacon, cheese and onion rings, in the end I just had to try their Irish blade of beef, a fantastic specimen slow cooked for 8 hours and served with parsnip puree, glazed parsnip, bacon potato fondant, roast onion and a mushroom foam. Brendan only had eyes for the steak menu, which had him entranced and practically salivating. He went for a 10oz prime Irish sirloin, cooked to perfection and accompanied by chips, stuffed tomato, French fried onions, sautéed mushrooms and his choice of garlic butter sauce. He absolutely loved it.
There were some great sounding desserts like homemade banoffi pie with fresh cream; sticky toffee pudding with a toffee sauce and vanilla ice-cream; or a traditional homemade tiramisu with a coffee sauce, but, I felt so well fed at that stage that ‘Death by Chocolate’ sounded too much like a promise, so I ordered an espresso, whilst Brendan happily managed his third course, homemade apple pie with fresh cream and custard which he thoroughly enjoyed.
Hungry no more, and really delighted with everything from the service to the serviettes, we took our leave, intent on returning soon.