Elegant old-fashioned Chinese charm with spectacular seafood offerings.
With its paper lanterns, uniformed staff and large Chinese murals on the wall, Kweilin is the dignified elder statesman of the Chinese dining scene in Edinburgh, a brief it fulfils in its cooking as well as its aesthetic. A comprehensive and unapologetically traditional menu offers everything you’d expect in a British Chinese restaurant – chow mein, clay pots, sweet and sour, with the restaurant calling attention to its seafood as a speciality. And so it is: scallops with cashew nuts in a crisp noodle nest are lovingly braised, steamed sea bass gloriously melting to taste and prawn dumplings with lightly glutinous wrapping hugging delectable prawn. If fruits of the sea don't tempt you, vegetarian spring rolls are crisp, light and boast delicately fresh veg. Cantonese roast duck is a particular standout: charred and crunchy skin encasing tenderly perfect flesh. There’s nothing revolutionary on offer, and prices aren’t thrifty, but the quality is uniformly terrific, and you’re handed a steaming hot face towel at meal’s end: sometimes old fashioned customs can’t be beat.
- High point: Those seafood specialities
- Low point: It's old-school Chinese, for better or worse
- Notable dish: Eight treasure duck (roast duck with prawn, meats and vegetable)
- Private dining: Up to 22 covers
- Provides: Vegetarian options (at least ¼ main courses), Gluten-free options, Children's portions, Children's high chairs
- Music on stereo: None playing
- Live entertainment: n/a
- Capacity: 90
- Largest group: 90
- Open since: 1984
- Number of wines sold by the glass: 2
- House wine: £15.90 per bottle