Monday, 13 February 2012


Two blogs about steak in a row and, with the week ahead I’ve got, there will be more.  Granted it’s taken me a while to get round to writing up my review on Kyloe, but it’s not just because I’m spectacularly lazy (which I am) or that work has rather rudely been taking up too much of my spare time (which it has).  It’s because I’ve been seriously mulling over why I didn’t like it very much while it’s getting quite good reviews elsewhere.   

It was not the steak abomination of Gusto - the steak at Kyloe was good.  But was it the best steak in Edinburgh?  And was it a gourmet steak - whatever the hell that really means?  And there’s the kicker - no.

Let’s go back to the beginning.  Kyloe opened screaming it’s own praise, and to be fair it had me interested.  Steak is my kind of food, but it is hard to eat steak out and 
1. be confident of it’s origins and credentials, and 
2. for it to be cooked well.   

To see bavette, onglet and feather steak on the menu (albeit all in one dish) started to get me a little bit excited.  Maybe this was a place that knew it’s steak after all?  

The slightly kitch cow decor in Kyloe has been well covered elsewhere.  It didn't get me much excited, and anyway I was there for the steak.  The view did though remind me how utterly miserable Princes Street is at the moment.

Despite their name Kyloe don’t serve Highland beef, but their website does let us know that Hardiesmill are one of Kyloe’s main beef suppliers.  This is a good sign.  Hardiesmill supply pedigree grass-fed Aberdeen Angus and are highly rated, including by Mark Schatzker in his excellent book ‘Steak’.  Unfortunately they are not Kyloe’s only supplier, and so I don’t know that the steak I had that night was one of theirs.  I would have asked the waitress - as is suggested on the menu - but the fact that she couldn’t tell a rib-eye from a rump didn’t fill me with confidence.

Once I had the right steak in front of me, my rib-eye was good, with nice depth of beefy flavour, though it was cooked medium rather than medium-rare.  The 45 day aged rump was more disappointing on flavour, surprisingly tasting a bit watery, and again was overcooked medium-rare instead of rare.

Side dishes will really rack up the cost of your meal - we easily added £20 on to our bill for necessary sides.  Beef dripping chips come in at a hefty £4 and were fine but a bit underdone in the middle.  Other sides of creamed spinach and flat mushrooms were good but relatively small portions.  The onion rings though are a must and some of the best I've had. 

So, all in all, rather average.  I do wonder though how you qualify for the title of ‘steak restaurant’ let alone 'best steak restaurant'?  Steak comprises maybe half of the Kyloe menu at a push, and I’ve had better steaks in Edinburgh at restaurants that do and don’t choose to have steak in their title.  I think I would have been less annoyed with Kyloe if they hadn’t raised expectations with their own meaningless hype, which they definitely don’t live up to.  With another exciting steak restaruant opening this week, it may be time for them to reconsider.

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