Thursday, 1 March 2012

Kyloe: Edinburgh's Gourmet Steak Restaurant

Last night I caught up with a friend for drinks, who (correctly) surmised that I would be feeling a bit down after my holiday.

We had a couple of pints and a bit of chat at The Outhouse, which I must say is a great little pub. Cool, without being pretentious. Cheap drinks. Indoor and outdoor seating.

Once reaching tipsy, I asked G if he was feeling peckish at all. I was craving steak. He said he'd be keen for a bite, and I suggested Kyloe, as I remember'd seeing a voucher in one of the freebie magazines around town. A quick Google check, and we discovered that they were doing 2 courses and a glass of wine for £20. We tried to reserve a table, but they said it wouldn't be required.

Now any restaurant that claims 'gourmet' or 'the best...' generally also claims that they can charge whatever they like for food and drink. And also we had no idea of what they 2 for £20 would entitle us to, but we cabbed up town and tried our luck.

The restaurant has a really interesting fusion of western bar and upper class dining. With cow hide as far as the eye can see. This, offset against lovely ambient lighting, views down Princes Street and up to the Castle and hints of stainless steel.

We were brought a loaf of piping hot bread, served with real butter and a lentil pate. The bread was divine, but the standout was the lentil. We inquired as to what was in it, because it's richness suggested that it must have a meat product in it. But no, in essence it was lentil, oil, salt and pepper. It was very, very tasty.
We asked the waitress if instead of getting the 2 glasses with our meal, if we could have a bottle subsidised, she said this wouldn't be a problem. And we ordered a bottle of the house red £15. As someone who drinks red once in a blue moon, I was really surprised at how easy to drink and delicately flavoured it was. G, who 'knows' reds was also impressed. We also ordered a bottle of still water £4 (I KNOW!)

The 2 for £20 menu was actually quite expansive, and offered anything off the standard starters menu. I chose the Steak Tartare. A dish I had wanted to try as long as I can remember, but really didn't want to waste the experience anywhere that I thought might let me down. And Kyloe certainly didn't. For those not in the know, steak tartare is in essence raw beef. And (anyone who has read any of my blog would know) I LOVE beef, I LOVE steak. This dish was simply heaven. I was served as a small turret, topped with an egg yolk. The combination of the beautiful, delicate raw steak, the sharpness of the capers, hints now and again of the sea salt flakes with rich creamy egg yolk, this dish was almost too much. I could have walked out after my starter, put my hand up, claimed best-meal-ever, and that would me that. 

G had ordered A board of Scottish Charcuterie, in essence a selection of cured meats. It looked delicious. It was served with bread, pickles and what we thought were olives, but were in fact the biggest caper-berries I had ever seen!

For main, we had both already decided steak, and to be honest, I didn't even look at the other items available for mains. We each ordered the Rump, mine rare, G's medium rare, and shared a selection of sides. As standard, the steak comes with a salad and shoe string fries. To this we added creamed spinach (a favourite of mine since my mum introduced me to it not so long ago), Beef dripping chips (um, YUM) and grilled mushrooms. As well as Red wine and blue cheese sauce.

We were content. Or so we thought, until we saw a mountain of the most perfect looking onion rings float past us to another table. So we ordered those too!

The steaks and endless sides came to our table in good time. Everything looked incredible. I dived straight into the onion rings, and they lived up to every expectation. The beef dripping chips were good, though nothing groundbreaking, they could have used just a bit more crunch for my liking, maybe a double fry.

The steaks themselves were divine, each cooked perfectly. The sides were perfect compliments to our meal (though I didn't really touch my shoestring fries). The sauce was very rich, but went really nicely with the meat. The spinach lived up to my mum's recipe. And well, when ISN'T the marriage between beef and mushrooms perfect? 

I really REALLY enjoyed our main!

As the waitress came to collect our plates, she looked impressed with our effort.

She offered us the dessert menu. As usual, completely not required, but accepted nonetheless.

She mentioned that the chocolate tart was wonderful, and G happily agreed to try. I ordered the banana creme brulee and an expresso martini.

Much to my dismay, the desserts were HUGE. But the brulee was perfect, warm and creamy with a solid crunchy top. G looked very happy with his dessert.

Overall, Kyloe provided an exceptional meal.

We asked for the bill, but realised, our 2 for £20 budget had been blown out of the water. I don't think the prices are ridiculously over the top, but I think next time, I will have to note the prices of each side (around £4 each), the sauce (£2 per serve) the water (£4), and of course the desserts and cocktails, but that was expected.

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