With a glamorous companion in tow, I went to Kyloe, the new restaurant and grill at The Rutland. Kyloe is an old Scots word for for highland cattle and it is obvious from the wood, leather and pony of the interior that this is a meat – specifically beef – focused restaurant. We were seated in a cozy booth, had a good look around the restaurant and read the menu. And what a menu. Kyloe isn’t just steak restaurant. It is a gourmet steak restaurant. This means that they offer cuts you don’t get anywhere else in Edinburgh. It also means that the staff is knowledgeable, have visited the main supplier Hardiesmill and tasted the cuts. Ask them questions and they will answer.
If you’ve read this blog before, you’ll know that my diet is mostly vegetarian: I live with a vegetarian. And I love vegetables, so it’s no hardship. Thing is, I also adore really good meat. A good steak, for example, matured and cooked just right (blue!) is a beautiful thing in its own right, not just as a vehicle for bearnaise sauce. Finding myself in a restaurant where the wine list has a section called Kyloe Steak Selection and lists wines particularly selected for how well they go with steak, was a rare pleasure.
We chose a wine called Chocolate Box. It’s a blend of three different grapes, one of which was Grenache, the bottle had a funky label and all that stuff is completely unimportant. The important thing was that the wine was lovely. Jammy on the nose and with a surprising amount of vanilla on the tongue. It set off my many different kinds of beef very well.
When I first read about Kyloe I heard that they had a steak board. This excited me greatly. One plate, different cuts of meat. How brilliant is that idea? Well, they don’t stop there. My starter was a Plate of Beef, four mini servings of delicious beef products: carpaccio with a gentle horseradish mousse, sweet cure beef, steak tartare with a quail’s egg yoke and pastrami, streaky with fat and rich in flavour. Each mouthful was delicious and well balanced.
My companion had a game terrine. Possibly the best game terrine that either of us have ever had. It was chunky with meat, crunchy with pistachios and smooth with the deliciously pink mousse that bound it all together. It was perfect. The beetroot chutney that came with was great and had a really nicely balanced acidity.
I had the steak board for my main: that was the plan from the moment I heard about the existence of such a thing. My companion had the fillet steak. We’d had a looked at the different cuts before choosing. They have a board that they can bring out, you see. The 600 gr sirloin on the bone is a huge monster but the fillet is pretty sizable too. (There are steaks for sharing: Chateaubriand for two, anyone? Prime rib?) My companion pressed his fillet steak with his fork and the meat sprung back immediately. It was cooked to rare perfection. My three pieces were succulent and gently cooked. No stringiness here, no brown and dull food, just flavourful steaks with a caramelly outside and a oozing pink inside. Just the way I like it.
You can chose from a variety of sauces to go with your steak. I couldn’t resist the bearnaise, of course, but we also tried sherry and Manchego butter and bone marrow. They were all lovely and let the flavour of the steak have its space.
As well as a number of different sauces, there are a number of different sides. With the best of intentions we ordered plum tomatoes and cabbage with bacon. At the last minute we added beef dripping chips, something I haven’t had before. I was surprised at how much flavour the dripping adds to the chips. They were very good indeed.
The dessert menu offers all kinds fun, from knickerboxer glory to chocolate fondue to share. We went straight for the cheese. I’ve mentioned cheese here before and I can now report that I’ve found a place with a really good British cheese board. I was particularly taken by the citrussy goats cheese and a delicately smelly orange rind that was a lot like a firm Chaumes. The hard cheeses were good too and the blue delightfully fresh. (There’s a theme here. It’s great to have bright flavours in all that umami.) As we sipped our ruby port and cooed over the jewel-clear quince jelly, the staff did their magic thing somewhere else, getting everything ready to welcome more happy diners.
We had a great meal and enjoyed a warm welcome and friendly, attentive service. If you enjoy a good steak, Kyloe is the place to go!
You can find the Chocolate Box GSM on GreatWineOnline.
Images kindly provided by Kyloe through Nicheworks.