Fillet and sirloin served with hand-cut chips and a side of corn brûlée (torched at your table!) [Rosie Morton]
Fillet and sirloin served with hand-cut chips and a side of corn brûlée (torched at your table!) [Rosie Morton]

Review: Kyloe steakhouse, Edinburgh

I’M pretty picky when it comes to meat, and I make no apologies.

After all, it’s not unreasonable to question what’s on your plate when parting with hard-earned cash.

Where is it from? How was it reared? What are the welfare standards like? All too often, these questions are met with a disinterested shrug of the shoulders. But not at Kyloe.

Since 2011, the gourmet steak restaurant in Edinburgh’s West End has been on a culinary crusade to ‘enjoy the best of Scottish fields’. Not only do the owners pride themselves on the provenance of their meat, but they also make a concerted effort to regularly review their suppliers.

It’s all in the detail… [Rosie Morton]

One of their longest-standing supplier relationships is with Hardiesmill Ethical Scotch Beef, a farm based in the Scottish Borders which exclusively supplies pedigree Aberdeen Angus beef. They are renowned for their high welfare standards – the cattle are born, reared and butchered on-site – and supply only a small handful of clients worldwide.

That was music to this reviewer’s ears. And so, on the news that Kyloe (and its sister venues The Huxley, The Rutland and Heads & Tales Bar) had been refurbished to the tune of £1.2m, I thought it was high-time I gave this place a whirl.

On a dreary April evening, we walked through the doors of The Huxley and upstairs to find an impressive décor. A mirrored staircase leads to a beautiful green dining room with new flooring, wall features and upholstery. There are cow-hide chairs and menus, quirky cattle-themed prints, and whisky barrel lights. It’s bold. It’s moody. But it’s also incredibly inviting.

‘Some hae meat’ feature wall at Kyloe, Edinburgh. [Rosie Morton]

We took our pews next to a large window overlooking Princes Street. First up? A tutorial on each and every cut on the menu that day. Fancy a porterhouse cut? Your server will know how it’s best served. How about a rib-eye? They’ll tell you how the marbling will affect the taste. They even bring the cuts on a wooden board to your table so you can see each one before ordering.

We were unsure where to begin, so took our server’s recommendation for the beef shin and haggis pithivier starter, served with braised red cabbage, baby watercress and red wine jus. (£14) Happily, our request for white wine in a steakhouse was met with hearty encouragement (not a gasp of despair, as anticipated). A floral, citrusy wine – Portugal’s Vila Nova Vinho Verde – proved an ideal aperitif and accompaniment to the succulent meat and buttery pastry.

Beef shin & haggis pithivier with braised red cabbage, baby watercress and red wine jus. [Rosie Morton]

For mains, there is an embarrassment of riches available. Porterhouse, Wagyu steak of the day and Hardiesmill cut of the day, as well as your staples like sirloins, fillets, rib-eyes and chateaubriands all feature on the menu.

We opted to share a fillet (£44) and a sirloin (served rare medium-rare, as requested). The sirloin (£35) was incredibly flavourful, but was completely outclassed by the tender, juicy fillet. Whisky and peppercorn sauce was the clear winner as far as additional sauces were concerned. (£3.75 each) Hand-cut, salty chips (£5) are also a non-negotiable if you hope to mop up those delicious juices.

Raising the steaks at Kyloe, Edinburgh with a fillet and sirloin. [Rosie Morton]

Sweet/salty combos are often a bit hit or miss, but the surprising star of the show was the side of corn brûlée (£6.50) – creamed corn with a caramelised sugar crust, which is torched at your table.

In the spirit of journalistic endeavour, we ploughed on with dessert and ordered a campfire s’more (£10) with chocolate mousse, biscuit base, charred marshmallow and milk chocolate sauce, served in a smoking cloche. The aromas took us straight to the fireside and the dish provided the sugar-rush that was required to see us home.

As much as we enjoyed the theatrics of the cloche, we agreed that next time we’d stick with what Kyloe do best – hearty mains and gorgeously savoury sides.

There’s always time for s’more. [Rosie Morton]

In my six years as a reviewer for Scottish Field, I have resisted the temptation of many steakhouses (namely when a venue’s food miles and provenance leave something to be desired). The staff at Kyloe, however, have well and truly raised the steaks.

The only question I’ve been left to ponder is when I can return.

To find out more about Kyloe, please visit their website