The test of time


AMY SELLMYER

APR 14 –
With such a high turnover of restaurants in the Kathmandu Valley, it is hard to find one open for 10 months, let alone 10 years. K-Too Steak House, open since 2000, stands as one of the few eateries that have been able to stand the test of time.

K-Too, located in the heart of Thamel, was opened after Thomas Kilroy, chef and founder of Kathmandu’s legendary Kilroy’s, and his friends saw a void in the number of places for friends to lay back, relax over a couple of beers, and most of all, enjoy a high-quality steak. The result is a restaurant featuring a variety of beef steaks—a luxury hard to find until recently—as well as other dishes to satisfy the hungry trekker upon return from a sojourn in the Himalayas.

The décor, or perhaps lack thereof, consists of simple tables, a thatched roof in the centre of the dining room—reminiscent of Tom Cruise in the 1980s film Cocktail—a pictorial history of the staff and memorable customers over the years gracing the restaurants walls, as well as a small library. There is little pomp or pageantry, and the unfussy feel of the restaurant perhaps adds to its charm, making you feel that much more relaxed. Whether for posterity or for a lack of attention, it seems little has changed since the restaurant first opened its doors, including the menu.

The menu is an entertaining read, with tongue-in-cheek comments peppered in among the diverse list of steaks, Mexican and continental food—all of which the restaurant claims features a fusion of flavours not found anywhere else.

The restaurant prides itself on its steaks, of which eight different varieties are listed on the menu with special requests taken by the kitchen to accommodate an even wider range of tastes. The “fusion” take on the peppercorn steak, a flank of meat most commonly prepared encrusted with freshly ground peppercorns, is instead topped with a creamy, peppery mushroom sauce. The steak is incredibly tender, a result of hours of marinating and the sauce, which comes on a sizzling platter, is a nice compliment. From the luscious mushroom sauce on the pepper steak to a rich béarnaise, the steaks at K-Too have a number of delicious additions. But as tender as the steaks are and as decadent as the sauces, the actual flavour of the meat can tend to get a little lost.

A large part of the menu—including the Mexican items as well as the appetizers—features items that are perfect partners for an ice cold beer. Simple, greasy, salty and easy to share, these items might not be the best for an everyday meal, but perhaps for a group of trekkers just back from weeks of daal bhat, it is a welcome indulgence. One indulgence that everyone can appreciate is the fresh apple momos. Sweet, cinnamony and perfect dipped in a scoop of ice-cream.

Though the restaurant’s menu may have been ahead of its time a decade of go, the restaurant scene in the metro has changed dramatically, even within the last year and a half—something K-Too doesn’t seem to have kept up with. But given the restaurant’s history of survival (even through the tough times of the Maoist insurgency) there is no doubt that with a little tweaking—while still holding onto the restaurant’s casual charm—the restaurant as a whole could compete with the burgeoning dining options in Kathmandu. Until then, if you’re in the Thamel area and looking for a good steak, K-Too is certainly one option to consider.

Posted on: 2011-04-15 08:44

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