The restaurant is owned by Houston chef Ronnie Killen, who enrolled in Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute in London in 1997 before returning to Texas in 2003.
Killen launched the original Killen’s Steakhouse in his hometown of Pearland in 2006. He is certified as an executive chef by the American Culinary Federation and has served as assistant executive chef at the White House.
A focus on the food
General Manager Chang Chiang said the location offers a variety of regional steaks, which can often be sampled through the restaurant’s signature tasting dish. The platter offers cuts of prime steak, Australian wagyu, domestic wagyu and Japanese A-5 wagyu, the highest grade of beef in the country.
“[Killen] sources out the best-quality ingredients; the steaks are second to none. The food is what really drives it here,” Chiang said.
Chiang said wagyu steak stands out because the marbled fat brings out unique flavors.
“Wagyu is basically cattle from the Kobe region of Japan, which is known for the highest level of grading for the steak,” he said.
Chiang said A-5 wagyu beef also contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, similar to fish, and the melting point of the fats in the steak is room temperature.“When they say it melts in your mouth, it literally does,” Chiang said.
He said everything is made in-house.
“The finest ingredients plus the creativity and knowledge of making good food is a combination I think the guests will appreciate,” he said. “You could have a Corvette, but if you use regular gas or substandard tires, it will not perform or exceed the expectations of the driver. It is the same thing with a restaurant.”
Building an experience
Chiang said new guests to Killen’s Steakhouse can expect great food in a fancy yet casual environment.
“It does not matter what you do; you will get a great experience of food and service here,” he said.
Alongside a standard dinner setting, guests who are interested in private dining can reserve rooms that seat up to 100 people.
Aside from the menu, Killen’s Steakhouse also offers handcrafted cocktails and a wide assortment of wines, which are selected by co-owner DeeDee Killen, who Chiang said travels to boutique wineries to put on the list. “In terms of liquor, we go to WhistlePig Distillery and hand-select certain barrels to taste,” Chiang said. “We figure out the profiles that we like, and we bottle those ourselves.”
1700 Research Forest Drive, Shenandoah
Hours: Tue.-Sat. 4-9 p.m., closed Sun.-Mon.
Happy hour: Tue.-Fri. 4-6 p.m.