First Look: We tried Gary Usher's new King Street bistro Kala

We were invited down to check out the delightful selection of meat, fish and vegetarian dishes on offer.

By Manchester's Finest | 3 May 2019

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The newest string to Gary Usher’s bow (probably the most Brent sentence I’ve ever written), Kala opens this week on King Street aiming to bring “humble bistro foood to Manchester city centre“.

With a rap sheet that includes Sticky Walnut, Burnt Truffle, Hispi, Wreckfish & Pinion – the team here certainly know what they’re doing and we were lucky enough to get invited down to try some of their dishes. Here’s what we devoured (too quickly I should add)


James started with the Chicken Liver Pâté which came with a rhubarb and cider chutney and toasted milk loaf. The pâté was surprisingly light and complimented with the chutney which was full of rich flavour. The lightly toasted milk loaf was the perfect base for the two. I know this because I ate half of it as well as my own starter.

Chicken Liver pate, rhubarb and cider chutney, toasted milk loaf

I had the Wye Valley Asparagus with sauce gribiche. I’ve had asparagus before but the sauce was a new one to me and reminded me of something I’d eat at a fancy picnic.

It was full of fresh, summery flavours and the perfect way to start a lunch time menu. Not forgetting the glass of crisp Charles Heidsieck NV Brut Reserve Champagne to accompany it.

Wye Valley asparagus, sauce gribiche

Main Course

We went for the Braised Featherblade with watercress, pickles walnut, truffle and parmesan chips, and the Barbecued Monkfish with red cabbage, mango and macadamia with BBQ sauce.

Braised featherblade, watercress, pickled walnut, truffle and parmesan chips

The featherblade has been much talked about over the past few days when discussing the Kala menu so it was must try. The cut that lends itself to slow cooking was certainly tender and full of flavour and the parmesan chips need no explanation. They’re a must try for any potato fan.

Barbequed monkfish, red cabbage, mango and macademia, BBQ

The monkfish was beautifully seasoned and complimented with a delicate red cabbage which, with added macadamias had a beautifully nutty flavour. The rich BBQ sauce complimented both the light cut of fish and the fresh red cabbage and gave the dish an extra punch of Asian flavour.


I’m not usually a dessert person but after a short investigation I discovered that the Choux Bun on offer was filled with caramelised banana ice cream. In an attempt to not be too greedy I ordered the Creme Brûlée and an extra scoop of said banana treat on the side, just to be awkward.

Creme brulee, shortbread

The brulee was as custardy as necessary without being overly sweet with a hard snap of caramelised sugar on top. Not too much and not too little. The ice cream was incredible too.

James tried the Parkin with Stem Ginger Ice Cream which he ate in approximately 10 seconds. I would have loved to have tried the Yorkshire delicacy but it was gone before I had the chance. I heard that it was a dessert of ginger dreams with a rich butterscotch sauce, balanced nicely by the ice cream.

Parkin, stem ginger ice cream, butterscotch

All in all the lunch was incredible and the staff were lovely too. In short – you NEED to check this place out.

Book A Table

Kala Bistro, 55 King St, Manchester M2 4LQ
0800 160 1811