Kala describes itself as a humble bistro but humility is not usually a word associated with Gary Usher, the chef behind the Elite Bistros group. Having said that, perhaps the social media motormouth has every reason to feel pretty darn perky. Some very well-regarded chefs have only good things to say about him, such as former boss, Angela Hartnett, and the supposed ‘humble bistro food’ at Kala is elegant and impressive. It’s more fine dining than simple fodder, that’s for sure.
The dishes sound simple but they have a flair and a verve that can’t fail to delight. Expect starters such as baked goat’s cheese with purple carrots and smoked garlic or crispy pig’s head croquette. Typical mains range from miso glazed squash to pan-roasted cod with curry and almond sauce but the rightly famous featherblade of beef is a mainstay.
Desserts are exemplary with some exceptional pastry work, all grown-up choux buns with espresso ice cream and darkly delicious blackberry pavlovas whilst Sunday Lunch is most definitely a thing. The sirloin of beef to share with its majestic Yorkshire puds and splendiferous roasties takes the weekly ritual to another level.
Kala is impressive but despite the pure quality on the plate, it’s not overly impressive. It’s a place you can feel comfortable and relaxed and enjoy good food even if the décor is a tad stark. You won’t be over-awed by the price either considering the craftsmanship in the kitchen. Perhaps it is just a humble bistro after all, albeit one where you can take a date, your parents or a couple of friends and know you can rely on fantastic food and impeccable service.
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