Restaurant will be headed-up by Zhelyazko Zhelyazkov - you can call him 'Jiji'

Zhelyazko Zhelyazkov.

Try say that with a mouth full of truffle chips.

Mr Zhelyazkov - 'Jiji' to his mates - has just been named head chef of Kala, Gary Usher's latest bistro, which opens on King Street (in the old Whistles shop) in February. 

Jiji arrives at Kala on the back of stints at two of the North's most highly acclaimed restaurants, Moor Hall and Raby Hunt, which both hold two Michelin stars.

It has always been a dream to have a bistro in Manchester but the money has just never been there...

Kala is the sixth restaurant by Usher, who began his Elite Bistros empire in 2011 with Sticky Walnut in Chester - which went on to win AA's Restaurant of the Year in 2014. 

Since then he has crowdfunded his way to four more - Burnt Truffle in Heswall (£100k, 2015), Hispi in Manchester (£60k, 2016), Wreckfish in Liverpool (£200k, 2017) and Pinion in Prescot (£50k, 2018) - scooping a few more accolades along the way.

Wreckfish Chef Gary Usher
Gary Usher will have opened six bistros in eight years - we reckon he needs a lie down

No need to crowdfund this time though (we're guessing the banks are finally giving Mr Usher a break...or he's got an investor..or he's suddenly rich. But who really cares?), with the 55-cover restaurant promising 'onyx pillars' and 'plush' fixtures, as well as an open kitchen, separate bar and 'pastry pass'.

Usher said: "When I worked at Room on King Street fifteen years ago, I never would have imagined that I would be opening a restaurant here myself. It has always been a dream to have a bistro in Manchester but the money has just never been there, so when this opportunity for Kala came along, I just couldn’t pass it up. 

“Kala will retain our core values - great food, a lovely atmosphere and brilliant customer service - but I think guests will have a little bit of a different experience here than at the other bistros. The interiors will be a little bit more modern than the other restaurants but still have that really lovely, comfortable vibe."

55 King Street Kala
55 King Street - great spot, but it's no looker

The Kala menu will feature a number of Usher's bistro staples, such as burrata, beef tartare, braised featherblade and monkfish, as well as bread baked on-site. The bar will also have a snack menu, featuring pig's head sausages and pickled eggs (we'll get onto Usher about some scratchings).

Kala opens at 55 King Street from breakfast to dinner, seven days a week, in February 2019. Keep an eye on @Kala_Manchester for more info.