Restaurants, Bars and Cafes

Ox and Finch to open second restaurant in basement of Botanic Gardens Garage

By Ellen Thomson at

The company behind the popular Kelvingrove restaurant Ox and Finch is to open a new restaurant off Byres Road.

Named Ka Pao, the new restaurant will be housed in the basement of the recently-converted Botanic Gardens Garage on Vinicombe Street.

The opening at the A-listed building is scheduled for January.

Chicken restaurant Nando’s opened at the landmark former car showroom earlier this year.

Botanic Garage

New home: Nando’s will open at the newly-developed Botanic Garage on Vinicombe Street

The new restaurant will offer a menu influenced by the cooking of South East Asia, and accommodate 120 covers with a separate bar area.

The restaurant has been designed by Stuart Black: Head of Interior Design at Mosaic, who was also responsible for the interiors of Ox and Finch.

The new restaurant and bar features the same core management team who opened Ox and Finch in 2014.

Headed by Jonathan MacDonald, Daniel Spurr will oversee the operation of the open kitchens at Ka Pao and Ox and Finch, whilst Andy MacSween will manage the front of house and bar teams at both locations.

‘Respect’

The opening of Ka Pao will create 35 full-time roles.

Jonathan MacDonald, owner and chef, said: “I have had an enormous amount of respect for the approach to food in South East Asia for as long as I have been cooking.

“The fascination was really ignited when I spent a lot of time working and travelling in that part of the world in my twenties.

“Living and working in Melbourne was also a big inspiration, as South East Asian flavours and influences are uniquely interwoven in Australian cooking.

“Some of my most memorable cooking and eating experiences have been in Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam and Thailand; sometimes in impressive restaurants, but more often on plastic stools by the side of the road.”

Three men outside a building

The Ox and Finch team outside the Botanic Garden Garage in Viniccombe Street.

The team introduced Glasgow diners to a preview of Ka Pao’s style, with a residency in the Acid Bar at SWG3 during 2018 and several pop-up diners.

The restaurant will announce their menu at the beginning of January, with the dishes listed likely to include messy prawns, orange, tamarind and palm sugar caramel; squash and potato curry, cardamom, cumin and coconut; slow-cooked pork cheeks, shiitake mushrooms, star anise and galangal. They will also open the bookings system for Ka Pao then.

Daniel Spurr said: “Ka Pao is not about trying to be authentic or replicating the food of any particular region or country.

“The guiding principle will be more about taking inspiration from dishes, ingredients and flavour combinations that we have encountered, that have influenced us and combining them with our own local produce.”

In the meantime, they are currently recruiting for several roles within Ka Pao, including chefs and kitchen assistants, bar and front of house staff.

Applications can be made via the restaurant’s website holding page or to hello@kapaogla.com