The rather spiffing A-listed Botanic Gardens Garage on Vinicombe Street has been revitalised thanks to Ox and Finch – the small plates specialists who helped put Finnieston firmly on the food map. Ka Pao – their second venture – opened in late January, and is run by the core Ox and Finch team: bossman Jonathan MacDonald, head chef Daniel Spurr and FOH manager Andy MacSween. Expect their diligent take on dishes inspired by South East Asia, as sampled previously at their pop-ups and residencies around town.
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bar Usquabae has opened in the departures lounge so you can now savour the peaty taste of home before the boarding call. Sláinte! In Edinburgh small plates are the Big Thing. A glimpse at a couple of the new Indian restaurants on the scene confirm it. Cutting Chaii in Leith styles itself after the roadside cafés of Mumbai, proving a cosy place to sample a whole host of small, spicy plates. Masti in Morningside has gone for tapas-style traditional dishes, while the folks from the award- winning Vinyasa restaurant have opted for bigger is better, opening a massive new restaurant out at Blackhall. The Cove serves North Indian and Bangladeshi cuisine with specialist citrus fruits imported from Bangladesh and a dish featuring naga, officially the world’s hottest chilli.
Glasgow’s first ever Bartenders Ball, honouring our hard-working hospitality people (it’s not easy y’know), took place at Saint Luke’s on 20 January. The event – featuring premium drinks, street food, jazz and ceilidh bands – also hosted the ‘BAFTAs for bartending’, the inaugural Glasgow Bar Awards. Winners included Wheesht for best cocktail list, Le Petit Cochon for wine, and Inn Deep for beer. The spirits award went to Pot Still – whose Geraldine Murphy won Hospitality Legend – while Blue Dog won the best bar team. But spare a thought for Alasdair Shaw of The Gate – winner of worst chat. Back in the day, your choice for a pre-flight swally at Edinburgh Airport was a cheap pint from the ’Spoons or a furtive swig from a duty-free bottle. Upmarket whisky
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37 Broughton Street, Edinburgh EH1 3JU | 8 Brougham Street, Edinburgh EH3 9JH 1 Feb–31 Mar 2020 THE LIST 51