EARLIER this week, I was invited to have a first look at Ka Pao, the second restaurant from Ox and Finch, set to open in January.

Housed in the basement of the Botanic Gardens Garage on Vinicombe Street, this will be a modern, bright, stylish space for 120 covers across a large dining room, with a custom-designed open kitchen and a bar area featuring comfortable booths and high tables.

They are still adding the finishing touches, but I saw enough to already picture it as a lively after-work venue and weekend hangout.

Ox and Finch owner and chef Jonathan MacDonald explained the motivation behind the new venture and picking this particular concept. “We’ve been asked a few times to do another Ox and Finch, but I’m not really interested in that because it’s established where it is. I just think it’s more interesting to do something that’s going to be more exciting for the kitchen and drive the creation of new dishes.”

Glasgow Times:

READ MORE: Top 10: The hottest places to eat in Glasgow this week

“I spent quite a lot of time travelling in my 20s in Southeast Asia, it blew my socks off. Eating chili crab crab in car parks.

“I was just mesmerised by it. And then I lived and worked in Melbourne as well. I suppose the reason for doing something different is because it’s boring for the city if we don’t.”

Eye-catching new dishes to expect include stir-fried haggis, pepper, greens and fried egg; slow-cooked pork cheeks, shiitake, star-anise and ginger or sea trout curry, crab, krachai, coconut and lemongrass.

There will be a sharing menu to allow groups to divide and conquer some of the featured dishes, plus plenty of options for vegans and vegetarians. Ka Pao makes its debut off Byres Road in early 2020.

Christmas cocktails


THE staff at The Gate were tasked with creating drinks that celebrates Scottish Christmas and nostalgic flavours. They quickly devised six retro cocktails for a festive menu that started this week. We suggest you order a Snowball with brandy, PX sherry, coconut, egg and lemon (£7). Manager Alasdair Shaw said: “Running alongside our regular menu, we wanted to have a bit of fun coming into our first Christmas in the East End. We’ve grown a loyal following in our first few months and want them to feel like they are coming home when they enter The Gate.”

Top Bier and pizza


TUCKED away downstairs on Gordon Street, Bier Halle remains an important part of the food and drink scene in the city centre after 20 years. It was a trendsetter when it opened in 1999, an independent bar bringing Czech, German and world brews to the city, while serving up pizzas and hot dogs. When we met with publican Colin Barr recently he rejoiced in the fact his place is still doing the same thing. The man who brought The Tunnel, Bennetts and The Apartment to the city told us: “I didn’t want a style bar, they changed every three years. I’d done all that. This was one of the first almost industrial design bars I had. When we opened, people couldn’t work out if it was finished yet, but it’s all still the same now as it was then, and it’s comfortable. We’ve set our stall out. You’ll get drink served correctly. We’ve had the same restaurant team for the last 15 years. We’re doing something right. Beer and pizza, people love that!”

Something for weekend



The Bongo’s Bingo show at SWG3 adds dance anthems, unexpected dance-offs and an outlandish sense of fun to the classic game.


Pretty Ugly’s Last Christmas, downstairs at The Admiral bar, features live 80s covers from Band of Gold, alongside a mix of indie and pop from the popular club night’s resident DJs.


Book your place for a morning of festive fun at The Hyndland Fox. Bring wee ones along for Brunch with Santa, with an appearance from the man himself, at the West End neighbourhood spot.

Glasgow’s 100 Best Restaurants, an exciting new book introducing the city’s top food places. Buy here: