Design focus: Panang


Gunmetal grey walls. A beaded curtain. Wall lights with mismatched shades. Graffiti. Murals. An explosion of colour. All of this and more combines to make Paul Sloan’s Panang in Glasgow one of the new venues customers are bound to fall in love with as hospitality gets back on its feet.


It’s ground floor and mezzanine and In case you didn’t know, Panang is a type of red Thai curry and there are not only reds but a whole host of other colours too that are evident right away once you step inside the redesigned Panang that the Diversity Leisure debuted at the end of June.


The 120-cover restaurant is housed in the former Mezzedakia and this bright and beautiful design bursts with nods to Thailand’s culinary scene with an offer specialising in Thai street food and small plates. Graham’s Upholstery was also involved in making this a real talking-point design.


The restaurant also comes complete with its own signature cocktail bar, with real fruit juice made on site a focal point of the drinks. Think Mai Tais – but with a Glasgow twist – but the entire concept is actually based on hawker food in Thailand and this has greatly informed the interior design.


Said Paul Sloan, “We are focused on hawker food. Almost every food in Thailand is either hawked or done in the street in one form or another. All our cocktails are made from Thai rum and whisky, and we use only imported products for Authentic including imported Tea from Thailand


“We’ve honoured some of Thailand’s most famous chefs on beautiful hand-painted murals, there are 120 Vietnamese paper lanterns, roses wreathed around the doors and lots of colour. The beaded curtain was hand-made in Thailand and all the lanterns were made in a small shop in Vietnam.”


The project took a wee bit longer to realise because of what’s going on in the world right now.


Said Paul, “The whole project would have normally taken about five weeks but it was stretched over several months because of the pandemic and a lack of supplies.”


Our verdict?


Among those famous Thai chefs is Jay Fai, who cooks wearing ski goggles, and this mural plus the neon signs saying ‘Paradise is Here’ are mounted on the walls really puts you in a good mood, ditto the neon cocktail sign in the window.  It’s so inviting and works well with the otherwise grey surroundings.


Then there’s all the foliage too and those beautiful paper lanterns in various colours and shapes which you might find yourself transfixed on or pinpointing your favourite and then changing your mind. They haven’t stinted on them so the ceiling is full and it really does add to this interior design big time.


The window shutters are a cosy touch and they go well with the striped upholstered banquettes in more calming sandy-beige tones and the old-school wall lights with their mismatched shades are the right side of cool, ditto the distressed wooden panelling and signs and words emblazoned on it. And who doesn’t love the drama of a beaded curtain?


All of this is set against the backdrop of a beautiful space with its cornicing, grey walls, ornate pillars (where they meet the ceiling) and bamboo canes going up the stairs. It’s the same shade of grey they’ve used on the outside and combined with more pink neon on the sign, gives it massive cool credentials on stilts.


There’s also an intimate little booth that’s bathed in even more pink neon light and foliage and it looks like it would be a kind light – the perfect place for a date or date night beneath its seductive glow.


It’s a triumph for Diversity Leisure which also operates Chaakoo, Mezzidakia, Cuan-Mor, Topolabamba, The Garrison, the Waterfront Fishouse, and The Ben Nevis (Ft William), and Panang fits right in.


71-73 St Vincent St,


Category: News
Tags: Panang, Paul Sloan, Thai food