Scoop Restaurants has announced that Ka Pao Edinburgh will be opening its doors at St James Quarter on Monday the 21st of March.
The announcement comes hot on the heels of the news that the Michelin Guide has just awarded Ka Pao Glasgow with a coveted Bib Gourmand award in the 2022 guide.
Head Chef Sandy Browning has been at Ka Pao’s helm since it’s inception as a pop-up residency in Glasgow’s SWG3, and now leads the Edinburgh kitchen. General Managers Lily Maclean and Paige Wilson will oversee the operation, with over 40 new roles having been created.
“The team are so excited to be getting started. They all have a real enthusiasm for the food we’re cooking and are going to be a crucial part of creating the restaurant’s atmosphere. We already know what Ka Pao can be at its core, but the St James crew will really put their stamp on the place,” says Lily. “Sandy’s so excited to be back in Edinburgh where he grew up and that energy is totally infectious.”
A passion for the food and cooking of Southeast Asia is central to Ka Pao’s style, with a menu of sharing plates honouring the team’s time living and travelling throughout the region. The name Ka Pao, a play on the Thai word for holy basil, has become synonymous with Scotland’s thriving dining scene, having quickly built a reputation for its bold flavours, low-key funky setting and good-night-out vibes.
The menu will unite the very best of UK produce with ingredients, flavour combinations and cooking techniques gleaned from the core team’s travels and experiences working in Northern Thailand and Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore, and sampling the uniquely knit Asian influences found in Australia’s modern cuisine.
As well as advanced bookings, Ka Pao will also keep a number of spaces in its bar area for walk-ins. Diners without a booking can either walkup or view live estimated wait times and join a virtual queue via the restaurant’s website on the day.
“Ka Pao is a really good fit to be in a retail led, lifestyle district like St James Quarter,” says Scoop Managing Director, Jonathan MacDonald. “It has a great vibe for a fun night out with cocktails, and is equally well suited to popping in for a tasty bite to eat when you’re out shopping or going to the cinema.
“The virtual online queue is a great feature, it means at peak times you can put your name down and go for a drink nearby or a wander round the shops and we’ll text you once a table is ready.”
The 92-cover restaurant and bar has been designed by Stuart Black: Head of Interior Design at Mosaic, also responsible for the interiors of Ka Pao Glasgow and Ox and Finch. Stuart’s interior combines bold terrazzo and ceramic surfaces with bespoke architectural metalwork and mid-century furniture.
Nick Peel, Managing Director at St James Quarter, said: “We know that all of Edinburgh has been looking forward to Ka Pao opening, and we know it will be a sensational addition to both the Quarter and the wider city centre.
“Our Edinburgh guests and visitors from further afield are in for a real treat. This is another world class addition which will ignite the nighttime economy and food culture in the East End of Edinburgh.“