PLEASE EXPLAIN THE CONCEPT BEHIND KA PAO?
The menu at Ka Pao is inspired by the cooking of Southeast Asia. We serve small plates, perfect for sharing, and aim to unite the very best of UK produce with ingredients, flavour combinations and cooking techniques gleaned from our team’s travels and experiences working in Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore. We’re not trying to replicate any particular regional cuisine but our influences shape the food we cook and a lot of the inspiration for both the dishes and drinks we serve comes from the ingredients we use.
WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO FERAGAIA?
Feragaia’s unique blend of botanical flavours is what initially attracted me to it. It’s a great product to build quirky drinks from. I had the chance to go to the distillery and learn about the production process. I was blown away by the amount of care, attention to detail and how environmentally friendly it is.
HOW DO YOU APPROACH CREATING A NO/LO COCKTAIL, SUCH AS THE FERAGAIA CLOVER CLUB, THAT YOU ARE PROUD TO SERVE?
We wanted a classic cocktail that would be recognisable to our guests while adding a funky twist. For the Clover Club we created a raspberry and lapsang syrup, mirroring the smoky flavours of our wok-cooked dishes. The smoky element in the lapsang also complimented the Feragaia and balanced the drink out.
HOW DO THE FLAVOURS OF FERAGAIA WORK ALONGSIDE YOUR FAMOUS CUISINE AT KA PAO?
In Ka Pao we share a lot of common ingredients with the kitchen to create a holistic menu. We use a lot of aromats, spices and citrus in our cooking, which goes hand in hand with the distilling process of Feragaia; with many overlapping flavour profiles. There are a several ingredients in Feragaia that really tie it in with our food, like the kaffir lime leaf, pepper and chilli notes.
WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN ALL YOUR DRINK PARTNERS BEHIND THE BAR? (PROVENANCE, TASTE, QUALITY, ETC)?
Our aim with the food at Ka Pao is to provide our guests with excellent experiences, using the best quality from local produce wherever possible. That’s not always as straightforward when it comes to wines, spirits and no/lo drinks, where we focus often on where additional herbs, fruits and flavours can intersect with our dishes. But fortunately for us, Feragaia ticks both those boxes, giving us a rare opportunity to showcase a premium Scottish brand with an end product that’s in keeping with our menu.