Address: 68/1 Soi Langsuan, Ploenchit Road, Lumpini, Bangkok 10330
Telephone: (662) 652 1700
I am very excited when I find out that Chef Gaggan Anand from Bangkok’s Gaggan Restaurant will make his first appearance in Hong Kong at a pop-up restaurant at Landmark Mandarin Oriental from 22-24 September 2014. It is only right that I post up the review of my recent dinner at Gaggan Restaurant in Bangkok, so that my readers will know what to expect!
Ranked no. 3 this year amongst Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, Gaggan Restaurant is a highly acclaimed establishment which is beloved by many, including the Thai royal family and international celebrities. The restaurant is housed in a rustic, white-washed Colonial-style house. The brightly lit interior is elegant and inviting, and is complete with homely cane furniture, quaint ceiling fans and a number of cosy private dining rooms.
The restaurant is helmed by Chef Gaggan Anand, a Kolkata-born chef who has achieved a lot in his youth including cooking for former US President Bill Clinton and former President of India His Excellency Abdul Kalam, and interning with Ferran Adrià’s at his world renowned restaurant El Bulli.
The innovative and futuristic “progressive Indian cuisine” is a product of Gaggan’s restlessly creative mind, and each dish inspiringly incorporates Eastern and Western ingredients and cooking methods, as well as many of his mother’s home style recipes.
There are 3 tasting menus available, with different number of courses. We opt for the 11-course India Reinvited, which is very reasonably priced at 2,800 baht. The service is friendly, attentive and professional, and Chef Gaggan himself goes around the restaurant to greet diners at each table.
(1) The Inedit bottled beer (800 baht), co-created by Ferran Adrià and his sommeliers, is a must-try at the restaurant. The beer is wonderfully clean-tasting and has an exquisitely smooth body.
(2) Before our tasting menu begins, we are given a sorbet, of cucumber, ginger and lemon, as our freshener. A very refreshing start to our meal.
(3) Street Eats from India is a combination of various re-interpreted Indian street snacks. The yoghurt chaat, encased in a membrane and served on a large metal spoon, is a fascinating sensation in the mouth. The spiced nuts in an edible plastic bag are equally interesting to eat – the “edible plastic bag” is made of rice paper which instantly melts in the mouth.
The samosa is well spiced and delectable, and the pani puri is in fact a piece of white chocolate filled with spices and some liqeur.
(4) “Explosion” is an interative dish where you have to inject the iced herb sorbet into a cracker with spiced potato and yoghurt. It tastes marvellous, with the tangy flavours offering a nice kick.
(5) “Alchemist Cake” completely wins me over. The coconut ice cream, curry leaves, mustard and chutney offer an interesting, sweet-savoury counterpoint to the mellow lentil flour cake.
(6) “Teasure Shells” is beautifully presented in a curved stone bowl. The Norwegian diver scallop has wonderful inner tenderness, and the sauce made of young coconut, pepper and curry leaves hit the right notes.
(7) “River King” follows. The tandoori fresh water prawn is expertly grilled and deliciously spiced, while the curry leaf infusion and mango chutney offer playful, contrasting flavours.
(8) “Lamb Ragout“, a mini burger of minced lamb curry served in a dehydrated tomato bun, is fabulously flavourful and moreish.
(9) “Bong Connection” boasts a beautiful red-and-green colour combination. The red mullet is fresh and bouncy, while the green chili herb marinade tastes attractively herbal. The Bengali mustard, sweet potato and all spice gel on the side have too many flavours though, and are a tad confusing.
(10) “Portuguese Connection” arrives, a dish of Iberican pork sous vide for 48 hours. The pork has a gorgeous natural flavour and a good bite, and the spices and vindaloo curry reduction complement its meaty taste.
(11) As our Thai friend is a regular customer of the restaurant, Chef Gaggan very generously sends us a complimentary dish, “Best Memory“, a free-range lamb chop sous-vide and then grilled. This dish is flawless – the lamb is crispy on the surface and soft and tender on the inside, and a refreshing green herb oil completes it.
(12) “British National Dish” is a home-style chicken tikka masala accompanied by naan breads. The chicken is extremely tender, and the flavouring is spot on.
The naan is hot, fluffy and soft – simply some of the best naans I have ever tried.
(13) For desserts, we are presented with “Divine“, comprised of fresh mango, cardamom ice cream, pistacchio gnocchi and yoghurt cookie. There is a symphony of sweet, sensuous flavours, and I particularly adore the interesting texture of the pistacchio gnocchi!
(14) Our next dessert, “I Love Chocolate“, is prepared tableside on a piece of cold marble.
Five types of chocolate in different textures and tastes are plated together, with some mango chutney and pistacchio to finish the dish. The interaction between these different textures and flavours is harmonious and tasty.
The manager very kindly gives us an extra dessert, “Made in Japan“. The white sesame cake is incredibly light and airy, and hidden underneath is some wasabi ice cream, which is predominantly milky and creamy with a tinge of wasabi aftertaste. This is totally addictive!
Our meal at Gaggan is full of surprises, interesting sensations and mouthwatering flavours. It is a perfect place for impressing your loved ones and is definitely worth a visit if you are in Bangkok!