Gaggan, Progressive Indian Cuisine
When you are travelling and eating in Bangkok, Thai food is definitely not the only cuisine you should try. Fine diners should quite familiar with Gaggan, an Indian restaurant which offers progressive modern Indian food. More than that, this is the second year that Gaggan is positioned at No.1 of Asia's 50 Best Restaurants. I have a quite nice experience at Gaggan last time when it was at the third place, certainly I wouldn't miss Gaggan for this trip.
Gaggan housed in a hundred-year old colonial white house, the white and blue interior decor gives a Mediterranean breeze which gives a clean and comfortable impression. White table cloth, soft armchair, wonderfull service...that doesn't feel like an Indian restaurant at all :)
The menu changed a lot (?) compare to my last visit, when three set menus were served last time. Nowadays, Gaggan only serves one set menu priced at THB 3500 ++,which was the most expensive menu when i visited last time. But fine dining in Bangkok is much cheaper than anywhere else, our menu comes with 10 snacks, 5 dishes, 1 curry dish served with rice, and 3 desserts.
We were firstly treated 10 bit-size snacks before the appetizer arrives. We started with Dew dropwhich was made of grpae juice, aloe and basil leaf. The leaf underneath is not edible. Few snacks are Gaggan's classcial that we have tried last time, such as the Eidible plastic spiced nuts - mixed nuts with wasabi in a rice paper bag. Yogurt explosion with a jelly skin and packed of Indianblack salt water and chopped masala, a big stronger but quite refreshing. All the snacks were pretty interesting and flawless, while none surprised us.
I am not going to explain each of them detailedly because too many back logs to post, the description is under each picture. Dishes i liked or disliked will be explained, and reach to a short conclusion. Thanks for your understanding!!
Next three snacks...
Charcoal is a signature dish at Gaggan, on the menu it says 'Be burprised!! We won't tell you what it is" (until you eat it). I loved the smokey presentation and the smoked charcoal aroma. It looks like a real charcoal but when you cut it, you can find the yellow filling - a mixture of sea bass, potato and spice, the outer-layer is made of charcoal powder. A very small bite but quite delicious.
Next dish featured forest mushrooms in the shape of a log, with edible soil of truffle puree and powder, and green chili podwer moss. Not bad.
Red Matcha is a course that infused by Japanese tea ceremony, here, we had a Thailand tomato ceremony. We were firstly served a dish of local tomato, boiled and removed the skin. By the table, the server were wisking tomato powder into a tomato tea - just like green tea ceremony. My partner is a Japanese-Thai and her grandpa (Japanese) knows Japanese tea ceremony very well. We found it is quite interesting that the server uses the entire arm to whisk the tea, which suppose to be the wrist only, we asked her few questions and she obviously know nothing about Japanese tea ceremony. The tomato tea tastes more on the sour side, quite refreshing.
Another Japanese-infused dish by using Japanese Kinmedai. All the Japanese ingredients used in Gaggan are sourced from Japan twice a week (not so often as No.1 restaurant in Asia, surprised us). Kinmedai was served in four ways: Act 1 - oil poached with gunpowder, Act 2 - Fish head with rice kedigree, Act 3 - Eggplant smoked with fish smoke, and Act 4 - fish bone jelly with orange segments.
The main course is tandoor lamb which was succulent and flavorful. Side with purple sweet potato sauce in a rangoli shape. A more impressive dish of the meal.
The rice dish comes in an old-school bento box, the three layers include green chicken tikka masala, rice and pickles. It comes with naan bread too, it was a harder naan which was a bit crispy and quite nice. The chicken was tender and the curry goes well with the rice, in the meanwhile, i don't really like Indian rice (so not the problem here).
Followed by three desserts. The first dessert was infused by the Japanese sushi roll 'maki', this one is made of pistachio sponge cake, 'nolen gur' date sugar, almond crunch and coated with a layer of sesame.
I have no idea why the second dessert was presented like this, since Gaggan used so many Japanese ingredients and concepts in the food, it is reasonable for me to think of the fall leaves in Japan in Autumn, but now in April...? The leaf is made of miso caramel, underneath were sake ice cream, grape snow and sprind fruits. To be fair, this is probably my (our) favorite dish of the meal, non-Indian but more Japanese infused.
" A story that happened recently between 2 chefs in our kitchen with a rosy end" - beautiful name and description, unfortunately we don't know what we were eating.
As Japanese culinary and ingredients play a major trend in Asia even in some western countries nowadays, im not surprised to see the food at Gaggan have a lot of Japanese twist too. But to be honest, the outcome were not that memorable compare to our first visit. As an Indian progressive restaurant, we hope to see more Indian flavors but not Japanese twists that were not in perfections.