Gaggan Bangkok July 2016 – Another Awesome Meal

For the second time this year, check out my previous post, my friends and I were lucky enough to secure another booking at Gaggan in Bangkok. Second time around it was also an awesome meal, made even more so by being sat at a table in front of the kitchen followed by a surprise visit by Gaggan Anand himself at the end of the dinner.

The menu has changed a fair bit from last time, which made it more interesting. There were a number of dishes that polarised the table, there was not much in the way of middle ground, so there was a lot of debate, which was fun. It also helped that there were a couple of Chefs at the table, including Frank Kilian one of the Singapore Tower Club’s Executive Chefs, so he was educating me as we went.

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The proper way to consume soup according to Frank!

The Food

Bites – “Please eat with your hands”

Pickled Plums and Carbonated Cherry Juice 

A new couple of items for us. The Cherry Juice was very refreshing

 

Yogurt Explosion

This was one of the dishes we had in January 2016. It was a good as I remembered.

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Edible Plastic Nuts

Another dish from January 2016

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Idly Sambar

We had this in January 2016, but it was presented differently. I liked the texture, at this point it was my favourite.

Uncooked Curry Cookie

A new dish, and this was awesome, knocked the Idly Sambar off top spot. Loved the spice and texture!

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Aam Ka Panna

New as well, even though they looked like the Chili Bombs we had last time, it was a different filling. Another good dish!

Pork Vindaloo / Banana Flowers Vindaloo

New as well. I struggled to decide on which was better the Pork or Uncooked Curry Cookie, oh well, they are both great, so who cares! I liked how this was presented, a flexible wire mesh “stand”, Frank like it as well, guess we might be seeing that at the Tower Club’s Atlantic Restaurant in the future.

The vegetarian option was the Banana Flowers Vindaloo it disappeared pretty quick, so must have been good as well.

Blackforest Gateau

Interesting new dish, it was named because of its look. Tasty but, IMHO, not as good as the Cookie or Vindaloo.

Khakra Eel Sandwich / Khakra Garlic Pumpkin

Some people did not like this new dish, I did. Enjoyed the texture and flavour of the eel. The presentation on top of bowl of grains was an interesting touch.

Khakra Garlic Pumpkin was the vegetarian option.

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Mango Uni Sundae / Mango Sweet Potatoes Sundae

The last of the Bites was another new dish. Uni is Japanese for Sea Urchin and was one of those dishes that divided the table. I did not mind it, but others were not fans. Sea Urchin is a bit of an acquired taste I guess.

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One of the things that does impress me about the food at Gaggan is the presentation and how the Non-Veg and Veg dishes are presented very similarly, guess it cuts down on the food envy.

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Charcoal – Be surprised. We won’t tell

This was one of the few dishes that we had already tried, interestingly most of those who had tried it before still did not guess that it was Sea Bass again. This time I found out what the “wrapper” was, it was Bamboo Ash. Very tasty! The presentation was again first rate.

The vegetarian option was Sweet Potato wrapped in Bamboo Ash. It was finished in a flash, so must have been good!

Magic Mushroom

We had this last time and I found that it was a bit “stickier” and sweeter than last time. Pieces of the shell got stuck in your teeth, an interesting look when an entire table is trying un-stick their teeth all at the same time.

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Red Matcha

Another of the dishes we have had before, but very glad that it is still on the menu. The way that this is served is you receive a bowl with a Wagashi of tomatoes and fruits and then, once you have eaten the tomato and fruit, the Chef prepares, at the table, a hot tomato shorba.

This impressed Frank as the tomato shorba was made from a dehydrated tomato powder that is made on site, apparently this is an extremely time consuming exercise and requires a lot of patience, can’t wait to try Frank’s version.

Rangoli

As per the menu it was an “Indian celebration design with Tandoori lamb chop”. It tasted as good as it looked!

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The Vegetarian option was “Indian celebration design with Tandoori morels”

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I want my Curry!!!

Whilst the dish has the same name as last time, it was definitely different. Our Non-Veg curry was a chicken kofta curry, with minced lamb masala and rice, the Veg curry was a Paneer malasi kofta curry, ghar ki dal and rice. There was also an Indian bread basket, just in case you needed something to help fill you up!

I enjoyed the curry, but the blue swimmer crab from last time is hard to beat! The use of tiffin tins to deliver to and serve the food at the table is a nice touch.

Peach Snowball

This was a new dish, tried to take photos of it being prepared in the kitchen, but the frosted glass made it difficult.

This dish was made with Japanese summer peach, ginger snow, and peach melba ice chutney, the dome was frozen using liquid nitrogen.

The staff then cracked the dome with large spoons, after which we fed ourselves. Apparently this was a very new dish, only on the menu for a couple of days, some of the others had seen it before, but I am guessing that what was under the dome is what was new.

Mango Duet Lollipop

This is one of Gaggan’s favourites from his childhood that he has re-created into a bite. Interesting, hard shell with a soft centre.

Infusion of Sandalwood Earthy Roots

This was a great dish to finish the night off with. By this time of the dinner I had lost focus, so I don’t remember what was in the “sandwiches” or what we drank out of the small jugs, but it was enjoyable.

Wow, what a journey. Another great meal. The standouts for me were the:

  • Uncooked Curry Cookie
  • Pork Vindaloo
  • Red Matcha
  • Rangoli

Gaggan

At around the time our last dish was being served this “dude” appeared. It was the man himself, Gaggan. He was dressed down as he was not working. Vladimir “dragged” him over to talk to us. We learnt about his plans for a new R&D kitchen that he is building onto the side of the restaurant, we will be back to find out how that is as soon as we can after it is open.

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He was great fun and really topped of the night.

The Kitchen

The table we had was right outside the kitchen, when we arrived it was a white wall, but after a few minutes we were surprised, it was an Electric Glass wall and on the other side was the kitchen. One of the happiest kitchens I have seen. It is Gaggan’s philosophy that a happy kitchen means relax staff and that in turn means better quality, he also does not expect them to work crazy hours. Definitely seems to be working

The Wine

As usual we had a bottle or two of wine.

Pre-Dinner

wdt_IDWinePhoto
1 Name: Brokenwood ILR
Vintage: 1997
Region: Hunter Valley, New South Wales, Australia
Varietal: Sémillon
Alcohol: 11.5%
Colour: Bright deep golden straw
Aroma: Elegant toasty combination of lemon and citrus aromas with floral hints
Palate: Complex, balanced
Finish: Long

Comment: Another great Hunter Valley Sémillon, they get better and better with age. Found this to still be "young" whilst its colour is showing age, the aromas and palate are still quiet young. 1997 must have been a great vintage for Hunter Sémillons, as the Tyrrell's Vat1 is also a great wine.
2 Name: Bass Phillip Estate
Vintage: 2013
Region: Gippsland, Victoria, Australia
Varietal: Chardonnay
Alcohol: 13.7%
Colour: Bright light gold
Aroma: Pleasant mix of hazelnut, honey, melon and citrus aromas
Palate: Intense, balanced
Finish: Medium

Comment: Still evolving, but also very enjoyable. As it ages the intensity on the palate will mellow, but the intense flavours on the palate were not overpowering.
3 Name: Dom Pérignon Brut
Vintage: 2006
Region: Epernay, Champagne, France
Varietal: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay
Alcohol: 12.5%
Colour: Bright pale straw
Bead: Fine
Aroma: Rich and elegant bouquet combination of floral, peach and fresh pastry aromas
Palate: Creamy, lush, fresh
Finish: Long

Comment: Really enjoy DP and this did not let me down. The tight, fine bead, colour and aromas let you know that you are in for a treat, the palate just backs it up. Can't wait to drink this again!


Dinner

wdt_IDWinePhoto
4 Name: Kumeu River Mate's Vineyard
Vintage: 2012
Region: Kumeu, New Zealand
Varietal: Chardonnay
Alcohol: 13%
Colour: Pale straw
Aroma: Pleasant mix of apple, lemon and lime aromas
Palate: Balanced, moreish
Finish: Medium

Comment: This was one of the wines we also had last time we visited Gaggan, have also had a few of the other vintages of the Mate's, and have not had a bad bottle yet. Great expression of New Zealand Chardonnay. A very good pairing for the Bites course.
5 Name: Atlan & Artisan Epistem No3 - Bottle 1
Vintage: 2012
Region: Yecla, Murcia, Spain
Varietal: Monastrell and Garnacha Tintorera
Alcohol: 15%
Colour: Deep garnet
Aroma: A subtle mix of dark fruit, blackberry, spice Palate: Medium-bodied, structured, balanced
Tannin: Soft
Finish: Medium-long

Comment: We had this the last time we dined at Gaggan, so when on a good thing, stick to it.

Whilst this was not bad, the second bottle was a marked improvement, I was amazed at the amount of bottle variation between the two bottles from the same vintage.
6 Name: Atlan & Artisan Epistem No3 - Bottle 2
Vintage: 2012
Region: Yecla, Murcia, Spain
Varietal: Monastrell and Garnacha Tintorera
Alcohol: 15%
Colour: Deep garnet
Aroma: Fragrant mix of dark fruit, blackberry, spice
Palate: Medium / full-bodied, structured, balanced
Tannin: Structured / velvet
Finish: Long

Comment: Wow, what a different bottle. Loved this one. Everything about this bottle was at least one or steps up on the previous bottle. If you get to try this wine, I hope you get one like our second bottle, well worth a try, as the first bottle was still pretty good!

Vlad the Sommelier, who originally recommended this wine to us on our previous visit, let us in on the fact that he is friends with the wine maker.
7 Name: Jamsheed Yarra Glen
Vintage: 2012
Region: Yarra Valley, Victoria, Australia
Varietal: Syrah
Alcohol: 13%
Colour: Deep ruby red
Aroma: Savoury combo of blackberry, plums, and spice aromas
Palate: Full-bodied, complex
Tannin: Smooth
Finish: Long

Comment: Another of the wines we had tried before. Complex palate, lots going on, will be interesting to see how it evolves with age, I liked the smooth tannins.
8 Name: The Sadie Family, Columella Liberatus de Castro Bonae Spei
Vintage: 2007
Region: Swartland, South Africa
Varietal: 80% Syrah 20% Mourvedre
Alcohol: 14.1%
Colour: Deep garnet
Aroma: Perfumed combination of dark berries, plum, spice and possibly a hint of liquorice aromas
Palate: Full-bodied, lush, balanced
Tannin: Structured
Finish: Long

Comment: I enjoyed this more than the Jamsheed, guess I was craving a big bold red wine by this time of the night. Really enjoyed the mouthfeel and the long lush finish. Guessing that we had this before its peak, so will be an even better wine in another 5 or so years.

The wine maker of this is Eben Sadie who also produces Sequillo, both the red and white, which I have also been fortunate enough to try. Will have to keep an eye out for his wines.
9 Name: Weingut Willi Schaefer Graacher Domprobst Riesling Auslese
Vintage: 2012
Region: Mosel, Germany
Varietal: Riesling
Alcohol: 7.5%
Colour: Bright pale straw
Aroma: Perfumed mixture of pear, apricot and honey aromas
Palate: Vibrant, elegant, lush (yes I loved it)
Finish: Long

Comment: Another great pick by Vladimir Gaggan's Sommelier. This paired very well with the desserts, just the right balance between acid and sugar. Yum!


My wines of the night were the:

  • 1997 Brokenwood ILR Sémillon
  • 2006 Dom Pérignon Brut
  • 2007 The Sadie Family Columella Liberatus de Castro Bonae Spei Syrah Mourvedre
  • 2012 Atlan & Artisan Epistem No3 Monastrell and Garnacha Tintorera – Bottle 2

Oz’s Wine Reviews

Final Thought

Gaggan is definitely one of those restaurants that you can continue to return to, as a number of my friends have and continue to. There is always something new on the menu, something that you missed last time. The crew of Gaggan also make sure that you have at least a great time.

I STRONGLY recommend going to Bangkok and visiting Gaggan, everything else you do there can be, IMHO, considered as an add on 😉

Wine Reviews

Cheers!

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