Gaggan Bangkok – Awesome Meal

I doubt when you think of Bangkok that your first thought would be to look for the best restaurant in Asia or number ten on the Top 50 Restaurants for 2015 or even Indian Food for that matter, I suggest that you do from now on.

Gaggan was ranked as number 10 on S. Pelligrino the Worlds 50 Best Restaurants list for 2015 and is the number 1 ranked on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2015 and after being lucky enough to dine there I now know why!

Gaggan is hidden away in an ally of one Bangkok’s upmarket districts, Soi Lang Suan. The restaurant resides in a beautifully restored colonial home that seems completely out-of-place where it is. If you are going to visit Bangkok and are interested in dinning at Gaggan, there are a number of good hotels near by, so you won’t have to go far and can “practically” avoid the traffic nightmare that is Bangkok most of the time!!

As Gaggan has been awarded frequently it is becoming well-known and therefore bookings (well in advance) are a must, my friends and I got lucky because of a cancellation.

There are two dégustation menus on offer “Taste of Gaggan” and “Best of Gaggan”. We selected the “Best of Gaggan” and wow, what a gastronomic journey it was.

If you are also lucky enough to eat at Gaggan, I recommend the “Best of Gaggan” as the way to go. The “Taste of Gaggan” is a subset of the “Best of Gaggan” menu.

Menu

wdt_ID Best of Gaggan Menu Vegetarian Best of Gaggan Menu
1 Bites from India, "Eat with your hands"

Nacho's Mood Today
Yogurt Explosion
Edible Plastic Spiced Nuts
Chocolate Chilly Bomb
Bird's Nest
Onion Pakoda
Papadam and Tomato Chutney
Keema (Lamb) Samosa
CTM - Burger
Idly Sambar
Egg Bhurjee
Bites from India, "Eat with your hands"

Nacho's Mood Today
Yogurt Explosion
Edible Plastic Spiced Nuts
Chocolate Chilly Bomb
Bird's Nest
Onion Pakoda
Papadam and Tomato Chutney
Corn Samosa
PTM - Burger
Idly Sambar
Cheese Bhurjee
2 Charcoal

Be surprised!! We won't tell you what it is
Charcoal

Be surprised!! We won't tell you what it is
3 Magic Mushroom

Truffle, forest mushrooms in the shape of a log, edible soil and the garden
Magic Mushroom

Truffle, forest mushrooms in the shape of a log, edible soil and the garden
4 Red Matcha

First a cold salad of tomatoes and grapes, then the hot tomato tea ceremony
Red Matcha

First a cold salad of tomatoes and grapes, then the hot tomato tea ceremony
5 Patrani

Herbed marinated fish wrapped in edible leaves with tender coconut dashi
Patrani

Herbed marinated cottage cheese wrapped in edible leaves with tender coconut dashi
6 Pig & Pickle

72 hours prepared Iberian pork loin, in sweet and sour Punjabi pickled mix
Pickle

White asparagus in sweet and sour Punjabi pickled mix
7 Dhokla

Lentil cake snow with curry leaves with mustard seeds
Dhokla

Lentil cake snow with curry leaves with mustard seeds
8 Who killed the Goat?

Free-range lamb chops sous-vide, finished in tandoor
Kebab At Last

Paneer sandwiched with Bengali 5 spices
9 I want my curry!!!

Blue swimmer crab coastal curry with steamed rice
I want my curry!!

Kashmiri morels, fenugreek and fresh green peas curry with steamed rice
10 Gajar Halwa

Black carrot ice cream, crispy carrot flower, and cardamom oil
Gajar Halwa

Black carrot ice cream, crispy carrot flower, and cardamom oil

The Food

Bites from India “Eat with your hands”

First up was Nacho’s Mood Today, not really sure what it was. It was a clear ball with what I think is the stigma of a flower contained within the semi sweet liquid centre, guessing that the outside of the ball is gelatin. The idea is to use the flower to pour the ball intact into your mouth. It was a very refreshing start to the meal.

The next appetisers were served share plates style.

  • Yogurt Explosion – a yogurt flavoured with cumin and mango that is coated in another gelatin layer. You eat it just like an oyster, sliding it whole into your mouth. Tasty.
  • Chocolate Chilly Bomb – white chocolate with a slightly sweet liquid chili centre with edible foil. Luscious.

Gaggan

  • Edible plastic spiced nuts – wasabi and spices mixed with nuts.
  • Papadam and tomato chutney – dehydrated tapioca pearls are used instead of traditionally with flour, topped with tomato chutney. Another tasty dish.

Gaggan

  • Birds Nest – the nest was made of potato rosti, the egg was a spiced date chutney and potato. Nice

Gaggan

  • Onion pakoda – A nori pakoda with Bengali mustard, coated with seaweed dust. Yum!

Gaggan

  • Keema (lamb) samosa – Great, nice balance between the spice and lamb.
  • CTM burger – Chicken Tikka Masala filling between a tomato infused bun, not sure what the bun was made from, it dissolves as soon as it is in the mouth. Another tasty morsel.
  • Idly sambar – Sambar foam, ghee and spices. Very lite and enjoyable

As there was a vegetarian dinning with us, were lucky enough to be able to check out the other tasting menu, these are the first two dishes that differed to our non-vegetarian menu.

  • Corn samosa
  • PTM burger – Paneer tikka masala
  • Egg bhurjee – a sweetish shell with a curried egg and cheese centre. A great way to finish the “Bites from India”, and we are not even half way through the meal!

Charcoal

  • Doubt that you can work out what this “surprise” was either. We had to ask and were surprised to find out that it was sea bass and potato, not sure what the wrapper was made of. A very pleasant surprise. The dome and smoke was a nice touch, added a little “theatre” to the dinner.

Magic Mushroom

  • Truffle and forest mushrooms with a truffle mouse, edible soil and plants. Not sure how the “log” was created. Interesting and enjoyable.

Red Matcha

  • Starts with a cold salad of peeled cherry tomatoes and start fruit
  • Next up is an homage to a tea ceremony where a hot tomato tea is made at the table
  • The apprentice / trainee chef who prepared the tea for us was from New Delhi and was in the middle of an internship at Gaggan, great to see that Chef Gaggan Anand is helping to train the next generations of chefs.

Patrani

Gaggan

  • Marinated sea bass with edible flowers, lime and coconut dashi. Great presentation and the right balance of flavours. I enjoyed it.

Gaggan

  • The vegetarian option was marinated cottage cheese, edible leaves and coconut dashi (I think that it is a savoury coconut custard)

Pig & Pickle

  • 72 hour prepared Iberian pork loin in a sweet and sour Punjabi pickled mix. YUM!

Pickle

Gaggan

  • The vegetarian option was white asparagus in a sweet and sour Punjabi pickle mix

Dhokla

  • Lentil cake snow with fried curry leaves and mustard seeds

Who killed the Goat?

  • Free-range lamb chops sous-vide, finished in tandoor. This is the dish that Gaggan is most famous for, the lamb is from New Zealand. Extremely tasty!

Kebab At Last

Gaggan

  • The vegetarian option for this course was a paneer sandwich with Bengali 5 spices.

I want my curry!!

  • Blue swimmer crab coastal curry with steamed rice. Awesome, the curry did not overpower the crab, probably my favourite dish of the night, but it was very difficult to pick a favourite.

Gaggan

  • The vegetarian option was Kashmiri morels, fenugreek and fresh green peas curry with steamed rice. Looked very good, but would not swap it for my crab!

Gajar Halwa

 

  • Black carrot ice cream, crispy carrot flower and cardamom oil. Great presentation, not what I was expecting, also flavoursome and not overly sweet, we needed a dessert wine to pair with this, ended up pairing the desserts with a rum from Martinique.

Fall Season

Gaggan

  • Leaves from the Royal Farm with basil ice cream and 70% chocolate. This was my favourite dessert, liked the combination of basil and chocolate, maybe a bit of chili would have made it even more delicious (just my opinion, it was great without it!!!)

 Bombay Cassatta

  • Pistachio, mango, rose milk, cardamom, pan leaves and popping candy. Very refreshing and balanced set of flavours, also delish.

Digestive Tamarind Leather

  • I liked this, but some of the others at the table did not, it was chewy and a little sour.

Wine

For the first time in a very long time we drank only wine from the restaurants wine list and, with the help of the Sommeliers, we were able to find wines that paired very well with food.

wdt_ID Wine Photo
1 Pahlmeyer Jayson

Vintage: 2012
Region: North Coast, USA
Varietal: Chardonnay
Alcohol: 14.9
Colour: Bright Golden Straw
Aroma: Fresh combination of grapefruit, nuts and butter
Flavour: Pleasant mix of Grapefruit, lime and mineral
Finish: Medium

Enjoyable, bright, balanced flavours, nice acid, no heat considering the alcohol.

This wine was our pre-dinner drink which we had before we arrived at Gaggan.
2 Kumeu River Mate's Vineyard

Vintage: 2012
Region: Kumeu, New Zealand
Varietal: Chardonnay
Alcohol: 13%
Colour: Pale straw
Aroma: Refreshing apple, lemon and lime combo
Flavour: Nicely balanced mix of apple, lemon, lime and citrus
Finish: Medium

Great wine, paired very well with the Bites from India.
3 Kumeu River Coddington
Vintage: 2012
Region: Kumeu, New Zealand
Varietal: Chardonnay
Alcohol: 13.5%
Colour: Pale green straw
Aroma: Pleasant apple, peach, lime and possibly almond combo
Flavour: Mix of apple, stone fruit, lime and almond
Finish: Medium - long

This is the "little" brother of the Mate's Vineyard, still a high quality wine and has it's own style. Better value for money that the Mate's, but would still go for the Mate's if I had the option. Pairs well with the Gaggan food
4 Atlan & Artisan Epistem No3

Vintage: 2012
Region: Yecla, Murcia, Spain
Varietal: Monastrell and Garnacha Tintorera
Alcohol: 15%
Colour: Deep garnet
Aroma: Dark fruit, spice and pepper
Flavour: A mix of dark fruit, possibly blackberries, spice and pepper
Tannins: Structured
Finish: Long

Another good selection by the Gaggan Sommeliers, this had just the right body to pair nicely with the lamb and was also not to heavy to have with the pig.
5 Jamsheed Yarra Glen

Vintage: 2012
Region: Yarra Valley, Victoria, Australia
Varietal: Syrah
Alcohol: 13%
Colour: Deep ruby red
Aroma: Medium-bodied combination of dark berries and fruits, pepper and spice
Flavour: Combination of blackberries, black pepper and spice
Tannins: Smooth
Finish: Long

A medium-bodied wine, just what we needed to finish of the wines. Probably would have paired well with the Fall Season dessert, but I had finished it off by then!

Oz’s Wine Reviews

As most dishes had some sort of spice incorporated into them I think that an aged Riesling or three would have paired very well, a couple of reds would still be needed for the lamb and pork, not complaining at all, just planning my next visit to Gaggan.

To finish up the night I was looking for something a bit heavier and was recommended a rum from Martinique, and what good recommendation it was.

Gaggan

Rhum Dillon Très Vieux Reserve du Comte Arthur Dillon VSOP was a good pairing for the desserts especially for the Forrest Floor, with its dried fruit, caramel, spice and vanilla flavours and aromas. This rum was aged 6 years so I wonder how good it’s older brother, the 15-year-old, is! Can’t wait to find out.

WOW!!

What a meal, only 23 courses, has to be in my top five meals of all time. I am / was amazed by how each flavour was distinct in each dish, the presentation was excellent, every ingredient was fresh and of the highest quality. In addition to the great food, the service of the staff was first-rate and they have a very comprehensive wine list at “decent” prices for a restaurant of this stature.

Gaggan

Most of the Gaggan Team who looked after us!

I am sure that no matter how many times you visit Gaggan that there will always be something new on the menu or that you will notice different in the food. This is a must for foodies world-wide and for anyone who lives or is visiting Bangkok, if you do want to dine at Gaggan make sure you book in advance!

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Cheers!

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