Gaggan (Bangkok, Thailand)
Gaggan restaurant is one of Asia’s best restaurants, located in a beautiful colonial house in a small street in the center of Bangkok. It was elected as ‘Asia’s best restaurant’ for the second year in a row by San Pellegrino at the beginning of March 2016. The colonial style of the building is extended to the interior and guests dine at large, white tables. Tables at the left side of the restaurant have a great view on the open kitchen.
Contrary to what one might expect, Thai cuisine is not served at this restaurant. The chef, Gaggan Anand, is in fact hailing from India and brings an inventive, creative version of the cuisine of his homeland. In the kitchen, Gaggan is assisted by a dedicated international team with staff from almost all continents.
The Chef & The food
Chef Gaggan Anand was born in Kolkata in India and studied hotel management in Thiruvananthapuram. After an internship at El Bulli, the famous restaurant of Ferran Adria, he got bitten by the ‘molecular cooking bug’. He brought this technology back to Bangkok but got a lot of resistance in the restaurant where he was working at that time. To be able to do what exactly what he wanted, the chef opened his own restaurant Gaggan together with his Thai wife in 2010. Since the opening of the restaurant it was regularly awarded and in 2015 and 2016 it even received the award of ‘Best Restaurant in Asia’ (San Pellegrino).
Gaggan describes his cooking style as “Progressive Indian Cuisine” and that is a good summary of what you can expect. The dishes are obviously Indian inspired with many typical ingredients (like Tikka Masala, Tandoori Lamb, …) and many spicy notes. However, the preparation and presentation techniques are progressive and innovative. The chef uses many techniques from El Bulli and surprises his audience with new structures and presentations.
There is only one menu at Gaggan, which consists of about 20 small dishes and appetizers. That menu is served at a price of just under 100 euros, which is a good price compared to Western fine dining standards. The names of the dishes sound poetic and often refer to the original Indian cooking. We dined at Gaggan on March 10, 2016, and enjoyed the following menu:
Bites – “Please eat it with your hands”
Edible Plastic Spiced Nut
Chocolate Chilly Bomb
Uncooked Curry Cookie
Foie Gras Sundae
Be surprised!! We won’t tell you what it is
Forest mushrooms in the shape of a log,
Edible soil and the garden
Tea ceremony of tomatoes
Story of fish called Kin-Medai
Act 1 – Oil poached with gunpowder
Act 2 – Fish Head with Rice Kedigree
Act 3 – Eggplant smoked with Fish Smoke
Act 4 – Fish Bone Jelly with orange Segments
Off the tandoor, Lamb
I want my curry!!!
Green chicken Tikka Massala served with Naan and rice
Mithai ki maki
Nolen Gur (date sugar) ice cream, pistachio cake, sesame and almond crunch
Co-created with chef Goh – sake ice cream, miso caramel, grape snow, spring fruits
Roots of love
A story that happened recently between 2 chefs in our kitchen with a rosy end
The “Belgian Taste Buds” Experience
Restaurant Gaggan definitely is one of the most interesting restaurants in Bangkok and probably even in Asia. The interesting mixture of Indian cuisine and flavors, molecular cooking techniques, and creative presentations. A restaurant that might not appeal to lovers of a classical French kitchen, or people that does not like spicy food, but a place that must be visited by all lovers of inventive, creative, daring and avant-garde gastronomy.
Belgian Taste Buds:
– Food Buds 8.5/10
– Wine pairing Buds 7.5/10
– Price/Quality Buds 9/10
– Service Buds 8.5/10
– Experience Buds 9/10