On our most recent trip to Thailand, Karen and I were most looking forward to experiencing the cuisine of chef Gaggan Anand at his eponymous Bangkok restaurant Gaggan, winner of Asia’s best restaurant for the last several years.
The restaurant is a good 20 minute walk from the nearest BTS station, so it’s advisable to take an Uber or taxi. Our Sukhumvit (Asoke) hotel seemed easy enough to find but the Uber driver never showed up. The concierge called us a cab and we made it to the restaurant just in time for our 9:30 reservation.
Gaggan serves a whimsical menu named The Gaggan Experience, priced at 4000++ THB. Once seated, we were presented with a 26 item “emoji menu. ” Each emoji represents a component of the 26 courses to follow, a server guides each table through the courses as they arrive.
The menu changes every few months, but several classics, like the cumin scented “Yogurt Explosion” continue to stay on.
The sommelier presented us with a well thought out wine list but we chose to go the cocktail route instead. Our favorite was a riff on The Coconut Lassi with coconut water, Malibu rum, cow’s milk, and grated tonka bean.
The first several courses consist of a series of small snacks inspired by Indian street food, the tastiest being the “Bhel Puri in Edible Paper,” a great way to awaken our taste buds.
While the menu obviously leans heavily on Indian flavor profiles, the “Green Pea Mushroom Roll” had roots in Europe and East Asia with black truffle and wasabi powder.
The next dish was a unique twist on matcha tea. Presented table side by the Sous Chef, dried tomato powder and tomato water were whisked until bright red.
Every course of the night was a hit, but perhaps my favorite was the “Shrimp Charcoal.” The shrimp and potato mixture tasted of mustard seed and fenugreek and was deep fried until crisp. The charcoal powder added smokiness and made for a dramatic presentation.
Another hit were the sweetcorn waffles filled with a goat brain mousse. Delicious.
The dining experience lasted almost 3 hours and we were back on the streets of Bangkok by 1 am. By the time the late night food carts started hitting the scene, we were hungry again.
Before we knew it, the sun came up and it was time to head back to our hotel.