COCONUTS HOT SPOTS – “Progressive Indian” is the term that Chef Gaggan Anand uses to describe the food at his namesake restaurant in Soi Langsuan. Ever since I first heard the term a few years ago, I was curious about what exactly it meant, but until recently the intimidating price tag kept me at bay.
The smallest of the three recommended tasting menus is one with 10 courses and it will cost you about THB1,600, excluding the VAT, service charge and drinks. With the food being served in small portions one course at a time, you will be allowed just enough time to appreciate what you pay for.
Guests can literally have a window into the kitchen at Gaggan. From the seat during my visit (arguably the most sought after in the entire restaurant and one that often requires a reservation of several days to weeks in advance) I witnessed each and every eye-opening step that went into the making of my 10-course++ menu degustation dinner.
This show alone should convince you that you’re money is well spent, but if you need more proof consider the praise from our competitors. It was 10th on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2013, 66th on World’s 100 Best Restaurants 2013, 7th on BK Magazine’s Top Tables 2013, and most recently 3rd on Bangkok Top 20 Best Restaurants.
Shortly after sitting down it became apparent why Gaggan has received such plaudits. Before the main courses Gaggan warms you up with three rounds of bite size tidbits. There is a pop of spiced yogurt—made into a white slippery orb using a popular Molecular Gastronomy technique called “spherification,” a shot of pineapple-and-coconut flavored drink, and a trio of Gaggan’s intriguing edible creations, one of which was wasabi-flavored beans packaged in a tiny edible plastic-like wrap.
And that was just the beginning.
Viagra: As soon as tidbits are gone, my fourth course arrived in a wooden box. Gaggan’s signature “Oyster and Ice Cream” was set beautifully on salt crystals, accompanied by an ordinary looking green leaf. The French oyster is topped with a tiny scoop of pale yellow Indian mustard flavored ice cream. Initially I was befuddled by this combination, but it worked. The iciness of the ice cream does a lot to give a whole new sensation to the fresh oyster, but the best part of was the leaf, which carried with it a rich seawater taste!!
Egyptian Secret: Because Foie Gras is in such high demand these days, it’s just got to be there somewhere. This is it. Egyptian Secret—my fifth course—took a creative twist on Foie Gras with a condiment of spiced red onion chutney and cold raspberry Foie powder. I’ve had Foie Gras with raspberry before but it was just never in this form or as good.
Truffles: My sixth course looked deceivingly simple. “Truffles” appears to be a tiny bowl of really thick soup. It was so small that I initially wondered “Why so stingy??” But I should have seen it coming—the course isn’t a mediocre mushroom soup; it’s savory potato and truffle mousse.
Smoke It Up: One whole river king prawn—tandoor grilled and finished with fennel Kachumber and charcoal oil—is the sole star of this course. The aroma of the charcoal, the grilled shell, and the green spices blanketing the white flesh of the prawn makes this dish simply mouthwatering.
Game On: This was a perfectly spiced crispy fried French quail leg served with a “Sous Vide Curry” made with freshwater sea bass and served in raw mango curry. To wrap up the meal, there was Mahachanok mango in mousse and fresh ice cream, elegantly served with an edible silver leaflet.
The dinner lasted almost 3 hours but it didn’t feel like half that time. The whole thing turned out to be one heck of a gastronomic journey without me having to leave my cushioned seat. Gaggan and his team surely had it all very well thought out. But of course, this would be something that you would expect of a chef who was trained by the world’s Molecular Gastronomy god—Ferran Andria.
For an unconventional dining experience, this place is definitely a must!
Tel: 02 652 1700
Dinner hours: Mon – Sun: 6:00 pm – 11:00 pm