Visiting Asia’s best restaurant has always been a dream of me since I watched that famous episode on Netflix. Writing this Gaggan review means that dream finally came true. For those of you who are still planning to visit Gaggan, I have to warn you about the spoilers I am about to tell you.
Gaggan is the 2-Michelin star restaurant run by the famous Indian chef Gaggan Anand and for the past four years, it’s listed on the top of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants and seventh ranking worldwide. The reason for all these awards is the next-level Indian tasting menu. Gaggan serves sophisticated Indian dishes based on Indian street food of which ninety percent are finger food. Thanks to his internship at the famous restaurant El Bulli, not only the food tastes amazing, but the presentation of these dishes are insane too!
In the morning, we received a phone call from the staff, asking if one of us had some sort of food allergy. In case you do have, the team will serve you an alternative menu. At Gaggan, they work with two shifts which starts at 17:30 and 21:30. We had the first shift and after a long day full of excitement, we finally arrived.
The restaurant is simply beautiful and quiet that you can’t believe that you are actually in Bangkok. We got a table on the second floor where the staff was doing their absolute best to make sure we’ve had an amazing night. I liked the fact that the staff was making a joke every once in a while. After receiving some cold drinks and a fresh cold towel, it was time to receive one of the strangest menu’s at any restaurant: the emoji menu.
The emoji menu of Gaggan
Nowadays, the tasting menu consists of twenty-five different dishes. The menu of Gaggan is a simple list of emojis and at the end of the evening, you will receive the names of the actual dishes. It was kind of a fun experience not knowing exactly what you got, except for the most famous dishes of Gaggan. The tasting menu is the only thing they serve, it changes regularly (except for the most famous dishes) and it will cost you 6,500 THB per person excluding tax and service fee. It took us over three months to get a reservation for four people. With that being said, let’s finally talk about the food.
The famous emoji menu of Gaggan
The food at Gaggan
It is impossible to write about the flavours of each and individual dish, especially when the dishes will be served to your table in rapid-fire. Therefore, this Gaggan review will only cover the absolute highlights (which is extremely difficult at Gaggan).
Inspired on El Bulli’s Oliva Sféricas, Gaggan created his signature dish of Indian’s most important ingredient: yogurt. The cool thing of the Yogurt Explosion at Gaggan is that you are expecting a fresh and sour yogurt taste, but once in your mouth, the Yogurt Explosion tastes like an actual curry. All thanks to the molecular gastronomy expertise of the chef.
The famous Yogurt Explosion
Dining at Gaggan is a whole different experience and that includes that other senses will get triggered too. After a few dishes, the staff will place a JBL speaker on the table and you will hear the song Kiss - Lick It Up. The moment the chorus is reached, the staff will bring you a plate with curry and herbs with the text: lick it up. You have to lick the plate clean and while doing that, you get an amazing Indian curry taste explosion!
Lick the plate
One of my personal favourites of this whole dining experience was the Egg Tart Ghewar. Of course, it’s extremely different to pick a favourite at a restaurant as Gaggan. The egg tart was so incredibly crispy and airy, yet the egg itself was so heavenly rich.
Egg Tart Ghewar, perhaps the tastiest dish I have ever tried in my life
Another amazing dish was the White Asparagus No It’s Cauliflower. After a cool presentation with dried ice, you can pick up this ice cold white asparagus, which is actually white chocolate with cauliflower filling. These dishes are just so amazing where you have to really try to recognize that flavour after being misled.
White Asparagus No It's Cauliflower - a beautiful presentation!
One of the most exciting and exotic dishes we tasted was the Sea Urchin Hay Ice Cream: ice cream made of sea urchin. As I had never tried sea urchin before, it is still difficult to explain the taste. But all four of us looked each other right in the eyes of excitement after our first bite!
Sea Urchin Hay Ice Cream
Another favourite of the evening by all four of us was the River Prawn Balchao. A deliciously barbecued large prawn with insanely tandoori flavouring and served with a spicy chili powder dip. With my taste buds used to Thai cuisine for years, this was the only dish that was nicely spicy for me. All other dishes - and I think this dish as well - are safe for any taste palate.
River Prawn Balchao
The final dish I would like to address is also the final dish on the tasting menu. Inspired by Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon the final dessert is almost a copy of the cover of the album. Of course, the wireless speaker is put on the table and the staff will serve you a gorgeous looking dessert that, of course, you need to eat by hand. It is the perfect finishing of an extraordinary dinner.
Pink Floyd inspired "Dark Side of the Moon"
My final verdict: Visiting Gaggan was for us a once in a lifetime experiences and we were so happy that we did it. When reading reviews on the internet, you will quickly notice that the guests either love it or hate. Yes, it is expensive (and I haven’t even mentioned the expensive wine list), but for us, it was an experience that we will never forget. Before I forget to mention it, in case you want to visit Gaggan, make sure you visit the restaurant soon as it will permanently close in 2020. For more information and other venues, check out the Gaggan website.
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