Oh-my-word! This restaurant is mind blowing! I was not expecting this level of creativity and inventiveness, not only in terms of presentation and conceptualization of the dishes but also in their eye-popping tastes and flavors. It’s one WOW after another. It’s worth it (or almost) to get on a plane to Bangkok for just a night, brave the jet lag, just to try Gaggan!
Anand Gaggan is one of the fascinating chefs interviewed in Chef’s Table on Netflix and has had an impressive path that is quite hard to believe. Born in Kolkata, India, to Punjabi parents from modest origins, Anand attended a catering college in the city of Trivandrum and worked for a while at the TAJ group. In 2007, at the age of 27, he decided to leave India and flew to Bangkok, Thailand. After many jobs that led to many frustrations, he decided to open his own restaurant in Bangkok.
In December 2010, Anand opened Gaggan. Since then the ascent to success has not stopped. The restaurant is a three-time winner of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants; 10th, 23rd, and 7th in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2015, 2016 and 2017, and chef-owner Anand Gaggan is considered as the world’s best Indian chef.
Gaggan is a progressive and molecular Indian restaurant. For the butter chicken lovers, I’m afraid you will have to skip this one! Just before the restaurant’s opening, Anand went to Spain to meet Ferran Adrià, the head chef of the El Bulli restaurant, described as “the most imaginative generator of haute cuisine on the planet.” After that trip, Anand knew exactly what he had to do.
The décor of the restaurant is all white with a colonial feel from British India. The table setting is very simple: all white, with a white sheet of paper with little icons, and no cutlery. We were barely installed before two dishes arrived to the table. The waiter then explained the process of the dinner.
Each icon on the menu represents a vegetable, a fruit, or an animal that gives a hint of what the dish is based on. Each dish is a single bite presented in a very delicate and creative way. All the presentation plates are tailored to Anand’s guidelines. I have never, ever, seen such an appealing way to present Indian cuisine or any other cuisine, quite frankly.
The menu is a parade of 25 bites – 25 jaw-dropping, astonishing surprises – based on vegetables, fish, and three or four meat-based dishes. As a side note, I’ve read many reviews of people complaining about the lack of willingness to accommodate vegetarians. Maybe this is something to look into if you are concerned.
Chef Gaggan is not expecting you to love each bite. As he said in an interview for the Four Season magazine: “You wouldn’t come back to my restaurant if you’re not thrilled with something. In 20 courses you would only be satisfied with two or three which will be good enough to bring you back. You can’t enjoy all 20—you’re not meant to.”
Gaggan is being a bit too modest here; there are many more than two or three dishes that will more than satisfy you.
With Anand Gaggan
Every time the server brings a dish, he or she explains the ingredients used except for one. The rule is: you eat it and then they explain. You have to play the game, of course, otherwise it’s no fun! That is why I will not unveil the secret!
Gaggan plans to close Gaggan in 2020 to start a new concept in Japan. That just means you have three years to plan your vacation to Bangkok!
68/1 Soi Langsuan, Ploenchit Road,
Lumpini, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
📞+66 2 652 1700
Menu: THB 5,000 per person
Dinner: Monday to Sunday from 6:00 to 11:00 pm