Gaggan Bangkok is located on a quiet, unassuming side lane off Langsuan Road, in an attractive white colonial house. But be sure to book ahead if you want to sample the delights on offer. Behind these doors is some of most daring Indian food this side of Calcutta, which, incidentally, is the hometown of chef Gaggan Anand, the mastermind behind the impressive dishes. His credentials are impressive: cooking for Bill Clinton and interning at the world famous El Bulli in Spain, before finally opening the doors to the restaurant that shares his name in late 2010. Since then his innovative molecular Indian cuisine has been delighting restaurant goers in Bangkok.
There is a nice buzz to Gaggan. The restaurant takes over the entire house, with seating both upstairs and downstairs. By far the most wanted table is that to the left hand side as you enter, which offers a window into the kitchen where you can watch the team at work. Because the restaurant has retained the original layout of the house there are perfect spots to suit every kind of diner, whether you want a romantic nook for two or if you want to take over the large wooden-floored dining room with a group. Inside the decor is kept simple with subtle whites and beiges, but the outdoor terrace has bolder touches with neon purple lighting, turquoise scatter cushions and candles twinkling along the balustrade. It’s a perfect blend of casual and chic.
The most popular choice at Gaggan is the tasting menu starting at 2,000 baht. It compromises 7 courses and really showcases of extent Anand’s skill and knowledge, and includes some extraordinary dishes using oysters and foie gras. The ingredients are personally sourced from around the world, and you can really taste the quality. There are certain restaurants that make molecular dining seem like a gimmick, but one mouthful of Gaggan’s foam disputes that; it really is remarkable that so much flavour can be packed into something so airy. The pre-dinner amuse bouche has the appearance of a flattened egg, but is in fact Anand’s take on raita. A jelly casing protects the blend of Indian spices and yoghurt which pops in your mouth, releasing the flavours together.
The team really buoy the diners’ enthusiasm for the food, with hosts to enhance your knowledge of the food and preparation technique, and chef Gaggan takes time out to chat briefly with everyone. If you are lucky you may even get a couple of minutes inside the kitchen to see the team preparing these mind-bending creations. As well as tasting menus there are also some re-imagined Indian classics on the menu. We started with Tandoor Aloo (300 baht): baby potatoes filled with sun-dried figs and baked in a clay oven and the chicken tikka kebab (300 baht), some of the tastiest, juiciest morsels of chicken I have ever tried, marinated in spicy green peppercorns and topped with fresh tasting coriander chutney foam. Another that is sure to surprise and delight is the palate cleanser of fresh pineapple and coconut, sucked through a glass straw that delivers an intense fruity flavour.
We stuck to the Indian cuisine we recognised for our mains, with curry and Indian style breads. But even these dishes were worlds away from those we knew. We enjoyed a tomato rich paneer curry (320 baht), delicately spiced, and a rich onion and mutton curry (450 baht), packed with flavour and extremely more-ish. To accompany them was a trio of breads: wholemeal roti, olive tapenade naan and paratha, a slightly oily bread folded with crushed mint. Sharing these dishes with my companion only left a little room for dessert, and from the half a dozen dishes on the menu we picked The Big Mango (300 baht), a large snowball with a crisp shell and a mousse interior. Although the flavour is delicious – accompanied with an aniseed and pistachio crumble – it is rather large, making it better for sharing. Dinner at Gaggan is surprising and delightful, turning your pre-conceived ideas of Indian food upside down and into foam.
- Opening Hours: Mon - Sun 18:00 – 23:00
- BTS: Chidlom or Ratchadamri
- Address: 68/1 Soi Langsuan (opposite Soi 3), Ploenchit Road, Lumpini, Bangkok 10330
- Tel: +66 (0)2 652 1700