Sunday, 2 October 2016

Gaggan - Progressive Indian Restaurant

Birthdays are days where you pamper your self with luxury, great food and lots of cake. I have always celebrated my birthday with my family and my friends but this time I decided to do something different for the same and pamper myself. 
With this thought driving in my head I said to myself why not I travel this time and celebrate it in style. 

Everyone has a bucket list where they list down things or places they want to do in their life time. Similarly I do have a bucket list but this bucket list is different. Being a foodie, my bucket list consists of restaurants and places I want to eat. Some of the restaurants on the list are in the top 100 restaurants of the world. And I plan to achieve that list in the coming years. 

One of the restaurants on the list was GAGGAN. A restaurant based in Bangkok. Its Indian cuisine and not just ordinary Indian food but progressive Indian. Currently its the Best Restaurant in Asia and  at No. 23 in The Worlds 50 Best for Year 2016. 

Im sure I dont need to give an introduction to the place or the chef who is behind the restaurant. 

The moment I decided I will do something different on this birthday, I thought why not I make it a foodie birthday and a food filled trip. The very same day, I made a reservation at GAGGAN first and then booked my tickets. Luckily I got the reservation and to be honest I was quite excited for the day to come. 

I have given a nice story already, and now its time to talk about the experience which is again going to be quite long as the meal was a 19 course meal. Yes, not 5 courses or 6 courses or even 11 courses, but 19 courses. 

But before that, one question, have you guys checked out my facebook page, my instagram handle and have you followed me on twitter ?
If not then you should do it for the food updates. -
Twitter - @HungryBawarchi
Instagram - HungryBawarchi
Facebook - The Hungry Bawarchi


The place is located inside a lane which is first dark and then suddenly you come across this villa which is the restaurant. The Villa is being converted into a restaurant and the decor is very elegant and very simple. They haven't done much to it but its still beautiful.
Once you reach in, you are escorted to your table and the menu is presented to you which has all the courses mentioned. 

You being with small bites and they mention it that use your hands to eat these courses. 


Pickled Cherry Soda


Course No.1 - Pickled Cherry Soda

The 1st course of the menu began with a welcome drink, like how many restaurants and hotels do. The drink was - Pickled Cherry Soda. The soda which was served is the same liquid in which the cherry was pickled. 
The cherry had a sweet, salt and a pickling flavor. A flavor of what we Indians love - Kala Namak (Black Salt) was something hit my tongue at first. 
The soda was nice, cold, refreshing and had the cherry flavor. 
The best part was - it was chilled.






 
Yogurt Explosion

Course No. 2 - Yogurt Explosion.

This is one of those dishes that is being served from the right beginning. The technique behind making this is simple yet complicated. Its basically a sphere of yogurt that once you put it in the mouth, it bursts and all the yogurt is released. Its not plain yogurt, its flavored with Indian spiced. The pop in the mouth gives your tongue a little drama.
Flavor wise, it reminded me of the chaat that I have on the streets of bombay, where they put dahi (yogurt) on top of it and serve. The only difference was, it was different here, the way of service and im sure the quality of the product as well. I have tried making the same at home as well (dont believe me?, check my instagram account for the same.)

Edible Plastic Spiced Nuts
Course no. 3 - Edible Plastic Spiced Nuts

To be honest, I really dont know how to describe the dish. I know what you all are thinking, edible plastic, how can one eat plastic. When discussing with the manager about the dish, he told me that the plastic was made from rice and there is no need to tear open the packet, you just have to put it in the mouth.
It was edible plastic which had a mixture of spiced nuts in between. It was crunchy because of the plastic, had a spiced hit due to the flavored nuts.
It was different as I was having something like this for the very first time.

Idly Sambar
Course No. 4 - Idly Sambar.

At first in my mind when I read this, I thought, Idly Sambar, over here. Then brain starting running as to how it will be served and what will the taste be like. Having a dish which I love to have on the streets for breakfast, there has to be some difference. Until this platter arrived and it had this amazingly soft, fluffy yet delicious idly and sambar. The sambar was in the form or flavored air and hidden between that was the podi masala (Gun Powder). The flavors of the gun powder with the soft idly and the light sambar was just excellent. And it was topped with crispy curry leaf.

Uncooked Curry Cookie
Course No. 5 - Uncooked Curry Cookie

Its in the mind of many that a cookie is technically sweet, but here they do things differently, here a cookie is served savory and that to flavored with curry powder. When the manager came and told me that this cookie is not cooked, I was like how can a cookie not be cooked and how does one eat a raw cookie. But to understand, you need to try this out. The cookie is very light, powder like texture yet creamy and gooey in the mouth. The moment you put it in, it will kinda disintegrate and break down in to powder and then like a creamy pate. Flavor wise, Mere ghar ke yaad aagaye (It reminded me of my home). My mom makes a very similar kinda a curry with vegetables in it.

Aam Panna
Course No. 6 - Aam Panna

Traditionally aam panna is a type of welcome drink which is made using raw mango pulp and the spices are added to the same. Its in a liquid form and usually served in a glass. Here at Gaggan, they let the creativity reach another level. The round thing that you in the image above is the aam panna. Now let me tell you where it is and how it is aam panna. The liquid is inside this solid ball which is made up of white chocolate and then edible silver paper is wrapped around it. So as you pop the ball in the mouth, the chocolate breaks and the liquid, i.e. the aam panna is released. It very similar to my grandmom's recipe, the only different will be the white chocolate. It was refreshing, had a hint of spiciness which was balanced out with the sweetness of the white chocolate.

Pork Vindaloo
Course No. 7 - Pork Vindaloo

One of my favorites. This is one dish I can have and have and have. I just loved the flavors, the textures, in short everything about it. Pork Vindaloo is a curry which quite popular in Goa. The curry is spicy, has meat in it and potatoes. Here the potatoes are taken out of the curry and are used as a way of serving the curry on. The potato shreds are fried until golden brown, the curry with the meat is then topped on it and served like a canape. The meat was soft, juicy and moist. The curry had just the right amount of spiciness and was creamy. The combination to be honest was heavenly. This is one of the dishes I will never forget here.

Black Forest Gateau
Course No. 8 - Black Forest Gateau.

When a person hears the name Black Forest Gateau, it rings a bell - time for dessert. Even I first when I read this on the menu was surprised to see that we have a dessert in between. When the dish came, it did look like a dessert also but its not a dessert. Gaggan plays games with you mind at times when it comes to food. When I was explained by the manager about the dish, he told me that there is a chocolate biscuit base with chicken liver pate, cherry compote and some lovely edible flowers. Soft biscuit, creamy chicken liver pate and compote of cherry, another great combination leaving your taste buds thinking, was it a dessert or was it a savory item, what ever it was, was great.


Khakra Eel Sandwich
Course No. 9 - Khakra Eel Sandwich

Taking the Indian snack - Khakra and using it in a different way is a kind of innovation. Usually we have the khakra plain just like that but here they serve it like an open sandwich. And whats the topping - Eel and not just simple eel, it was marinated and then grilled. To be honest I somehow dint like this much as im not a big fan of seafood. It was a bit chewy which went well with the crispy khakra but still, not a fan of eel. The person who like eel might enjoy it.

Mango Uni Sundae
Course No. 10 - Mango Uni Sundae.

This is a mixture of everything, its sweet, creamy and it has a fairly crispy cone. The components of this dish were Dried mango (which is the cone), then there is vanilla ice cream (this is what I can recollect) and then to top it was the Uni (Sea Urchin). I know what everyone is thinking, sweet, with ice cream and sea urchin, sounds weird, but it actually tastes good. I had sea urchin for the very first time in my life, looked a bit not so appealing but it was creamy and silky smooth. With this course, it was the end of the small bites which if you remember are supposed to eat with you hands (as per the instructions on the menu).

From here we start with the food which is a bit filling. Thoda zada khaana milega.


Charcoal


Charcoal- cut open



Course No. 11 - The Charcoal

Charcoal is usually used to smoke food or cook food. Here you get to eat charcoal, yes, thats right, you get to eat charcoal. Its a surprise dish, you dont know whats on the inside until you cut open it and bite it. At first even the servers wont tell you whats in it. The outer covering was crispy and crunchy where as the inside was smooth and creamy like a paste. What I had got in my surprise was a mixture of fish mince and some spices. It was good but i was enjoying the outer covering i.e. the black part. You are sure to be surprised when this dish comes up.

Magic Mushroom

Course No. 12 - Magic Mushroom - Forest Mushrooms in the shape of a log, edible soil and garden.

Mushroom is such a beautiful thing and at this place they have plated it and served mushroom beautifully. In the image above we have a log which has mushroom mousse in it, then there is green chili soil and micro green and some more mushroom on the side. I dont remember exactly, but I think the log was made with truffle mushrooms. The log was crispy, crunchy and accompanied by creamy mushroom mousse. The dish did complete justice to mushroom as you could really get the earthiness in the dish from the mushrooms used everywhere possible. 

Red Matcha - Tomato Shorba

Red Matcha - Wagashi of Tomatoes





Course No. 13 & 14 - Red Matcha - Tea ceremony with wagashi of tomatoes and fruits and hot tomato shorba.

This course consists of two parts, first where you have the salad and then the tomato shorba.
Lets start with the process from one course to the other in this course :P.
For this one, a chef from the kitchen comes to your table and explains you how this goes. First you have to eat the salad i.e. the Wagashi of Tomatoes, its not only tomatoes, but also has a piece of grape and a ball of melon and some coriander chili oil. The tomatoes are nice and soft and still juicy, the fruit being sweet balances out the flavor of the coriander and chili oil. While you are eating this, the chef starts with the second part of the meal i.e. is the Tomato Shorba. They make it in front of you and interestingly its made using matcha. But here the matcha is red in color and they make themselves. I know what you are think, HOW?. They dehydrate the tomatoes and make a powder out of it and there you have it. So back to the shorba, they use the matcha to make this and while you are having the shorba, the coriander chili oil gives it that freshness and the spiciness along with the depth of flavor from the tomato matcha. I loved the concept.

Rangoli - Tandoori Lamp Chop

Course No. 15 - Rangoli - Tandoori Lamb Chop served with a rangoli
Food presentation is one of most important thing as a person first eats with the eye and then proceeds. The chefs at Gaggan really know how to please your eyes with good looking and it just doesnt look good but tastes also good. If you see in the picture above we have a piece of the lamb chop, its marinated, cooked using a technique call Sous Vide and then its finished in the tandoor to give it that smoky and the coal flavor. Flavor wise the it was nice, spicy and fresh as well due to the use of greens in it. Cooked perfectly, it was moist, tender and soft. Now let me describe the rangoli. At first I dint feel like eating it coz it looked really good and I dint want to destroy it but I had to try what it was made up of. So on the top which is the red color, its beetroot puree and below that we have is a purple potato puree. Both sweet in taste, creamy and smooth in texture and it tasted good on its own.


I Want My Curry
Course No. 16 - I Want My Curry - Chicken kofta curry, minced lamb masala, rice and bread selection. 

Finally a course which will give you the proper Indian Food - curry, rice and naan, thats what mere desh ka khanna is all about - sabzi, naan and chawal.
The above combination comes in a really nice way, like a tiffin box or a lunch box, they open it up and there you have is three things, also not to forget the naans in the basket. This course of meal can be quite filling and it sums up for the small portions earlier. There was chicken kofta curry, kheema lamb masala, rice and breads. The kheema lamb masala was really good, the mince was cooked nicely, flavors were clean and I kinda liked it. Somehow I did not enjoy the chicken kofta curry much, to be honest I have had better made by my mom. So the this course had a mixed review for me, could have been better but never the less, all previous items were good. 


Peach Snowball - Exposed



Peach Snowball














Course No. 17 - Peach Snowball - Japanese summer peach, ginger snow and peach melba ice chutney

Its time for desserts. First dessert was this Peach Snowball. A huge plate with a pink colored dome in the center and hidden under the dome was the real stuff. There was ice cream, there was cake, there was fruit, there was chutney and also jelly (thats what I can recollect). You have to break the dome with the back of the spoon for the good stuff. The ice cream was one of the best I have had and im not lying. I really loved the texture and the flavor of the ice cream. The was soft, went well with the ice cream. The dome was made of white chocolate and Japanese summer peach and it was very sour to my palate. 


Mango Duet Lollipop



Course No. 18 - Mango Duet Lollipop

This is somewhat between a dessert and a palate cleanser. Outer covering of cocoa butter and inside hidden is the sorbet made with mango puree or something which tasted like a drink that I used to have in my childhood and sometimes even now :P - Mangola. Its a mango based drink that my dad and dada used to get home and keep it in the fridge. This dessert brought back some childhood memories for sure. The cocoa butter had that bite which gave the mouth a perfect combination for that smooth sorbet. 








Infusion of Sandalwood Earthy Roots

Course No. 19 - Infusion of Sandalwood Earthy Roots.

Last but not the least, the final course. this was like a digestive course so that you can digest all the food one had. There was sandalwood water in the cup and the other two I cant recollect (too much food it was, I hope you can understand, brain stops working after a point). But with this we ended our meal and the experience here. 


Before I end the post, I would like put down a few points. 
1. If you want to experience this, please make advance booking as they only have two slots in a day. 
2. The cost of this experience was 4000 Baht plus taxes. 
3. Do not forget to get an image of yourself with Gaggan Anand. :P, its a memory. 


(The author had visited the place as a normal customer, all the views about the food is entirely his own and not influenced by anyone.)


 

5 comments:

  1. Wow! Looking too much delicious and mouth watering. I wish I could be there and eat all these foods without sharing with anyone else. I'm a foodie and love to taste foods from every corners of the world. It remains a memorable experience for me if I get to eat some Indian foods in the foreign soil. Indian restaurants in abroad are greatly appreciated, after all Indian are in every part of the world. I want some tips that how to eat according to your wish but remain slim fit. Anyways, jokes apart, this is a lovely blog. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Pratik,

      Thank you for the kind words and taking out the time to read the article. You should definitely try the food here and im sure you will not be disappointed.

      Delete
  2. This is the precise weblog for anybody who needs to seek out out about this topic. You notice so much its almost arduous to argue with you. You positively put a brand new spin on a subject that's been written about for years. Nice stuff, simply nice!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      Thank you for the kind words. Im glad that my article was of help and you enjoyed reading the same.

      Delete
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    ReplyDelete

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