While most of us stick to using emojis on our telephone to help portray our feelings, one eatery in Bangkok is taking patrons on a “journey through modern Indian cuisine in 25 emojis.”
But with 25 courses, such an impressive presentation of culinary talent must come at a pretty hefty cost. Gaggan Restaurant, which has the difference of being the number seven restaurant in the world, offers customers this delicious expedition for just $300 person or persons.
And while such an expensive banquet might not be in the cards for most of us, one couple decided to shell out $600 on their anniversary and indulge in the Indian elegances prepared by chef Gaggan Anand. Maintain reading to hear their thinks on the extravagant tasting menu.
“My wife and I first went to this restaurant on our honeymoon in 2013. It wasn’t very well known then, the concierge at our hotel couldn’t even commit us guidances( and he was sporting a clef d’ors badge !)
Back then, they had 2 fixed menus and an a la carte alternative. We moved the first time and had a determined menu for about $70 for two and enjoyed it so much we went back got a couple of nights subsequently for the a la carte.
For our fourth anniversary, we attained the trip back to Bangkok and before we had even booked flights, I had booked us in at this restaurant we had raved about ever since our honeymoon.
When we arrived, the maitre d’ told us that we were invited to the chef’s table and did we accept( of course !)
The restaurant has changed a bit in the last four years, renovations etc. and the chef’s table was in the extension to the main eatery and upstairs. We moved upstairs with the 10 other guests and these were the menus placed before us — oh son! “
“Ah yes, as Chef Gaggan called it, “the dish that constructed him famous”.
In 2013, this dish was on his menu, and he says it will be on his last ever menu too.
Simple, although probably not. It is yoghurt( believe raita) but spherified. The spherification( and overrule spherification) process is about the combination of a preparation including sodium alginate, and a preparation high in calcium. The sodium alginate and calcium solution react to form a thin scalp around your answer and as you put it in your mouth, the yoghurt explosions and you drink it.”
All around nice guy, and just super passionate about making good food use different techniques.
We first met him when we just finished eating at his restaurant the second day and it was raining, so we were waiting out front for a taxi; there was this cook there and he asked us how we enjoyed our banquet( it was amazing !) and then we started to discuss politics as the riots had just started. He wished us a good night as we hopped in the taxi and we learnt him stroll across the road and unlock a BMW — ah, might have been Gaggan that we just spoke to!
Rumour has it that he was a big drive for the Michelin Guide to ultimately come to Bangkok last year. In a city full of stand out restaurants, he’s been a systematically strong performer and truly helped set it on the culinary map, so I can believe those gossips. How many Michelin starrings did he get first time around? Just a casual two”
“These are eggplant wafers. I cannot even begin to describe how painful the process of constructing these sounds, but I’ll give it a go: 1) roast the eggplants until they’re burned on the outside and cooked inside 2) blast freeze to -4 0* C 3) freeze dry to remove all moisture( about 4 days) 4) pound into gunpowder, mix with spices and petroleum to make a dough and cut with cookie cutter 5) put onion chutney in the inside like an oreo Congratulate the 8-9 chefs who worked on it for 5-6 days before serving to your guests to devour in one bite! “
“This one got me a little. One of my favourite on the menu for sure.
A heartier serve than other segments prior, a meaty bowl that really had some great flavors going on.
Apparently it was goat. Brains. What? I’ve eat brains before and there’s quite a soft texture to them, I remember it being almost creamy which I didn’t think this bowl had. On reflection though, I suppose it wasn’t a really meaty texture, only a hint of meaty flavor and a smoothness to the bite after breaking the shell around it.”
“Anyone here au fait with subcontinental cuisine? Does idli sambar audio familiar?
Idli are a type of rice cake and sambar is a lentil-based dish cooked in a tamarind broth making it a hint of sweetness.
In this instance, the idli were more like rice puffs, soft and very light, while the sambar was a foam which brought the subtle sweetness of the tamarind through with the more noticeable savouriness of the lentil soup.
“I remember one of the sommeliers asking me what my favourite dish was and I didn’t want to say this dish because everyone else had said it, but it was a fantastic little burger. It was probably the astonish factor to an extent — just unassuming and then bam! Really terrific flavours and yet so simple.”
“Any guess? How about yuzu marshmallow and foie gras?
This marshmallow was really well stimulated( like, REALLY !) it was a little chewy, but simply insofar as to offer the slightest resistance as you bit through it and took a small pillow of citrus with your foie gras and wafer. Incredible.”
Honestly , not my favourite. People desire it, and that’s chill. I’m merely not one of them and that’s okay too.
Those little balls on top? Oh hey, welcome back spherification! Those are gin and tonic balls.
Aside from the fact that uni isn’t something I enjoy, I get this dish. It was serving some crisp flavors with the gin and tonic balls( and a little bit of sorbet below the uni) to cut through the seafood-y flavor of the sea urchin all served in an easy-to-hold seaweed wrapper.”
“Everyone knows matcha tea, it’s constructed with…matcha? Well, this was a cold preparation induced with asparagus, celery, and some other vegetables and herbs WHICH PERFECTLY REPLICATED THE TASTE OF MATCHA !! This is witchcraft. I honestly couldn’t tell you how surprised I was that he told us we basically only had vegetable soup.”
“An uncooked curry: yes it was served temperate, yes those scallops were to die for, and yes, that is a quenelle of coconut ice cream which combined with a slightly spicy green chutney to only remind you that this was a curry you were eating.”
“Oh, actually, it’s quail! I might have tried to convince my wife to let me have her section of this one too…
Chettinad is a typically spicy curry from southern India, in this instance, that flame was reduced to a marinade before cooking, and then a small dollop of just-spicy-enough goodness beneath the quail breasts.”
“Unfortunately I failed to hear the exact method behind this dish. Essentially, it was this very crisp exterior which simulated charcoal in texture, with some of this in powdered form on top. What was inside was this creamy asparagus, although not overwhelmingly asparagus flavoured. A genuinely, really interesting bowl from a texture perspective.”
“Lobster in a finely spiced sauce, on top of a dosa( an Indian flapjack of sorts ). You know how I said I like fish tacos except in the soft tortilla? Yeah, swap the fisheries sector and mango salsa for lobster in a curry-style sauce and that’s more like it. I tried stealing the wife’s portion again but almost got my hand bitten off.”
Not the most outrageous thing I’ve eaten tonight, I’ll try it…of course it’s amazing. It’s exactly what you think will happen when a team of passionate, top-notch chefs set their intellect to creating a fusion of something we think of as earthy and spicy, with the sweetness of mango and then have the chocolate sandwich it together.”
“Twist on the Black Forest cake anyone? I forget how the cherry-reds were prepared, but they had that nice tang to them that cherry-reds sometimes get, while the powder melted in your saliva to give a wonderful creamy texture to a classic dessert.”
“Ghewar, or ghevar, is a sweet biscuity-cake snack from northern India. In this case, combine this ghewar, which isn’t overly sweet, with a slice of mango to give it a little sweetness kicking, results in a divine dessert to close off this epic culinary journey.”