Before we booked our plane tickets to Bangkok I made sure I secured tables at both Nahm and Gaggan. Nahm being the former number 1 restaurant in the San Pellogrino Asia's Top 50 restaurants list before being toppled by Gaggan in the current list. Luckily for us I had reserved a table at Gaggan before the 2015 list was announced.
My first awareness of chef-proprietor Gaggan Anand was during Obsession 2015 at Northcote where he was a featured chef during one of the nights of the illustrious parade of worldwide chefs. The style of Gaggan exudes influences of chefs time at el Bulli with molecular gastronomy playing a heavy part in the menu along with more traditional Indian cooking methods. It was this mix of modern and old school take on Indian fine dining or progressive Indian as termed by Chef which peaked our interest as our experience of Indian food involved hearty, homely large sharing dishes. Perfect for families and satisfying meals but we wanted to explore the other end of the spectrum and to experience how humble Indian food could be elevated to another level.
At the time of our visit a choice of three set menus were available with varying lengths. We were allowed to pick different menus which we found refreshing as we have different appetites and could experience more dishes. A multitude of influences from Japan, Portugal, Spain and France amongst others play a part in the menu, the presentation of the dishes was exquisite and certainly opened our eyes as to how beautiful Indian food could be presented given a little imagination. The meal began with a fast and furious selection of street eat bites before leading into the main dishes.
Burnt mango panna
Edible plastic spiced nuts
Chocolate panu puri
Potato a-some-crispy and liquid
Bengali mustard and noori pakoda
Papadam and tomato chutney
Explosion - Golgappa: herb injection, cumin potato and yoghurt
Alchemist cake - Dhokla: lentil flour cake with curry leaves, mustard, chutney and coconut ice cream
Say cheese - hot souffle of 4 cheeses and crispy rice cereals, green chilly oil
Sandwich - foiegras mousse, onion water baguette, onion chutney and hazelnut candy
Down to Earth - summer vegetables, asparagus, morels, mushrooms, artichokes with a 62C egg yolk and truffle chili air
Charcoal - no description was given when the dome was lifted to reveal the charcoal. We were left to guest the ingredients and were later informed that it contained dehydrated vegetables for the black crust and stuffed with spiced sea bass paste.
Treasure shells - Norwegian diver scallop, coriander herb oil gel, young coconut curry
Portuguese connection - Joselito Iberian pork belly stir-fired with vindaloo curry and sweet potato. This was one of the standout dishes of the night.
Fusion called confusion - white asparagus, yuzu chutney, chili miso curry, false green beans, sesame miso chips
Best memory - lamb chops sous-vide, grilled and finihsed with almond saffron oil
Land of Lungi - Atlantic lobster cooked in chameen style, malabari coconut curry
River king - fresh water prawns grilled in tandoor with a curry leaf infusion and mango chutney
Angry bird - slow cooked country Thai chicken in a spiced Chettinad style curry
Made in Japan - matcha tea cake, mascarpone cream, vanilla salt and fresh wasabi
Poor mans porridge - firni-jasmine ice cream, pistachio crisps, rose room freshener
Magnum - inspired by the famous ice cream
Petit fours - Turkish delight, lemon sour gel and crispy chocolate