Gaggan-Asia’s Number 1 Restaurant
What can we say? The title of this post sums it up and lives up to it’s name for the past 2 years on Asia’s top 100 list of restaurants: Gaggan.
With our plane tickets booked to Thailand for the Christmas holiday, we wanted to have a special Christmas Eve dinner. After looking at reviews and of course, Netflix Chef’s Table documentary, we tried to snag ourselves a reservation at Gaggan. Luckily, we booked 10 months in advance for Christmas Eve. We were offered two time slots- 5:30 or 9:00 PM. Being late eaters, we opted for the later time. We also wanted to try the 22 course-tasting menu, so we immediately went on a diet right before hand.
Upon arrival, we were greeted and escorted inside the restaurant, which sits inside an old historic two-story home. Our seats were in a nice corner with an open view of the restaurant. The only down side is that all of the tables were very close together. You couldn’t speak too loudly without the couple next to you listening in and laughing at your joke.
Once in our seats, our “menu” for the evening was placed in front of us. Not a typical restaurant, and definitely not a typical menu. The menu was only emojis! Really cool, but really scary too as you had no idea what you were eating until the very end. The servers do not tell you either. At the end of your meal you are given another menu with exactly what you had eaten. As mentioned, very nerve-wracking, but at the end, pleasantly surprising! Our favorite dish ended up being goat brain! So, you must go in with an open-mind and try everything.
After trying to guess what exactly we would be eating, we started with a pre-dinner glass of champagne to celebrate our night.
Just a tip…the tasting menu is a pretty reasonable price, especially for everything that you eat and the street-cred of the chef. HOWEVER, you most definitely pay (sometimes an arm and a leg) for the alcohol. We had a mindset of relaxing and enjoying ourselves, so we weren’t too concerned with the prices of wine…well until we ordered that final bottle of wine and got our bill.
Anyways, each course was thoroughly thought through. On every plate you could see the chef’s vision, creativity, and passion. Every bit was succulent and memorable. It was really our first experience with molecular gastronomy and every dish was an adventure. We realize this type of dining isn’t for everyone, but it is worth trying at least once.
Gaggan isn’t necessarily an Indian restaurant but rather a delicious fusion of the flavors of India and Thailand. We tried to take as many pictures as we could, but after a few glasses of fine wine and 22 courses later, we kind of forgot about the pictures and just enjoyed the experience.
Another great aspect of this dining experience is that many evenings you actually meet Gaggan Anand. He comes over personally to every table and chats for a bit. We were in a bit of awe. If you have ever watched the documentary on Gaggan on Netflix, you will totally understand.
Sadly, we did learn from one of the managers and through other food articles we had read, that Gaggan is closing down in 2020 and will open another restaurant in Japan. We are already looking forward to going to Japan and trying the new place with a completely new concept. We also found out that Gaggan’s sous chef is opening her own restaurant across the street. Once we head back to Thailand and it’s open, that will next on our list.
Price was rather reasonable for such a high caliber and well-known restaurant. At the time we visited, the price was 4000 Thai baht per person for the tasting course menu. The restaurant also adds a 10% service charge and 7% VAT. This does not include alcohol and the wine list is highly priced.
The website now lists a 25-course tasting menu so the price most likely increased as well.
We really did enjoy our experience a lot and it was a wonderful way to spend Christmas Eve. The food was on a completely different level! Similar restaurants in cities other than Bangkok would probably be at least double the price. It truly was a culinary experience that we will never forget and one that we continue to talk about up to this day.