Day #244: Bangkok.
So this will be a short blog post mostly focusing on the photos I took during our memorable meal at Chef Gaggan Anand’s namesake restaurant, GAGGAN. Located in a posh area of Bangkok called Pathum Wan (think GUCCI and PRADA lined shopping streets) lies the Best Restaurant in Asia and the 7th Best Restaurant in the World.
DISCLAIMER: Now… I know the above accolades are from a list that has been derided by many as being too Eurocentric, too commercialized and doesn’t focus on gender diversity – see here and here for those foodies readers who might be interested – but it does allow a good list of places to choose from when traveling to cities with a plethora of fine dining. Jeni and I have also been taking the more Bourdain-ish approach to local foods as well, attempting to try as many local “street” type foods and flavors. But we still love the idea of experiencing fine dining and the products of top-notch chefs with World renown.
We started our attempt to secure a reservation back in December, and it MAY have involved some hammer-emailing of the reservation department. Ever since seeing Chef Gaggan’s episode on the Netflix series Chef’s Table, we’ve been excited about adding this meal during our stop in Bangkok. Initially a little disappointed in the late 9:30PM seating… but we were ultimately glad about this given the surprise in store for us!
Bangkok traffic is notorious for being some of the worst. One reason we chose the hotel we did was because it was located less than a mile from Gaggan, and also less than a mile from Nahm (a Thai place that is #28 on the Best Restaurant list and will be visited by the whole Bepko family the following night). Although only a 20-minute walk or so, walking outside is out of the question in Bangkok’s hot and humid environment.
So we called a Grab Taxi about 45-minutes before the reservation… and of course, arrived about 25 minutes early. During our wait time, we saw Chef Gaggan mixing it up with the arriving diners and the hostess. He kept asking everyone – including us – if we “eat everything”… and those who said “YES” were assigned to the “The Lab”.
So THE LAB is actually a chef’s table set upstairs and apart for the main dining areas. Seats for 13 persons in front of the Gaggan and his team of chefs!
We were handed a cryptic menu of emojis…
The following is just a quick photo representation of some of the emoji courses. It was really fun trying to guess what we would be served next based on the icon.
Yogurt – – Explosion
Lick It Up – – Brain Curry
Caviar – -Horseradish Egg
Eggplant – – Cookie
Chilly – – Bon Bon
Yum – – Pla Duk Foo
Keema – – Pao
Turnip – – Uni Taco
Chutoro – – Sushi
Scallop Uncooked – -Raw Curry
Prawn – – Salchao
Return of – – The CTM
Edamame Shitake – – Charcoal
King Crab Curry – – Rice Paturi
Beetroot – – Roses
Flower – – Power Rose
Origami – – Caramel
Yin Coffee – – Yang Sesame
All in all, this was a very enjoyable meal. Although it didn’t crack Jeni and my Top 10 Dining Experiences, we would highly recommend this to any foodie friends visiting Bangkok. Just be sure to plan ahead…
The last photo is off the final menu with the descriptors of the emojis. We didn’t know we had goat brain curry until the very end.
And now we return you to your regular scheduled Bangkok street food dining!