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.

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Photo from the Michelin Guide site… I was so excited I forgot to take an outside photo

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!

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The Lab
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Bring on Dinner!

We were handed a cryptic menu of emojis…

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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.

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Chef Gaggan explaining one of the dishes

Yogurt –  – Explosion

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Yogurt in an emulsified coating… it did BURST in our mouths

Lick It Up –  – Brain Curry

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The middle layer was the goat brain
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KISS’s Lick It Up was playing in the background during this course

Caviar –  -Horseradish Egg

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Very pretty to look at… took 3 seconds to eat

Eggplant –  – Cookie

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Dehydrated eggplant center surrounded by a reconstructed rava idili

Chilly –  – Bon Bon

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White chocolate with a liquid chili center; nothing more needs to be said

Yum –  – Pla Duk Foo

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Little bits of fish on the bottom; reminded us of the ” salmon ice cream cone” at French Laundry

Keema –  – Pao

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Awesome goat curry dumpling

Turnip –  – Uni Taco

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Sea urchin taco; the “tortilla” was a little too thick for our liking

Chutoro –  – Sushi

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Nice fatty tuna, slightly seared

Scallop Uncooked –  -Raw Curry

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Mixed raw scallops and coconut in a little pastry-like shell

Prawn –  – Salchao

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Spicy prawn, Goa-style

Return of –  – The CTM

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Chicken tikka masala… re-imagined

Edamame Shitake –  – Charcoal

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This looked like a charcoal briquette; but it tasted a whole bunch better

King Crab Curry –  – Rice Paturi

Beetroot –  – Roses

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Sort of a Beauty-And-The-Beast thing going on here.  Rose petals made of beetroot

Flower –  – Power Rose

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Lovely crispy treat filled with soft ice-cream like fillings

Origami –  – Caramel

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Sounded none too tasty as this was four different types of filling. But this was awesome!

Yin Coffee –  – Yang Sesame

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A coffee and sesame cold sandwich. Fine way to end the meal

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.

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The final list

And now we return you to your regular scheduled Bangkok street food dining!