Gaggan Anand (pictured) with Rydo Anton
Tristan Lim Jie Han
Progressive Indian cuisine
Lick it up
68/1 Soi Langsuan, Ploenchit Road, Lumpini, Bangkok, 10330
+66 2 652 1700
Constant creative evolution sees Gaggan top Asia's 50 Best for a fourth consecutive year
Chief reason to visit: Gaggan Anand’s fertile imagination and culinary wit are played out in a lengthy but always fun tasting menu which balances the soulfulness of Indian street food with hyper-modern cooking techniques to unrivalled effect.
A word on the chef: Kolkata-born Anand is something of a superstar in the food world, as much for his effervescent personality as his boundary-pushing dishes. After a life-changing stint in the kitchen at El Bulli, the chef opened his eponymous Bangkok restaurant in 2010, where he has reimagined the notion of ‘progressive Indian cuisine’. He has since opened burger and beer restaurant Meatlicious and is launching natural wine bar Wet and tofu restaurant Mihara Tofuten in 2018.
On the tasting: The 25-course menu, written entirely in emojis, starts off with a series of rapid-fire snacks including the spherified Yoghurt Explosion, and proceeds through a long sequence of courses including Indian sushi, charcoal prawn Amritsari and uni ice cream in a miniature cone. At the end of the meal, guests are presented with a version of a menu that contains the names of the dishes.
Pick a highlight: Anand’s latest signature ‘Lick it up’ is served in time with the eponymous song by legendary rock band Kiss. Made with green peas, fenugreek, mushroom and tomato, the dish is designed to be ‘licked up’ directly from the plate – the flavours are layered to touch the tongue exactly where the different taste receptors are placed.
What’s the vibe? The restaurant is set in an elegant whitewashed and recently renovated colonial house, tucked away from the mayhem of the city’s busy streets, with a number of different dining spaces. Service is relaxed – despite the occasional theatrics created by the use of liquid nitrogen – and the cocktail list is particularly strong. Try to bag the table adjacent to a giant window into the kitchen to watch the multi-national brigade show off their alchemy, or sit upstairs at the chef's table in the brand new R&D lab.
Is it really the Best Restaurant in Asia? According to the 300-plus voters, yes! Gaggan is boundary-pushing but never too serious: a restaurant where fun dining is taken to a new level, but not at the expense of taste or technique.
Bonus point: Gaggan starred in his own episode of the hit Netflix series Chef's Table in 2016.