Dining and wining highlights from Bangkok – Part 1

I just came back from a trip to Bangkok. While I’ve traveled to Phuket before, it was my first time in the capital. I know that Bangkok is home to some amazing restaurants and I was super excited to try them out. And I was not disappointed! I would definitely go back to Bangkok just for the food. We had so much food that I have to break this blog post into two entries. Today, I will write only about Gaggan; and the next entry will feature the rest of the restaurants we tried in Bangkok.

Gaggan

My first night in Bangkok, I went to Gaggan, a restaurant specializing in progressive Indian cuisine. They have two set menus to choose from. I chose the more elaborate menu, which had 12 amuse-bouches and 11 courses.

While wine is definitely my drink of choice with dinner, this post will instead focus on cocktails. Gasp! I know! The reason behind this big departure is due to the large number of courses on the menu and the sheer variety of spices and levels of heat in the food. Being far (very far) from an aficionado on cocktails, I left the choice up to the manager and the bar tender. I was suggested a selection of cocktails throughout the meal, which I thought worked really well with the food. The sweetness of the cocktails was perfect to offset the heat in the food. And the flavors of the drinks were not too strong as to interfere with the flavors of the food.

Below are the highlights from the set of amuse-bouches. The cocktail I had with the amuse-bouches was Witch’s Portion, made with gin and basil:

witches portion

The bird’s nest, made (I think) with potatoes:

birdsnest

Papadam and Tomato Chutney:

papadum

Keema (lamb Samosa):

samosa

Dhokla, a savory sponge cake made with fermented rice and split chickpeas:

dhokla

Brain Damage, which was a savory macaron-like goodness:

brain damage

Fukuoka Surprise made with cream, melon jelly, salmon roe, and seaweed:

fukuoka

And that was just the amuse-bouches! Now onto the main meal. I had a couple of cocktails with the courses, the first of which was a coconut lassi, made with white rum, coconut essential oil, fresh coconut milk, and tonka beans. So delicious!

coconut lassi

First course was truffle, forest mushrooms in the shape of a log, edible soil and micro greens.

mushroom

Charcoal. This dish came out looking exactly like a piece of charcoal and you had to guess the ingredient. Seabass! I don’t know how the chef did it but you could not tell it was seafood from the smell or the taste.

charcoal

Scallop in spicy roasted pepper masala:

scallop

Daab Chingri, or coconut prawn:

prawn coconut

I then switched to my next cocktail – Aladdin, which was whiskey based:

Aladdin

The next course was the Iberian pork loin prepared over 72 hours, and served with sweet and sour Punjabi pickled mix:

pork

Free-range lamb chops sous-vide, grilled and finished with almond saffron oil:

lamb

We also had fish curry (my favorite!) served with homemade naan as part of the main courses but I was too busy wolfing down my food to take a good enough picture to post here :/

And now, time for dessert!

First up was black carrot ice cream, crispy carrot flower, cardamom oil.

carrot

Then, mahachanok mangoes in a coconut semi-sphere. You get a pristine and perfectly shaped ice cream-based dessert served to your table:

mango 1

When you break open the coconut exterior, you get the mango goodness inside.

mango 2

I finished off the evening with some homemade candy and an old-fashioned, which was infused with smoked red peppers.

old fashioned

This was such an inventive and delicious dinner. This was definitely my favorite meal in Bangkok. Amazing restaurant and highly recommended!

Next post: Dinners at Nahm, Eat Me, and Issaya Siamese Club

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About that perfect bottle

I love all things food, wine, and travel!

2 responses to “Dining and wining highlights from Bangkok – Part 1”

  1. John McGowan says :

    Wow! What an amazing feast. My experience with Thai food is that it is often difficult to make the wines work with the courses. You circumvented that problem by opting for cocktails. I am intrigued by the dish called “brain damage” I guess one night in Bangkok can make a hard man humble and mumble.

  2. that perfect bottle says :

    Haha! Yes, I think “brain damage” summarizes a trip to Bangkok well! Part 2 will focus on wine pairings with Thai food. Stay tuned 🙂

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