MOLECULAR Gastronomy. The final frontier. This is the specialty of Gaggan Anand, a chef who boldly takes Indian cuisine where no chefs have taken it before. Peer into the kitchen at his eponymous restaurant on Soi Langsuan and you’ll see chefs hunched over metal containers, whipping up clouds of vapor as they prepare desserts in liquid nitrogen; others prodding small, jelly-like shapes with thermo-meters before popping them into a colleague’s mouth for appraisal; and a distilling machine concocting a unique cocktail or two, such as a gin and tonic, without the tonic. It all looks very scientific, but this isn’t just science – this is culinary art.
Gaggan, a Calcutta native, studied molecular gastronomy at the world-famous El Bulli restaurant in Spain. Using the skills he picked up there, plus plenty of his own flair, he creates a progressive version of Indian cuisine which delights all of the senses. There simply isn’t another dining experience like it in Bangkok. Where else in the city, for instance, could you find sphericated yoghurt served on a spoon? Called Chowpati Year 2050 (250++ baht), this wonderfully wobbly creation resembles a peeled soft-boiled egg. It is made by delicately dripping yoghurt into an alginate bath, which causes a thin gel membrane to form around the yoghurt. As soon as you pop the parcel in your mouth it explodes with a riot of flavour.
Gaggan’s menu is full of similar surprises. There’s
The Goose is Not Cooked (850++ baht), which features organic Hungarian foie gras roasted, tourchon, and even as a powder; India meets Italy selections like Green Fish (375++ baht), featuring green chilli and coriander fettuccini with smoked salmon and cucumber raita; and exciting desserts such as The Big Mango (300++), which is made by dropping a balloon filled with mango mousse into liquid nitrogen.