A Gaa-stronomic Delight
With Gaggan just having copped its Best Restaurant in Asia for the 4th consecutive year; you can be certain that getting a table at Gaggan will be high on the priority of most discriminating diners heading to Bangkok. And that’s why it’s good to note that just across Gaggan on Lang Suan Road in the Ploenchit area, we find Gaa. It’s been open for just a year, but the good word on Gaa is slowly, but surely, spreading. It should stand as no coincidence that Gaa can be found next door to Gaggan, as it is the brainchild of Chef Garima Arora - Mumbai-born, and trained in Noma, she was the former sous chef at Gaggan.
At Gaa, the pervasive influence is naturally Indian, but there’s an effortless trans-Asian feel to how the courses are conceptualised and prepared. Ingredients come from across the region, with impeccable standards and quality the dominant factor. From food fit for royalty to street food interpretations, there’s a more whimsical and playful vibe to Gaa, with surprises lurking around every corner. To get you started, one reserves at Gaa and opts for the 10 course or 14 course Degustation Menu. Be forewarned that the Wine Pairings offered are a stand-alone price for the libations on their own, and not a Food Tasting inclusive of Wines price.
Gaa at Bangkok
On the night we had our Gaa-stronomic experience; the first course was a Chilled Soup of Marion Plums with Cheese Curd - the plums a relative of the mango. Next was the Duck Doughnut, served takoyaki style, with piping-hot duck vindaloo found within. From the outset, there was this playfulness of going from cold to hot. The third course was Chicken Liver with Longan; and we were back to cold, as this was shards of delectable frozen chicken liver with the longan fruit coming as the surprise bite that explodes in your mouth. The simply titled Corn was next and it was misleading, as this was succulent baby corn that was served whole, with a smoked cornmeal dip. The Cauliflower Bread with Homemade Butter that followed was more like a breather, as it could have stood as something that accompanies a course, and not a course unto itself.
Chilled Soup of Marion Plums
Chicken Liver with Longan
Cauliflower Bread with Homemade Butter
The intermezzo course was the Strawberries with Royal Project Sturgeon Caviar with Hor Wor Oil and this was truly special, with the Strawberries thinly sliced to form a geometric pattern. Following was the Crayfish with Khakra, a truly interesting preparation served on crispy flatbread. And then we had the Bottle Gourd with Caramelized Whey, a pumpkin like dish that satisfied. The Pork Rib that came as the last main course, was picture-ready, garnished with Pomegranate, Onions, and Coriander.
Strawberries with Caviar
Crayfish on Flatbread
Bottle Gourd with Caramelized Whey
Pork Rib at Gaa
Corn with Cornmeal
The dessert came in two waves - there was the Burnt Sugar Ice Cream in a Red Rice Cone with Pork Floss, then the Chocolate Betel Leaf. The leaf was a curiosity, but I would return time and time again for the Burnt Sugar Ice Cream.
Burnt Sugar Ice Cream in Red Rice Cone with Pork Floss
Chocolate Betel Leaf
My favourites that night were the Soup of Marion Plums, the Chicken Liver with Longan, the Strawberries with Caviar, and the Crayfish. Delighting me throughout was the inventiveness that was still grounded, and not mere showing off but making flavours expand and surprises burst out of nowhere. Gaa may only be a year old; but it certainly earns its place in Bangkok’s culinary landscape.