A Return to Gaggan
The Hulk is not one to return to a place and correct past wrongs but if you are ranked as Asia’s number 1 place and the Hulk believes that he might go back and be able to have the perfect meal, the hulk shall make an expection.
So back to Asia’s sin city on another jaunt to SE ASIA hulk decided to return to this old stomping ground one fateful evening expecting to finally have a perfect 10 meal but it was not to be.
This for me was a really strange experience having personally met Chef Gaggan Anand a few weeks before my meal and having interacted with someone who I felt was a great guy and hoping this feeling would translate into an even greater dining experience at his outlet.
Well this time around I was flying solo keeping it as a strictly food vs hulk experience since Asia’s number 1 restaurant deserved such respect but sadly thought the evening this respect waned due to the rather strange behavior of the staff… So as I had said before I was eating solo and had a table for 2 I kind left that the staff were already pushing me out of the door before I started my meal… there was a certain level of pushiness being experienced from the get go. It was like oh let’s get this dude over and done with quickly and then we can fully utilize the table since here is a guy eating alone whilst sitting on a table for 2
Am pretty sure the wealthy Chinese tourist couple with their new found wealth made and the middle aged gentleman with his mistress or trophy wife were compensating for adequately whilst ordering bottles of wine. So perhaps me with a bottle water could have been left alone to enjoy my meal in peace. But little did you know it was the Hulk as Bruce Banner…
I’ll write some more about the rather strange behavior of the staff after am done describing my meal
The whole experience similar to the last time was a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde one. When it came together I was poetry and when it didn’t it was like Drake rapping.. i.e. made no sense what so ever
Here it goes
1. The rose shikanji to start you off was a great idea but was too thick to flow easily down the little lest tube it was presented in…
2. One of my favorites still around from the last meal the Yogurt Explosion is till the shock you get thinking it’s a soft boiled egg on a spoon and you realize it tastes like dahi papri
3. The edible plastic spiced nuts were pretty good to taste and high on the gimmick with the rice paper bag that looks exactly like a transparent plastic bag you might be served on a plane but not like King Julian who preferred his on a silver platter… ( that would have been a great touch tough)
4. The chocolate Chilly bomb was the weak link in the opening exchanges basically a take on the classic gol gappa but was too small to really give a kick in the mouth and the chocolate was just simply wrong on many different levels. I know Lindt done a chilli dark chocolate which is decently good this definitely wasn’t it. Try as hard as you may in my book that was a definitely negative.
5. Birds nest was an innovative way of presenting aloo chat and was adequate on the taste and texture front but nothing spectacular and the potion microscopic
6. The Bengali style Pakoda was probably gaggans idea of paying tribute to Bengali cuisine and was perfectly balanced and whilst he called it a pakoda it felt more like a kebab nice and gooey
7. No Indian meal can rightfully be started without Popadoms and in this case they were made from Sagu aka Sabudana but nothing special.
8. The Magic Mushrooms were truly magic not the best to look at but amazing on the palate… a perfect 10 in my book
9. Up next was another Gaggan signature the Charcoal fish which is basically something that looks soo unappetizing you might chuck it back on the face of the person who served it to you but at the same time tastes absolutely brilliant Spoiler Alert: The Fish is Sea Bassa
10. The pig and Pickle for me was the hero dish of this meal and probably the highest point of my meal since from here on it was a bit of a letdown… That pork loin can only be described as one thing : Foodgasmic .Cooked to perfection and coupled with makhni gravy it was fan-fucking-tastic !!!
11. The Dab Chingri was another dish I was really looking forward to and needless to say I wasn’t really disappointed… the prawns were perfect and the coconut curry foam complemented it jusr right…
12. Now here is where my meal took a turn for the worse well I was already quiet annoyed with the way I was being fed super quickly so they could get me out of the place… but to couple some thing like a south Indian fish curry with butter naan and pudina naan was a an absolute disaster !!! Come on for a meal and the best Indian restaurant in the world I would expect enough attention to the bread that would go with your main curry dish… Appam , Malarbar parantha anyone ??? but no butter bloody naan !!! How what where and why would you do something like this… Every thing was going so well food wise till this point that I was willing to overlook the strange staff behavior… But no you had to turn the Hulk all green… Even a few weeks after my meal am still raging about this… Really I didn’t care if the fish curry was tasty any more.
13. The Gajar Halwa a child hood favourite of mine was done in a completely new avatar like an ice cream… In true gaggan style it was bought to the table with all the fanfare and theater but one had to look for that miniscule little cone amongst the dry ice smoke and what looked like turf…
14. This for me was the single worse desert I have had… but let me be clear I am no fan of mangoes.. but willing to brave it out I decided to go for it… and needless to say yuck I really didn’t like it… and to top it off the mango pulp felt like It came out of a 2 dollar super market tin…
Thankfully the candies and a big glass of water helped clear my palate at the end of the meal cuz I really didn’t want to ushered outta the place in a hurry with a bad taste of mango… A nice touch on behalf od the staff was to order its customers a taxi as soon as their meal is over but what wasn’t nice was to ensure you waited outside on a soggy Bangkok evening whilst your taxi arrived… It was as if they were trying to push you outta the door quiet literally as soon as you have finished your meal and paid for it… Am sorry to say Gaggan Anand that is no way to treat paying customers… For all the respect I had garnered for you a person it disappeared with your staff at the door on the way out…
I wen there hoping for a pefect 10 ten meal and came back with a horrible 5 thanks to the service and Nan SNAFU… If only the food wasn’t as good as it was the ratings would have been rock bottom… The experience ruined what could have been another great meal…
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