Gaggan’s former sous chef leads the kitchen of 2017’s hottest new opening
An abandoned, bright yellow building that’s been sitting opposite Gaggan for years has been taken over by the restaurant’s former sous chef and transformed into Gaa, a fine-dining destination that’s poised to take Bangkok’s food scene by storm.
Helming the kitchen is Garima Arora, a Mumbai-hailing journalist-turned-chef who earned her cooking chops at two Michelin-starred Copenhagen restaurant Noma before landing a spot in Gaggan’s kitchen. In a homey dining room that combines mirror, brick and dark wood, Arora serves eight- (B1,800) and 12-course (B2,400) meals that alchemize local organic ingredients into an eclectic mix of international flavors.
A meal usually starts off with an enticing starter like grilled young corn husk brushed with chili and paired with an addictive corn emulsion, before moving on to more substantial fare such as pork ribs brined in “piso” (split-pea miso). This dish, which plays up intense flavors against mild textures, is topped with a colorful combo of finely-chopped shallots, spring onions and pomegranate. Another course, the grouper taco takes inspiration from khanom la, the flossy sweet treat from southern Thailand. Wrapped in a crunchy shell, this treat underlines the combined flavors of mustard and caramelized milk skin.
Desserts are a sheer delight. A trio of soft-serve ice cream features exotic flavors like jaggery, turmeric and beewax. The cones and toppings are exceptionally made with ingredients like coriander seed and safflower. Indian and Thai influences shine in a plate of chocolate-coated sweets comprised of roasted rice balls with chili and spices, rice bran cream, sweet tamarind, and betel nut wrapped with fennel powder, roast chutney and cardamom candy.
The tasting menus also boast a juice-pairing option that offers fruity, out-of-the-ordinary drinks.