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On 7/11/2017 at 12:35 AM, DonRocks said:

It will be hard for you not to go - especially if you'll be in Thailand for a week. You're looking at 5,000 Thai Baht ($150) per person, and you'll kick yourself if you pass it up. You're a crusader for Indian cuisine as modern, fine dining, so this seems like a natural fit for you.

Honestly, the photos on the website impress me as art more than cuisine, but the Chef (Gaggan Anand) seems to be really trying.

A Modern Indian restaurant in Thailand - that's a pretty cool chance to meld two cultures.

"Best Restaurant in Asia?" I doubt it seriously (I mean, look at this (and note the sous-vide that comes afterwards)), but who knows? I wouldn't trust these group-assembled "Best Of" lists. I'm sure that's a fine dish, but *Best Restaurant in Asia*?! 

"No wines allowed from outside" would make me email them and ask for a sample wine list, just so I'm not held hostage.

So, that was quite an experience!

Firstly, the cost is not inclusive of tax/service, so it ends up being 6500B a person (~$180/person) without drinks, so it's expensive by Western standards. We ate on our last night in BKK. The restaurant is in a very cool old house in the Lumphini Park area. The feeling is more like "old school" British service with many people assisting you every step of the way. We had a table upstairs for the first seating at about 6pm. The menu is 25 emojis, and it's "small bites", molecular gastronomy, with cute presentations from the servers - you have various people bringing you courses - from the captain, to waiters, to the chef (not Gaggan, he doesn't work on Sundays). 

I've never had this type of food before, so it was a lot of fun - the spheres, foams, gels, etc. It's not "Indian" in the way Rasika still has completely Indian roots. It borrows from Indian cooking / spices, but it's it's own thing, and there are definitely some Thai influences. Without going into each specific dish (there are far too many and I don't think it's that valuable), but the ones I really enjoyed - "chili bon bons" - a take on pani puri, a chaat masala yogurt "explosion", a deconstructed green curry served on dehydrated chicken skin, shrimp foam in shrimp shell as a sort of "tom yum" (yeah, doesn't make much sense, but it's pretty amazing), baingan bartha "biscuits", idli foam, banana / chicken liver mousse, Indian fatty tuna sushi, pork vindaloo croquettes. They have an "audio/visual" dish, fun desserts, lamb "chorizo" with a tamarind fruit roll-up to eat it with, fish with indian green chili (similar to something served at Rasika but they use chicken as protein) made in banana leaf served flaming on the table, deep fried taro "charcoal", lobster taco made with a soft dosa shell. 

We had a blast, since neither of us had this type of an experience. One of the better experiential meals, like Komi or something like that. Was it the best in Asia? Well, with the number of Michelin starred restaurants in Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore, I would find this claim to be at best dubious and at worst, laughable at worst (not saying the Michelin star in itself means something, just saying there amazing fine dining experiences all over Asia). It's possibly not the best Asian fine dining in Bangkok (I didn't go to nahm or any of the nicer Thai places in town). The other thing, even though I'm not even a novice with wine, I recognized some of their options and the markup was incredible. Stick to cocktails and beers (they had a great New Zealand Double IPA that I've never even heard of) There are also service glitches. It's one of the most innovative takes on Indian food I've ever seen, very fun for the guests, and with extremely enthusiastic servers (think Rose's Luxury staff dressed much more formally).

Service glitches - there was an issue with cocktails and our table and others - they took far too long to make and didn't come til the 3rd or 4th course. We just stopped eating until the drink finally came. Water glasses can stay empty and need gentle nudging to remind them to fill them back up. We spend $500 total, and it was well worth it, in my opinion.

If you're going to be in Bangkok and aren't traveling on a budget, you should go, because of it's uniqueness and innovative nature, and because it really is tasty and refined. After many, many roadside curries, fiery som tam, rice porridges (we will miss these dearly), and so much meat on a stick, this was the perfect way to end the trip. I'd also suggest a quick stop at Muse Hotel's rooftop bar before or after (opens at 5.30p, so perfect for one cocktail before dinner) - it's just 5 minutes away. 

Enjoy the food pornographs!

 

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On 12/5/2017 at 8:54 AM, Simul Parikh said:

I've never had this type of food before, so it was a lot of fun - the spheres, foams, gels, etc. It's not "Indian" in the way Rasika still has completely Indian roots. It borrows from Indian cooking / spices, but it's it's own thing, and there are definitely some Thai influences. Without going into each specific dish (there are far too many and I don't think it's that valuable), but the ones I really enjoyed - "chili bon bons" - a take on pani puri, a chaat masala yogurt "explosion", a deconstructed green curry served on dehydrated chicken skin, shrimp foam in shrimp shell as a sort of "tom yum" (yeah, doesn't make much sense, but it's pretty amazing), baingan bartha "biscuits", idli foam, banana / chicken liver mousse, Indian fatty tuna sushi, pork vindaloo croquettes. They have an "audio/visual" dish, fun desserts, lamb "chorizo" with a tamarind fruit roll-up to eat it with, fish with indian green chili (similar to something served at Rasika but they use chicken as protein) made in banana leaf served flaming on the table, deep fried taro "charcoal", lobster taco made with a soft dosa shell. 

I've been curious about this place since seeing the Netflix show on Chef Anand. The way he talks about Indian cuisine and the issues involved with modernizing it and refining it to bring it to a higher level seems to be a perennial obstacle as more places try to create a bridge to the haute cuisine level of dining.  

Great writeup and nice photographs. 

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