Gaggan, the Bangkok restaurant named No. 1 in Asia, will open an affordable second branch on the same premises, as well as a culinary laboratory which aims to “investigate Asian ingredients and their potential for modern gastronomy."
The restaurant that was last night named Asia’s Best Restaurant at the regional version of San Pellegrino’s World's 50 Best Restaurants, has announced major renovation plans. Gaggan will later this year be joined by three new additions: a bar, a casual-dining restaurant, and a food laboratory complete with chef’s table.
The bar, says head chef Gaggan Anand, will be something completely new to Bangkok. “When I think of bars in this country, it’s the same old mixology consultant doing 20 places. What’s the point in going? We are doing something that has never been done in Thailand: kitchen chemistry mixed with bar mixology. Food made into liquid in a serious lab.”
The new restaurant, Gaggan Easy, will introduce a more accessible, everyday style of dining to Gaggan, with no reservations and only an a la carte menu of curries and other Indian-fusion food. It will, he says, be the opposite of the fine-dining restaurant: “Book a table at Gaggan and it takes a month. People who live here don’t want to do that, and there is a huge gap between Gaggan and where to go for good Indian food. When my family comes to visit I struggle to find a good place for a curry."
Perhaps the most major change will be a new kitchen laboratory, created in collaboration with the Basque Culinary Center, the training and research facility for gastronomic sciences in San Sebastian, Spain. This lab, explains Gaggan, will “investigate Asian ingredients and their potential for modern gastronomy. About B5 million worth of kitchen equipment from Spain is coming over.”
Inside this lab will be a chef’s table serving exclusive dinners. “People will be sitting inside the lab and the kitchen, with the bar as a hub between the two.”
“We refuse 50 tables every day. We were one of the restaurants that improved the culinary scene in this country. Instead of expanding into 10 restaurants, which is very lucrative, why not improve on what we started with a new level of gastronomy?”
The renovations are set to be unveiled later this year.