Mumbai-born Garima Arora created history of sorts when she became the first Indian woman to win a Michelin-star, which she did for GAA last Nov in the 2019 Red Guide for Thailand. A sister-restaurant to the über-popular Gaggan, right across the courtyard from it, GAA’s cuisine veers towards fusion Indian-Thai, whereas Gaggan is more fusion Indian-Japanese.
Chef Garima Arora, a Noma as well as Gaggan alumnus, favours using seasonal local produce like unripe jackfruit and pomegranate, combining those with Indian dried fruits and spices to come up with some beautiful flavours, best described as world cuisine. She heads a team of 11 chefs, complemented by a cosmopolitan service staff, from Italy and India to the Philippines and even Bolivia.
There were 2 degustation menus to choose from: a 10-course and a 14-course one. We opted for the smaller menu (Confession: At the end of our meal, we regretted not going for the 14-course one).
Our dinner consisted of:
Chilled Soup of Guava, Roselle, Fermented Mulberries
Duck Doughnut - this was described by the wait-staff as Chef Garima’s take on Japanese “takoyaki”, little buttery spheres of dough encasing, in this case, pulled duck-meat flavoured with vindaloo spices.
Chicken Liver, Fruits - frozen wafer-like shards of chicken liver covering slices of rose apple and nectarine.
Grilled baby corn, with a dip of rich, creamy corn milk - these were delicious morsels of baby corn brushed with salt, lime and a bit of chili but, as Chef Garima mentioned to us, “it’s all in the creamy dip”, which was an absolutely delicious blend of sweetcorn, butter and vinegar.
Caramelized Milk Skin, Beef, Yeast Aquafaba - these were little taco-like wedges of deliciousness. My complaint was that there was only one of it in each serving.
Crayfish, Khakhra - Chef Garima reached back to her culinary origins to bring out the khakhra, a crisp cracker of Rajasthani/Gujerati origins, which she then paired with fat, delicious grilled crayfish, topped with pomelo & sage.
A deliciously sweet, tamarind-glazed baton of Pork Rib, topped with chopped green peppers, raw onions and pomegranate seeds. The texture of the pork was simply amazing, and the richness of the fatty meat was undercut by the sharp tang of the onions & sourish fruity spike of flavour from the pomegranate.
The main course is actually vegetarian! Unripe Jackfruit, Roti, Pickles - a thick disc of grilled young jackfruit, topped with caamelised onions. The flavour of the marinade on the jackfruit was light & subtle. The waiter cut the jackfruit up tableside, and an array of pickles and fresh cilantro were provided for the diner to contruct their own wraps on small tortilla-like Indian roti.
Liquid Banana Bread - served in a tall, fluted glass, the semi-opaque liquid was like distilled banana bread, to be sipped instead of consumed.
Organic Burnt Coconut Sugar Ice Cream, Pork Floss - very deep, concentrated flavours in the ice-cream. The pork floss added a savoury note to counterbalance the bitter-sweetness of the ice-cream.
Kudos to Chef Garima for making dishes that are not just pretty to look at, but that actually taste good, too!
68/4 Soi Langsuan, off Ploenchit Road,
Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Operating hours: 6pm-9.30pm, Mon, Wed-Sun. Closed on Tuesdays.