Stepping into her light – Gaa Review
Bangkok Foodies Review - Gaa Bangkok
Wow! This doesn’t happen everyday. Less than 24 hours after posting a review, a Michelin Chef’s wrote a public statement on your Instagram post. Anand Gaggan, in response to the review which took information from THE HINDU publication which stated, – Gaggan says it is now “Thai, confusion and neo-Nordic”. Clearly, things have soured between the two, and he added, “Every dish at Gaa was a Noma copy. I told them that and it was not taken well. I put my money and name on new talent, but then they think they are rebels.”
So here-in is a lesson not to believe everything you read? Either way, Gaggan clearing the air on a public forum is not something to be taken lightly, and keeping us foodies informed (personally) is kinda cool in itself. So let it be known from this day forth, all is good in the hood, peace, love and eat merrily and all that.
The house design at Gaa is a culmination of modern European architecture with elements of Speakeasy and French brasserie masterfully intertwined. There’s also something slightly Nordic about its construction, with the glass room facade and geometric window features, or maybe I was just tripping.
To describe the mahogany desks, amber mood lighting, grandaddy sofa banquettes and slick marble table tops would have you believe you were in a masculine setting, but Gaa possess a distinct aura of softness, a feeling of floatiness that sedates you. What’s most impressive are the pockets and layers of unique dining spaces which branch over the second and third floor rooted from the porch. An apt use of space promotes long nights of intimacy.
As for the dishes, Chef Garima’s tasting menu starts with seven bites. Most notably were the Savory Betel Leaf which arrived as a single leaf wedged between dry branches of a novelty tree. The taste was indeed, deliciously savory. Earthy and sticky in texture, delightfully moreish, albeit the presentation felt a little contrived.
The Cows Milk Tofu Salad with Grilled Mustard Leaves was sensational, one would never suspect the moment you took a mouthful of the assorted “leaves” you would be transported in a pair of dungarees onto a green paddocked farm. One comment made was – “I feel like a cow”, and was meant in the nicest possible way.
But of all the delectable bites – and they were all good – was that damn corn. Never in my life had I a baby corn with so much richness, buttery sweetness and smoky depth, it would be the dish synonymous with Gaa and Chef Garima, at least in my mind.
Although another signature menu item of pork rib, I fell much less in love with. An Instagramable favorite, the dish stood out with its colorful arrangement of pomegranate, shallots and coriander aligned across a single rib bone but it failed to deliver any exceptional taste.
The previous crustacean dish, however, was a true testament to Chef Garima’s food intelligence and skill. The Cauliflower, caramelised Whey, crab was a stunning marriage of flavors. The Cauliflower cooked to the right tenderness and a taste which complimented the succulent crab meat that was more melt-in-mouth than chewy fibrous. The entire dish was perfectly rounded; a little creamy with a touch of cheesy, sweet,a zing of sourness and soft and firm all at once. There’s a genuine reason why Michelin awarded her the Plate distinction in her first year.
To top it all off, the Burnt Coconut Ice-Cream with Pork Floss was a pungently rich and smokey end to a fantastic meal, although portion could be downsized to just a bite in order to fully appreciate its charm.
Visiting Gaa will probably not meet your expectations, in a sense, your preconceived notions will be shattered, and this is what I loved about Gaa. Her eclectic menu might seem less cohesive but it’s also less predictable, because Gaa is bringing something fresh (and locally seasonal) to the Bangkok culinary scene and the more Gaa (and the public) supports her independence, the brighter she will continue to shine.
68/3 soi langsuan
Phone: 091 419 2424