So this was it. My most anticipated meal on this trip. The Best Restaurant in Thailand, and the Best Restaurant in Asia - that is, according to Asia's 50 Best Restaurants, sponsored by S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna and announced just 2 nights ago.
I became a big fan of Gaggan Anand when I went to his pop-up in Hong Kong. He was doing something that was unique and very appealing to me - using modern cooking techniques to present traditional flavors... in this case Indian cuisine. To me, he's the Indian counterpart to Alvin Leung of Bo Innovation... only better. Because of my self-imposed exile from Thailand for the last few years, I was never able to come to Gaggan, his eponymous flagship restaurant in Bangkok - until now.
I pinged Gaggan and told him I was finally making my way to Bangkok, and we made arrangements for me to come to dinner tonight - since he would be busy with his obligations with Asia's 50 Best Restaurants for the previous few days. I scheduled my trip to accommodate tonight's dinner, because there was no way I was leaving town without dining here!
Since both the Great One and HaoKouFu had already dined here a few days ago, I was faced with the prospect of dining alone - which isn't ideal, but I'm a big boy and I've done it plenty of times. So when the Jet Setter pinged me last night and told me he was in town, I was only too happy to invite him to join me for dinner tonight.
|Photo courtesy of the Jet Setter|
The Jet Setter was pretty happy that I saved him from having to eat hotel room service, so he insisted on paying for dinner. When he came back to the table, A discreetly motioned for me to follow him to a quiet part of the restaurant. Apparently, Gaggan had left word with him to comp our dinners. Now, this isn't standard practice for me. I seldom accept free meals from restaurants and I'm always happy to pay my own way. The last time Chef Richard Ekkebus - who I have the honor of calling a friend - decided to comp me for a lunch that he made specifically at my request, I spent a good 10 minutes arguing with Amber's restaurant manager about it.
Except Gaggan had already left the restaurant earlier to attend to his PR and media duties. He wasn't responding to my messages asking him to let us pay, and I didn't want to make life difficult for A. So we graciously accepted this treat and thanked them.