November 8, 2022

Andō x Gaggan Anand

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While Gaggan was in town mainly to help serve up the food at the M+ Gala together with the team at Andō, he and his team had also scheduled to do a collaboration dinner at Andō. Four Sheets and I were grateful to have been invited, and after addressing some crossed wires, we also got to hang out with Sweetheart.

I didn't have the same kind of expectation for this collaboration as I would for Gohgan, as the two teams hadn't worked together before and there were only a few weeks' notice, but I still felt pretty confident the dinner would be enjoyable.

Fergass was in da haus, sans wife, but I guess he was kinda working since we were served some of that strange sake he seemed to be fond of...

💥 Yogurt explosion - this was one of the dishes that made Gaggan famous years ago, and of course there's new twist now. In addition to the spherification of spiced yogurt, it is now dropped into a "cup" made of cilantro and mint - which contained some pop rocks - just prior to being popped into the mouth.

As expected the yogurt was salty like a lassi, and we've got the pop rocks dancing around on the tongue. The spiciness of the chili comes out later, and the heat stayed on the tip of the tongue for a reasonably long time.

🌑 Charcoal - another familiar dish from Gaggan...

...but not the same filling as before.

🍤 Ebi / Kristal caviar - it was actually lobster on top of the cracker, with guacamole providing the acidity to go with caviar.

🌶 Hokkaido scallop / spices - the raw scallops were very refreshing and sweet, while the mix of aonori (青海苔), dashi (出汁), shiokombu (塩昆布), brought some nice umami to go with the well-balanced blend of lemon cream sauce and ginger juice. On top we've got fennel, cucumber, and green apple bringing us fruity and acidic flavors along with some crunch. Reminiscent of Gaggan's "cold curry".

👅 Lick me up / Andō Edition - well... this was not the special Kusama Yayoi (草間弥生) pumpkin edition that was served at the M+ Gala last night - which was about as labor-intensive as Oncle Joël's classic caviar dish with concentric circles of cauliflower purée dots. Here we've got mango/yuzu (柚子) at the bottom, then parsnip, and finally (caramelized?) onion. Done in 3 licks.

Bread / butter - they now make their own bread with layered dough along with tomato paste. So they serve it with tomato butter, and of course the El Mil del Poaig olive oil.

🎣 Line-caught Kinki / Indian spice oil - the fish was, of course, very tender with crispy skin. Four kinds of oil were used: green cardamom oil, red chili oil, turmeric oil, and black pepper oil. We've also got little rings which were probably chipirones, whose textures were pretty nice; and also some lily bulb.

🐮 Argentinian beef / lal maas - the beef was aged for 21 days, and I found it more tasty than the last time I had beef here. On the side we had a purée made from local carrots, along with carrot "origami (折り紙)" on top of the beef. Laal maas (लाल मांस) on the side.

In fact, the laal maas was so tasty that we didn't want to waste it, and asked for some rice to polish it off.

Gaggan also brought us an extra dish of beef, which was apparently made like a vindaloo with cider vinegar. We found out a little later that this was the filling for tacos...

🌾 Caldoso rice / king crab / curry - Caldoso is Andō's signature dish and crab curry is Gaggan's signature dish, and now we have the combination of the two.

This was very rich, with good acidity from green mango and a good amount of heat. Not as much coconut as previous versions of crab curry I've had at various Gohgan dinner, but still very tasty.

🌹 Rose / pistachio - grapefruit, pistachio, cream, and "yellow rose".

Carlito Gor Gor had picked out a few wines to go with the dishes tonight:

Dehours Les Vignes de la Vallée, en jeroboam, dégorgée en mars 2021 - yeasty notes with good body. Definitely got character, with woodsy notes on the palate thanks to the meunier.

Gonet-Medeville Blanc de Noirs, dégorgée en janvier 2022 - bigger mousse. Mineral notes, definitely more punchy. A kind contribution from Sweetheart.

Daimon 35 Junmai Daiginjo  (大門  35純米大吟醸) - seimaibuai of 35%. Pretty round on the palate. A bit sweet to start but dry on the mid-palate until finish.

2021 Jade Gross Chiguita - very aromatic, with tropical fruits and flinty notes.

Bottle 425 / 892.

2020 Fanny Sabre Bourgogne -

2018 The Starting Point Amphora Orange Wine - alcoholic on the nose and a little like hospital disinfectant or rubbing alcohol. Second pour seemed to be a little better, but definitely not my thing.

Some of us stuck around for the after-party, where chefs around Hong Kong were invited to come and hang. There was a separate batch of food cooked up by the kitchen.

Agustin made me this taco, and I was a little surprised that he added rice. Definitely tasty.

Fried chicken from Hansik Goo.

Lots of fun tonight catching up with friends and especially learning that Gaggan used to bully Chef Manav Tuli back in school... Many thanks to Gaggan and Agustin for the kind invitation, and to PR8 for the arrangements.

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