We took in a meal at Gaggan this week. According to Eater.com, it is the 5th best dining establishment in the world. And where, for the price of a round trip airfare to New Delhi, one can sample Indian-inspired bites from a kitchen fronted by an Indian, cooked by a worldly staff and served by Thai wait staff.
Our sommelier, half Burmese, in his twenties. Though wearing a suit, is full of tattoos. Collar up. Wrists down. On the knuckles? what was written there? “Give and take?”. “Love and hate?” No, rather “take care” He reveals his life as if the 15 of us strangers were family. He needs to remind himself to be easy on himself. And then reveals the palms of his hands which read….from right to left. Not even kidding. “Self Love”. Wondering, besides the obvious, what sort of things his hands have done
Glancing around to see chefs from all over the globe. Indonesia, Latvia, Russia, Costa Rica. Curiously, no Indians are apparent. Each hurriedly masterminding the next course. Each with long bladed forceps tucked into their breast pocket always ready to reach in and precisely adjust a flower petal or place a solitary sprout juuussstt so.
The dinner is pretty restricted. They’ll take out the meat, but they don’t abide by vegans, or celiacs. If you want substitutions, take your Benjamin’s elsewhere.
The menu is represented purely by emoji and is 25 courses that are usually consumed in a single bite. Sometimes blindfolded, sometimes in a series of licks and even once, through a straw. 25 sets of dishes. 9 wine glasses and all the sparkling water you can drink.
Through it all, our self-loving wine steward pairs it with a variety of bio-dynamic wines from around the globe. Love and spirit abound and there is even the use of the word “ethereal” in proper context.
If you go, plan in advance and save up your money. You have to reserve a month in advance. The place is slated to close next year. If you can go whilst celebrating something, you have a better chance of getting a seat at the Chef’s Table which is an entertaining event complete with light hearted banter and a soundtrack. Each meal comes with a T-shirt. The wine pairing involves servings of 9 different wines. It is a pricey addition, but you can split between two people.