A taste of Asia's No. 1 restaurant Gaggan in Manila

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  • Chef Gaggan Anand, the owner of Gaggan — Asia's No.1 restaurant and the world's 10th best this 2015 — hosted a a media-exclusive cooking demo in Makati on Monday (October 5).

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Chef Gaggan Anand, the owner of Gaggan — Asia's No.1 restaurant and the world's 10th best this 2015 — is in Manila for a limited time to treat Filipinos to a taste of the world-renowned Gaggan cooking.

The Gaggan restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand serves street food from the chef's home town of Kolkata, India — but the dishes have been reinterpreted with modernist cooking techniques.

"I use progressive techniques to make simple Indian dishes," he said during a media-exclusive cooking demo in Makati on Monday (October 5).

Gaggan prepared four dishes that incorporated gastronomical strong points from both India and the Philippines.

The "Yogurt Explosion" was true to its name — it tasted almost like an eggy yogurt, which takes you completely by surprise. The perfectly egg yolk-shaped "explosion" was made possible by carrageenan extracted from red edible seaweeds, which Chef Gaggan said the Philippines is abundant in.

 

To introduce the second dish he simply called "The Nut Bag," Gaggan handed guests a small bag of crushed green nuts wrapped in what looked like plastic. He asked the group to pop the entire bags in their mouths. Of course, the crowd responded wide-eyed: "Including the plastic?"

When the reluctant crowd finally did it, all were surprised to find out the wrapper tasted like the nostalgic White Rabbit candy wrapper that melts in one's mouth. Inside the wrap were various crushed nuts, wasabi-flavored crunchy peas, and dried fruits.

Gaggan's "Charcoal" drew inspiration from the Japanese technique of cooking tempura — ground local fish maya-maya is stuffed in batter infused with brick charcoal.

For dessert, Gaggan prepared the birthday cake he usually serves in his restaurant. The "Mango Snowball" combines cream, white chocolate, and Philippine mangoes. According to Gaggan, he chose Philippine mangoes because they are the "perfect balance of sweet and sour." The dish was prepared using liquid nitrogen, and was shaped perfectly using a party balloon to create a fluffy and light dessert.

Chef Gaggan will not just fill you up with his wonderfully-crafted dishes; he will make your stomach ache with his energy, quirks, and his funny anecdotes. His personality shows with the food he prepares.

You can experience a once-in-a-lifetime tasting session with Chef Gaggan on October 7 (Wednesday). Gaggan, in partnership with Chef Chele Gonzales and Cross Cultures by Cheryl Tiu, will be serving lunch at Vask in Bonifacio Global City for only P2,300+, including free-flowing sangria. Those interested can reserve via 0917-5461673.