Gaggan and Above Eleven

We had our first fancy dinner of the trip at a restaurant called Gaggan, which was recommended by a friend of ours.  They define their cuisine as “progressive Indian” and it’s hard to argue with that description.  Very similar to the dinner we had a Komi in Washington, D.C., the meal is various courses with each course being a bite or two of very unique and interesting flavors.  The presentation of each course was excellent as well.  The menu comes in three sizes: large, medium, and small.  We each got the medium menu, which costs 2800 baht.

Overall, the experience was great, but you’ll see as you read on, it was almost completely ruined at the end.  Here are the course highlights:

So as you can see, I cannot stress this enough: DO NOT GET THE OLD FASHIONED. It literally almost ruined what was an excellent meal up until that point.  The drink came out in a smoke filled jar, and when the cover was lifted (very dramatically by the waiter I might add), cigar smoke filled the room.  The drink tasted like an ashtray.  Biggest miss by a restaurant that I’ve experienced ever.  This place would have had an A-, but gets a B instead because of it.

So after that horrible drink, we clearly needed another.  We headed to Above Eleven, another one of Bangkok’s rooftop bars.  This one was located on Soi 11 near our hotel which made for an easy walk back.  Above Eleven didn’t have as good a view as Sky Bar, but it was a really nice place to have a drink.  The rooftop is actually 3 levels there (you need to look a little bit for the staircases which are enveloped in ivy), and the vibe is very relaxed.  The theme of the place seemed to be going for a New York City rooftop with a mix of brick everywhere, couches, white Christmas lights wrapped all around, and lounge-y jazz music playing.   Definitely a good spot to go to unwind, and was a perfect spot to enjoy our last night in Bangkok.  Coming up: On to Laos!

Quick Hits – Toki Underground, Washington, D.C.

I’m not usually the biggest noodle soup fan, and that applies to Pho, Ramen, whatever.  It tends to never give me that satisfying full feeling after I’m done.  Toki Underground changed that.

Located on the growing H Street corridor in Washington, D.C., Toki Underground’s entrance is kind of hidden.  Look for The Pug dive bar and the door to Toki Undergound will be on the left.  Despite the name, the restaurant is located upstairs.  It’s not large so there will be a wait; leave them your cell number and they’ll send a text when your seat is ready while you wait with a hipster beer downstairs in The Pug.

When we were seated, our waiter thoroughly explained all the items on the menu and gave us an overview of how each ramen was different (along with his personal favorites).  I went for the Taipei Curry Chicken Ramen, and my friend got the Red Miso Ramen.  Both were excellent.  I preferred the broth in my Taipei Curry Chicken as it was a bit creamier than her Red Miso, which was a little saltier with that miso taste.  The pork belly however in hers was a little better than the chicken (though the chicken was still very good and I devoured it happily).

As for the cocktails, you gotta try the Toki Monster if you’re a whiskey person.  It’s essentially their version of an Old Fashioned, however they give you a little pork belly skewer to pair the libation with and it is a banging combination of delicious.  I definitely plan on going back to try the other items on their menu.  Toki Underground — well worth a visit.

Taipei Curry Chicken Ramen
Taipei Curry Chicken Ramen