While Thai food is hard to beat, one fabulous reason for living in Bangkok is the chance to be exposed to plenty of other great cuisines from around Asia as well. Indian food is well represented here, and while it might be difficult to get really top-notch dosas – southern Indian’s famous fermented crepe-like pancakes, the rich flavorful feasts from the north are found in abundance.
You can explore Phahurat, the Indian neighborhood bordering the fringes of Chinatown and the Chao Phraya, where you’ll find hole in the wall dhabas serving up vegetarian thali plates for a pittance. But to really treat yourself, head to some of these regal establishments to overwhelm your taste buds and splurge on some fine Indian dining that rivals any of the world’s top cuisines.
Set in a 1960s wooden Art Deco home, Indus raises the bar when it comes to fine Indian dining. Rajasthani tapestries and sandstone bricks surround the regal dining rooms, and the menu selections prepared by master chef Anil Kumar are simply astounding. The spicy Rajasthani laal maas mutton curry will have you imagining you’re in Jaipur, and the Kashmiri rogan josh is heavily simmered in black cardamom, ginger, degi mirch, and anise seed, truly waking up your taste buds to their fullest.
Vegetarians are also well catered for with succulent treats like broccoli marinated in yogurt and roasted in a tandoori oven to creamy perfection. Guests can also opt for the seven- or 10-course “culinary journey” tasting menus, which feature a sample of Indus’ excellent wide range of cooking techniques and high-end ingredients. Indus is one of Bangkok’s premier longstanding great Indian dining options, and is perfect be it for romantic date nights, celebrations, or just for the sake of gourmet eating.
71 Sukhumvit Soi 26
Tel. 02 258 4900
Charcoal Tandoor Grill & Mixology
If you are looking for a modern and fun Indian dining evening, make a beeline for Charcoal Tandoor Grill & Mixology. Owned by Soho Hospitality and located in the dapper Frasier Suites on party happy Sukhumvit Soi 11, the mood lit
interior and see-through large glass pane into the kitchen welcomes guests, and the emphasis is on fun as opposed to just fine dining (think playful touches like the restrooms playing Indian market sounds or cocktails served in duty free bags).
The menu stays away from the usual heavy northern curries and instead focuses on kebabs, cooked in traditional tandoor ovens and served piping hot and laden with aromatic spices. The menu even lists drink pairings with different dishes, and you’ll want to sample the creative cocktails like the “Bollywood Passionfruit” made with vodka and passion fruit or the “Horn OK Please” (a common Indian truck sign) made with Bombay Sapphire gin, green mango chutney, and crushed betel leaves. The innovative cocktail menu was created by famed mixologist J. Boroski, plus some new cocktails by Soho Hospitality’s group mixologist Davide Sambo.
Charcoal Tandoor Grill & Mixology
Fraser Suites, 5th Fl., Sukhumvit Soi 11
Tel. 02 038 5112
Set up on the rooftop of the Rembrandt Hotel Bangkok, Rang Mahal serves up sumptuous northern Indian fare fit for a maharaja. Its Sunday brunch buffets are a Bangkok institution, featuring a vast assortment of rich northern Indian curries and covering just about every menu item found in royal Mughal cuisine.
Signature dishes include Raan-e-Khyber, a succulent lamb leg that is marinated in rum and spices and cooked over charcoal; tandoor murgh chicken that has been marinated in yogurt and cooked in a tandoori oven; and rogan josh, a Kashmiri mutton dish with a thick onion gravy roasted in a clay pot.
Chef Rajan Misra was head chef at the opulent Taj Palace in Delhi, and he oversees a kitchen full of aromatic spices and age-old Indian cooking techniques. Finishing off your meal with saffron ice cream and marveling at the view below, you’ll be plotting a return visit to one of Bangkok’s most sophisticated dining options.
Rembrandt Hotel, 19 Sukhumvit Soi 18
Tel. 02 261 7100
Gaggan defies most normal conceptions of Indian cooking. Labeled as “progressive Indian” (which some want to term “molecular gastronomy”), the restaurant run by Indian master chef Gaggan Anand continues to pile up the awards. Named Asia’s Best Restaurant for the past four years running by the Restaurant magazine in their “World’s 50 Best Restaurants” guide (where Gaggan gets a #5 spot overall), and also awarded two Michelin stars with the arrival of the Bangkok Michelin Guide last year.
The “Gaggan Experience”, as the 25-course degustation tasting menu is called, takes guests through a magical journey that can feature things such as Indian sushi or sea urchin ice cream. Forget about even recognizing the Indian favorites you thought you knew so well, as they have all been vaporized into foams, emulsions, and other creations that will dazzle your taste buds. Gaggan sets out to elevate Indian cuisine to the fine dining status that French and Japanese are accorded, and he has succeeded by miles. Better make your reservation soon though, as Gaggan plans to close down the restaurant in 2020, as he will start a new creative venture in Japan with top chef Takeshi Fukuyama.
68/1 Soi Langsuan
Tel. 02 652 1700