The Place I didn’t manage to try Gaggan when it was in Bangkok, and I am excited that I have the opportunity to check it out at Mandala Club in Singapore for what is aptly named as Chef Gaggan’s Greatest Hits menu. The Gaggan Anand Residency is the second installment happening at the Mandala Club in Bukit Pasoh Road, where the one-of-a-kind culinary adventure is by Mandala Masters — Mandala Club’s commitment to deliver best-in-class culinary and creative experiences, where it debuted in 2021 with the Mirazur Residency.
The space of Gaggan’s Residency at Mandala is elegant, with two dining halls. I managed to snag a table beside the window, which I feel is an ideal setting for the lunch seating.
This is the final leg of the Gaggan’s Residency which will run from April until the end of June 2022.
The Food The 10-course lunch menu is at S$288 ++, while 16-course dinner is at S$388 ++. Wine Pairing for lunch S$148 (pre-booking) / S$168 (on site), while Wine Pairing for Dinner S$198 (pre-booking) / S$218 (on site).
Every dinner has a passport on their table, with cute stickers within. You can then match the stickers to the courses you had, a fun way for diners to reflect on what they just had! I had the 10-course lunch menu.
The first course is the signature amuse bouche of “Yogurt Explosion” from Gaggan’s early days. It comes in two parts, a crispy leaf decorated with spices, where the beautiful yogurt sphere then slides on the leaf and you have it all in one mouthful.
The result? An explosion of flavours on the palate with popsicles effect. What a fancy start to the meal.
This is definitely one of Gaggan’s most instagrammed dish, the provocative “Lick It Up”. A mix of red chilli, tamarind and mango sauces, you go from bottom up, and the resulting mix of the three flavours blend well surprisingly.
Fun fact: it has also become a competition of whose tongue is longer on the table, as it is evident that some may lick it off completely in just a few takes.
A Charcoal Ball is up next, which strikes a resemblance to Buah Kuluak. This black ball is filled with potato, with a cripsy texture and goes with the green mildly spicy sauce. A great snack which I do not mind another serving of it.
Next up is beautiful Kombu Cured Scallops with N25 Caviar, coconut, fried onions and coconut curry. Lovely presentation which I couldn’t bear to mess it up, though the best way to enjoy the flavours of this dish is to mix it up thoroughly. True enough, the fresh and clean flavour of the scallops go so well with the rest of the elements here.
I am always up for a good mushroom soup, but it is rarely in such a fancy version. You get a beautiful mix of Onsen Egg with Porcini Mushroom along with curry leafs, which lends it a slightly spicy note to the rich soup.
The Atlantic Cod with mango and coconut chutney topped with a root vegetable looks unassuming, though it tastes more delicious than it looks. Lovely cod texture, and the blend of sauce here elevates the flavour of the fish very well.
Another protein dish I had was the 14-days Dry Aged Duck grilled on binchotan, served along with compressed plum, tamarind honey sauce and purple potato chips. The duck meat is extremely flavourful and tender.
The last savoury dish was the Roast Duck Curry with Coconut Rice and butterfly pea infused corn. Served in a 3-tier tingkat, this dish is a relatively pedestrian course as compared to the earlier courses. It is no doubt comforting, and you get the familiar curry with rice combination.
For dessert, it is inspired by Mango sticky rice where there are caramelised pineapple along with sticky rice ice cream.
The last act is the Lassi – Mango milk shake served in a child’s play milk bottle. We were encouraged to play Twinkle Twinkle Little Stars on our Spotify as we have this lassi, and it is testament to Gaggan’s fun-loving approach to his menu.
Rants Why not a permanent residency? I think Singapore can handle one more PR status.
Will I Return Again? Before my experience at Gaggan, I used to think that his style hovers the fine line of fun and gimmicky. I am surprised I enjoyed myself at what is dubbed Gaggan’s Greatest Hits, where the dishes are punchy and there is a strong finesse to the overall execution. If you have been a Gaggan fan or have missed trying it in Bangkok previously, this is your last chance to catch it in Singapore.
This was an invited tasting, though all opinions expressed are our own.
Taste bud: 4.5/5
Hole in the pocket: 4.5/5
Overall Experience: 4.5/5
31 Bukit Pasoh Road
Tel: +65 9361 0851
Wednesday to Sunday: Lunch or Dinner
Closed on Mondays & Tuesdays
Ranted by The Ranter