This coming spring, superstar Bangkok-based progressive Indian chef Gaggan Anand will debut his newest concept, Wet — a relaxed, natural-wine bar — in a space directly adjacent to Gaggan, his eponymous two Michelin-starred Bangkok tasting-menu concept that also commands the top spot on S.Pellegrino’s Asia’s 50 Best list. Wet is expected to open in March 2018 (well before Gaggan shutters in 2020).
“Three things about Wet: Good wines, good food, and good music,” says Anand, painting a picture of what a future patron might encounter: “[A] Foo Fighters LP paired with natural wines of Austria,” served beside pan-Asian share plates. “We’re still working on the menu,” adds the chef, “but think Thai-Indian-Japanese-inspired small plates and snacks.” And while fried chicken will indeed be on offer, as Anand recently told Eater, it will not be Wet’s focus.
Occupying a former massage parlor, the wine bar will be equipped with approximately forty seats, in addition to several barstools. Gaggan’s longtime head sommelier Vladimir Kojic — Anand’s principal partner in the project — will oversee the whole operation, including wine selections focused on small-production French and Austrian bottles that are organic, biodynamic, or made using a less interventionist approach.
“Outside of Japan, Asia is still very much discovering organic, biodynamic, and natural wines,” explains Anand, citing Europe as a leader in the movement. So, in a city largely devoid of wine bars, let alone natural ones, Anand will be one of the first to present hands-off wine — much in the way he introduced Asia to playful, fine-dining Indian cuisine nearly eight years ago.
“Bangkok keeps changing and building its image as a gastronomic center of this part of the world,” continues Anand, but “natural wines are still in their infancy here, which is what we want to change.”
Besides Wet, in the next year or so, Anand also plans to open a omakase tofu concept in Bangkok called Minara Tofuten. And further down the line, he’s working on a joint venture with Fukukoa, Japan-based chef Takeshi Fukuyama of La Maison de la Nature Goh. GohGan, a 10-seat fine dining restaurnat open just six months out of the year, is slated for 2021.