The one thing I love most about Bangkok is how a simple turn at a Soi can lead you down a tarred road where the busyness of the capital has little choice but to be left swiftly behind. And at the end of that road, if you’re lucky, you’ll find a street hawker selling fried chicken off of a mobile cart. Other times, you find Inddee.
Here, tucked away in an alley off of Langsuan Road in buzzy Lumphini, is where Bangkok’s latest modern Indian dining mecca, Inddee, calls home. The one-month old restaurant takes over the space once occupied by Gaggan Anand, transforming the two-storey townhouse into a living, breathing architectural masterpiece.
From outside, Inddee looks like it’s in a permanent state of dreaminess, thanks to the dense mist that circulates throughout the garden, weaving between strategically-placed streams of lights. Everything here — both inside and out — has been designed by Matteo Messervy, one of the world’s top lighting designers. And it shows.
A quick walk through a glass corridor brings you into the playhouse of head chef Sachin Poojary and his motley crew of culinary officers, ready to take you through a seven-course tasting menu that’s heavily inspired and influenced by various regions in India.
Prior to moving to Bangkok, chef Sachin was based in Mumbai, heading up a Japanese fine-dining establishment, Wasabi By Morimoto. At Inddee, the only traces of chef Sachin’s Japanese cuisine past manifest in the exacting presentation of each dish, from small bites to mains to dessert options, that would make any food reviewer — including me — squeal with delight.
The menu is a team effort, a curation connected to the places the chefs at Inddee have lived, were inspired by, or have travelled to. There are also dishes here that are informed by ingredients grown in different regions of India.
Take for instance, the morel mushrooms, locally known as ‘kanegeich’ in Kashmir, that can only be found in the Himalayas and are considered one of the most expensive mushrooms in the world that cannot be cultivated commercially.
At Inddee, the morels are stuffed with khoya and nuts and served on a bed of enoki saffron pulao, topped with a delicate cloud of almond milk foam. There’s a whiff of smokiness and a pleasant bitterness to this that is rather intoxicating and makes for the perfect first course of this journey across India.
The other courses were equally riveting. A scallop tartare sits in a pool of inji puli, a ginger and tamarind sauce that’s native to the region of Kerala. I typically expect scallops to be paired with something light and citrusy, but the sweetness from the inji puli makes for such a unique mouthfeel that I’m ready to banish such 2022 expectations aside.
Still, I’m aware of the absence of traditional textures in the scallops and in the dishes that follow. It’s rather perplexing, but after a while, I get it. There is texture but not in the typical crunch-in-the-mouth type of way — no. Here at Inddee, textures manifest in flavours.
Like in the Kolkata-inspired black cod that comes served with a side of pickled ginger buds that, on its face, promises a sharp acidity but, when eaten with the spicy and citrusy gondhoraj that clings to the chunk of fish, makes for the most exciting flavour pairing. It’s the kind of plate that begs judicious consumption.
Chef Sachin also leans on temperature in his playbook of textures. It shows in dishes like the hand-pulled chicken khurchan, which, in Lucknow where it originated from, is considered a lost offering.
But now, here in Inddee, in the alleys of Langsuan, Chef Sachin has brought the almost-endangered dish back to roaring life, serving it in layers — cold on top and warm below. The kurchan has also been boldly seasoned which makes the inclusion of nashi pear and sour yogurt a welcome respite for those unfamiliar with spice and heat in food.
Desserts come by way of a baked yoghurt falooda with basil seeds, presented with a smattering of Chiang Mai flowers. It’s a dessert for the senses — hypnotically fragrant (thanks to the rose) with a tinge of sweetness on the tongue.
There’s also a pondicherry chocolate-coffee pudding with a quenelle of Malabar vanilla cream that’s an elevation of the expected — chocolate can be so predictable, veering on lazy. It’s why I appreciate when Inddee manages to elevate the expected notes of cocoa so intentionally and deliberately with a brave sprinkling of Tuticorin sea salt and a thoughtful splash of filter coffee from the region of Chikmagalur. It’s carefully tempered indulgence through and through.
Still, when it comes to food, can there ever be too much indulgence? I say, nay. In a world where robust seasoning is frowned upon and MSG is (still) unnecessarily vilified, it’s places like Inddee that makes dining out such a delightful and flavourful experience.
Here, there’s a total and complete embrace of flavours, spices, fat, and heat — all things that make the Indian culinary landscape one that no true food enthusiast should miss. That it can be found in a country at the heart of Southeast Asia that’s a mere two hours from Singapore is a pleasant twist of fate.
68/1 Soi Lang Suan,
Lumphini, Pathum Wan,