Treat yourself to the HERE and now.
By Tom McLean
Garima Arora, the first female Indian chef to receive a Michelin star, has once again turned heads with her newest culinary enterprise, HERE. Having recently relocated her award-winning restaurant Gaa to a spectacular heritage house nestled on Sukhumvit Soi 53, her new venture sits on the ground floor of the same structure and offers a refreshing take on contemporary Indian dining. The menu puts emphasis on brunch fare, along with an wine bar that opens at 5.30pm, offering evening-appropriate nibbles and an extensive selection of sophisticated tipples.
Upon arriving, HERE sets the stage with a quaint patio and picturesque garden, complete with tropical trees lining a stone walkway that guides you to the restaurant. Inside, plants imbue the restaurant with an air of freshness while natural light streams in from the venue’s many large windows. The ambience filled us with a new appreciation for Bangkok’s lazy, sun-drenched mornings as we sat on one of their sofas, gazing outside onto the quiet street. The open-plan dining area offers different seating options, so everyone from large groups to solo diners can lounge comfortably.
FOOD AND DRINK
From the plating to the ingredients, HERE specialises in simple pleasures crafted imaginatively. After being seated, we enjoyed a piping hot cup of Masala chai (THB 90), complete with their homemade Rusk, whipped butter, ginger jam (THB 150) — crunchy baked bread with various home-grown condiments. I enjoyed the first bite of rusk on its own before dipping it into the creamy chai, the result was a sensory delight, with hits of cardamom and ginger.
We then sampled their intriguing Black rice dosa (THB 240) with homemade butter, jaggery coconut chutney, and gunpowder sauce. The use of black rice flour added a unique depth of flavour compared to the classic dosa I’ve become familiar with. The jaggery coconut chutney provided sweetness, the gunpowder sauce added spicy and salty notes, while the fluffy butter tied all the flavours together. We enjoyed this alongside the Oats chilla (THB 240). A traditional savoury pancake, the chilla was complemented by the zesty peanut chutney and well-seasoned greens, making for a satisfying dish. I was informed that this dish was adapted from a recipe by Chef Garima’s father, who likes to incorporate healthy elements into his breakfasts.
We then tucked into the Masala egg bhurji (THB 220) served with your choice of pav or sourdough. We elected for their soft pav rolls, which were accompanied by a generous portion of lightly spiced, Indian-style scrambled eggs. Incredibly moreish, we loaded up our pavs with the seasoned eggs before biting down, relishing the dish’s satisfying richness and varied textures. On the side, we also enjoyed their Chicken patty (THB 110) that came with a fragrant mint and coriander chutney. The fried chicken was bursting with flavour thanks to an array of spices and diced onion. This resulted in an explosion of savoury goodness when topped with the cool mint sauce.
Moving into sweeter territory, we tried the Mango mahkwaen shrikhand, besan poori (THB 200). Refreshing, the light poori added a crispy bite to the tangy and peppery mango curd. Similarly, the Cocoa/matcha baked yogurt (THB 220) was a wholesome delight. We opted for the matcha variation, which consisted of luscious cuts of fruit and nuts on a bed of smooth green-tea infused yoghurt. The combination of ingredients made for a nourishing, feel-good dish.
We ended with a selection of sweets, kicking off with their thick and sweet Besan laddoo (THB 60) before moving onto their Jaggery cookies (THB 80), Nankhatai bacon (THB 75), and Nankhatai raspberry (THB 75). These baked goods were an apt end to our meal with the Jaggery cookie standing out in particular. Crafted using natural cane sugar and locally sourced chocolate, the cookie had a pronounced depth of flavour.
HERE’s culinary ethos is exemplified in their “Not an avocado toast” (THB 270). A unique take on the Millennial breakfast favourite, HERE’s version forgoes the avocado in favour of canistel, also known as eggfruit, a custard-like yellow fruit that serves to emulate an avocado’s subtle sweetness and smooth texture. This silky ingredient is spread over a slice of toasted sourdough, before being topped with Indian-style devilled eggs resulting in a delightful cornucopia of creaminess.
46 Sukhumvit Soi 53,
Khlong Tan Nuea,
Watthana, Bangkok 10110
Time: Open daily from 7.30am to 5pm for all-day dining; 5.30pm onwards for dinner.
Tel: 097 140 5647
Interior photos by Nipun Saenguthaivanitkul, HERE