With Thai restaurants now two-a-penny in London, the challenge of finding Far-Eastern flavours was long displaced by the challenge of discerning the good ones. Especially those whose dishes retain authenticity. Belgravia’s Mango Tree offers just that, bringing distinct dishes from each corner of Thailand to Central London. It’s reassuring Mango Tree has a sister restaurant in Bangkok, promising a difference in where you’re dining, doesn’t mean a difference in what you’re dining on.
My first impression of the London branch is that Mango Tree’s spacious dining room offers its diners the meeting point between style and comfort. The open plan design gives it quite a distinct buzz. Mango Tree is a place for occasions, and the hum of other people enjoying themselves gives it a good vibe.
Giving ourselves a good vibe were the cocktails. A good cocktail menu is like a good food menu, it should have a balance of classics and contemporaries. Mango Tree’s cocktail menu is no exception; alongside the classics they have their own signature including a Thai chilli martini. The chilli is a fiery twist on the classic, this is a drink that kicks with both feet. There are plenty of exotic fruity choices too, drawing upon the fresh flavours Thailand is associated with.
On to the food. Here to show these fresh flavours aren’t the sole reserve of summer, Mango Tree has crafted a new autumn menu to showcase how Thai cuisine can roll with the change in weather. We began with Hae gern, in which succulent prawns were encased in a contrasting crispy outer skin.
Accompanying this was smoked duck, served in substantial thick slices with salad & a spicy dressing.
Delicious as they both were, I can never resist deep-fried squid, so once I had clocked this on their a la carte menu, it was soon on our table.
Whilst the starters provided were quintessentially Thai in their fresh and spicy flavours, the main courses captured the essence of more comforting Thai food. Mango Tree have a unique take on their sea bass as it comes deep fried. The acidity that typically British provide their deep-fried fish with vinegar was here met with a tangy Thai sauce to make it a dish with a difference.
The soft-shell crab tempura in red curry sauce was the real highlight of the evening. The rich, velvety sauce and tender crab made this a thoroughly warming dish you’ll want as the nights draw in.
The diversity of Mango Tree’s menu provides legitimate Thai cuisine that includes zesty, invigorating tastes through to creamy, smooth flavours. Mango Tree’s dishes are a cue to say goodbye to your typical autumn sustenance and welcome in Thai to get you through the colder months.
Mango Tree, SW1X 7EQ