“They do reasonably good food,’ said Matthew. ‘Thai. It’s not the Mango Tree, but it’s all right.'”
When a restaurant’s mentioned in a book by Queen Rowling herself, you know it’s gotta be good. And Belgravia’s Mango Tree Thai restaurant gets itself a namecheck in The Silkworm – one of J.K’s novels under the pen name of Robert Galbraith. A sister restaurant to Chi Kitchen, which I rave about, Mango Tree originated in Bangkok, and offers traditional-based yet innovative Thai tastes to its London visitors.
So for another classic Treat Yo’Self Tuesday, we took a visit to check it out for ourselves.
I have to say, Belgravia isn’t an area I normally find myself in, what with it being one of the wealthiest districts in the world. But an occasional jaunt along to their restaurants? Definitely worth it. Particularly when it’s somewhere as good as Mango Tree. I’d been moaning for a while that I hadn’t Thai food in ages, so we spent a Tuesday evening trying out some delicious dishes. Believe me. They really were so good.
For starters to share we ordered the Popcorn Shrimp (£9.75) and the Kor Moo Yang (£9.95) – barbecued pork, sliced and served with cucumber and a traditional homemade sweet and spicy nam jim jaew sauce. I’m a sucker for presentation, and I can confirm both dishes tasted even better than they looked.
The Kor Moo Yang had the consistency of thick bacon, but was a lot softer and juicier. The sauce had a good little kick to it, but wasn’t overpowering and brought out the flavour of the beef really well. I was also majorly impressed with the portion size – although it’s starter, more meat arrived than I’d expect for a main at an upmarket restaurant.
I’m always a big fan of popcorn shrimp, and Mango Tree’s was definitely a firm favourite. The outside appropriately crispy, and the insides soft, a slight touch of Thai spices gave it a real edge on others I’ve tried. Plus, the creamy dipping sauce served on the side was delicious – I even ended up trying my Kor Moo Yang in it. Because getting inventive is all part of the fun…
Because adding an extra course into a meal is always a good idea, we decided to try out some soup between our starters and main. The Chicken Tom Ka (£7.95), a coconut milk based soup, was so creamy and equite thick. I enjoyed it a lot – despite the fact I’d forgotten to ask for it without mushrooms and had to eat around them! It’s counterpart, the Prawn Tom Yum (£8.95), is a hot and sour spicy Thai soup, and was equally delicious, with more of a spicy kick, loads of flavours coming through and a slightly thinner consistency.
The Talay Pad Cha (£19.95) is a wok-fried seafood dish featuring king prawns, scallops and mussels, mixed in with chilli, garlic, snake beans and holy basil leaves. I have no clue what holy basil leaves are, but the dish was pretty holy in terms of taste. Just the right amount of spice, and fresh-tasting, well cooked seafood. The dish offered up a mixture of delicious flavours that worked perfectly together to create a deliciously well-rounded plate.
For my own main, I chose the Neur Phad King (£20.25), from the Signature Stir Fried section. The only dish on that section, in fact. But trust me, it’s all you need. The sirloin beef was thinly sliced, cooked medium-rare and gloriously soft and juicy. It’s quite a simple dish, with onion, mixed peppers, ginger, garlic and oyster sauce, but it’s clear that the kitchen’s skills are impressive, to be able to create easily one of the best stir fries I’ve ever had. Alongside it, I had some Steamed Jasmine Rice (£3.75), which was sticky and filling, just as rice should be.
Even though we were both totally stuffed, dessert to finish off was a must. Here I’ll apologise, because I can’t seem to find a menu online so I can’t supply prices – but both were around the £4-5 mark. Conor’s choice was the Chocolate Sphere, which melted in front of our eyes as salted caramel was poured on top. Those bits on the side? White chocolate shavings, not cheese. Just in case you wondered. And my Mango Creme Brulee was just as a creme brulee should be – deliciously crisp on top, and luxuriously creamy underneath.
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Our total for dinner, including a bottle of Sauvy B and some cocktails, came to just under £200. Which is definitely more than our average Tuesday dinner out. For a special occasion though, the quality of the food is definitely worth the price, and the portion sizes really did impress. Besides, we did totally indulge, and by cutting out courses, buying cheaper booze and foregoing the cocktails, you could get that cost down.
Still out of your price range? There are also some pretty good options for getting a deal. The Mango Tree pre-theatre menu (you don’t actually have to be going to the theatre) is just £17.95 for two courses, or £20.95 for three. You can also get a three course meal for £20.95 on Saturdays and Sundays. So even if your bank account is more Beckton than Belgravia, it’s still possible to get a taste of Mango Tree’s menu for a really affordable price. And trust me, you definitely want a taste of this.
46 Grosvenor Place, Belgravia, SW1X 7EQ
*We were guests at Mango Tree for a review – all opinions honest, as per!
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