I adore Thai food. From the spicy green curries to coconut sticky rice, when done properly this cuisine is an explosion of flavours and fragrances. Unsurprisingly, the best Thai meals I've experienced have been on holiday in Thailand; that's no big shocker.
But there are a few restaurants I've visited in London that measure up and the Mango Tree is one of them.
My tastebuds leaped for joy when I was invited by the Belgravia restaurant to sample the menu. It was another rainy London evening, a million miles away from the glorious sun they're no doubt enjoying in Thailand at the moment. It was a Friday night out on the town for Laura and I so what better way to start the evening than with an exotic cocktail in this chic, feng-shui designed setting.
Mango Tree is one of a small group of restaurants. The original branch is in Bangkok and the most recent addition has opened as part of the world famous Harrods food hall.
We sipped on our lychee adorned drinks as we studied the menu. There was a broad choice including most classic Thai dishes you could think of as well as a large number of vegetarian options.
We decided to begin with the seafood platter which included fresh king prawns in spicy tom yum sauce, grilled king scallops with garlic butter, soft shell crab tempur and mixed seafood satay.
Each item of seafood tasted incredibly fresh and I liked the large amount of dip on the side (I do love a dip). The melt-in-the-mouth soft shell crab was the show-stopper of which I could have eaten a whole plate on its own!
It's fair to say that this was a meal with some degree of extravagance for Laura and I; you are about to see a bottle of beautiful rose champagne being polished off by two very happy ladies.
And then a large lobster.
This eye-catching dish is the Goong Mung Korn - Canadian lobster cooked in a medium spicy choo chee red curry sauce.
What stunning colours!
What stunning colours!
We also enjoyed the roasted duck salad (with Thai parsley, onion, cherry tomatoes, chilli and honey sauce), the irresistable green curry (served inside a large pineapple) and sticky rice.
Although the delightful lobster had a real kick in that wonderful red sauce and the duck salad was pleasantly fragrant, it was the green curry that stole the show for me. I've sampled this dish on a few occasions in Thailand and I have to say that the Mango Tree definitely measured up to them. Served along side the rice, it was just heavenly.
And onto dessert (yes, we were planning on going out this evening with bellies bigger than Santa...).
We picked the dessert selection to share.
Chocolate brownie, banana & coconut pudding with caramel sauce, honey mango sticky rice and pandan (leaves from a tropical plant) & vanilla ice cream.
With the exception of the brownie which unfortunately was very dry, this sampler was lovely with a real fuse of fresh flavours. I love traditional mango sticky rice and the Mango Tree's take on this was certainly no disappointment. In fact it was gorgeous. The unusual ice cream was a real treat too.
We had a fabulous experience at the Mango Tree and the waiters were very hospitable and efficient despite the restaurant being incredibly busy. Although it's not cheap, the food is authentic and the quality of the ingredients is very apparent. For a special occasion the Mango Tree would be a great choice.
Feeling nicely full, Laura and I headed on to DSTRKT to continue our night out.