Saturday, July 26, 2008

Mango Tree, London

46 Grosvenor Place,
London, SW1X 7EQ Map

Mango Tree is a Thai restaurant in Belgravia, London. It's a stone's throw from Victoria Station and is nice and easy to find. In fact, I went past it on the 73 bus every time I worked in London and I often wondered what it was like.

We arrived early, and sat in the bar where my wife had one of the best margaritas she has had, and I had a JD & Coke. Shortly after, we were collected and shown to our table.

The dining area is quite a large, high ceilinged room with a row of banquets down the middle and tables set along them and along the windows. The tables are set quite close together, but not uncomfortably so.

There are quite a few vegetarian options on the a la carte menu. However, as I flicked to the back of the various menus, I discovered a vegetarian menu that had all of the dishes that were on the a la carte, plus quite a few others. Actually, that's a bit unfair. Make that, quite a lot of others.

For starters I chose to have Tow Hoo Satay which was skewers of grilled tofu, peppers and tomatoes with a satay peanut sauce. It was very nice - the sauce especially- and, for a starter, there was plenty of it.

Now, I don't know about you but I'm so used to only having a couple of choices on a menu, that when I have to choose from half a dozen or more, I have no idea what to do - I just want to try everything!

I had narrowed my choice down to two, Gaeng Kiew Wan Pak - an aubergine and vegetable green curry - and Pad Thai Jay - noodles, beansprouts, chives and peanuts. I asked the waiter which he would recommend. He said that why not have both and suggested that my wife and I had the Pad Thai instead of rice. It was an excellent solution, and he was right, both the dishes were great, but the Pad Thai had the edge.

And so to dessert. The menu mentioned a dish called Sang Ka Ya Vanilla which the menu translated as Vanilla Creme Brulee. You all know the rules by now, so it was duly ordered. It looked nice, the caramel was good, but the custard was very thick - my wife said it was pasty, which summarises it quite well. So, it comes in at a 6.5 on the chart.

My wife chose Guay Ob Ma prow Sod, which was layered banana and coconut with caramel sauce and banana ice-cream. Actually, I chose it for her so I could have a taste. It was okay, but very heavy.

Despite the desserts, it was a very enjoyable meal. The service was excellent - very attentive and very friendly. The prices aren't bad, but they are "London" prices. We were on a 50% off deal through Toptable which saved us thirty quid, which made the meal very reasonable.

The only complaint that I have, is that the large room and high ceiling make the restaurant very noisy. Its certainly not the place for a quiet romantic meal, and if you had a large party, I doubt youd be able to hear people more that a couple of places away from you unless they were shouting. That, said the food is great and it wouldn't put us off going back.

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