In celebration of Songkran, Thai New Year, The Mango Tree is offering a range of special dishes and cocktails throughout April. Russell and I were kindly invited down to the restaurant to review the menu last week, and I have to admit it's one of the best meals we've had in a long time.
The Mango Tree is a contemporary Thai restaurant in the heart of Belgravia, serving authentic Thai cuisine which is hard to find in the capital. The venue has a welcoming atmosphere with traditional Thai hospitality which made us feel like VIPs for the evening.
The spacious interior is beautifully lit, is feng-shui designed to enhance the dining experience and has a smell reminiscent of holidays... we were instantly at ease from the moment we sat down - which is a big achievement as outside the streets were bustling with commuters making their way home.
The Thai New Year dishes will all be available to order individually, or as part of a set menu for a very reasonable £40 per person (which includes a starter, main course and dessert each, as well as a cocktail, beer or Thai tea on arrival).
We started our meal with a couple of cocktails served in the bar area - I enjoyed a lychee and chilli Martini which was extremely refreshing whilst Russell opted for a Thai Majito.
We managed to try every dish on the menu, which by no means was an easy task! Starters include Yum Pak Bung Krop (deep fried morning glory with Thai prawn salad), Nuer Bai Chapru (minced beef with lemon grass, garlic, Thai parsley and chilli wrapped in deep fried betel leaf) and Lookchin Ping (a selection of grilled minced chicken and beef balls).
The deep fried morning glory was my favourite dish out of the three starters, although Russell disagreed and stated he enjoyed the minced beef wrapped in fried betel as it was more robust. Served with a Thai prawn salad, the morning glory was aromatic and bursting with flavour whilst remaining light.
Main courses choices include Kuay Tiew Nam (chicken noodle soup served with authentic seasonal Thai vegetables and herbs), Suer Rong Hai (rib-eye steak marinated with lime and Thai herbs served with som tam salad), Pla Krapong Samunpai (deep fried sea bass topped with lemon grass and fresh peppercorn sauce) and Hormok Talay (mixed seafood in mild curry sauce served in a traditional steamer).
We were presented with a table full of beautifully presented food, and have to say we were pretty blown away - both by the presentation and flavours.
I can't fault any of the main dishes as they all offered something different but equally delicious. The chicken soup was impressively served deconstructed, giving diners the freedom to create a bespoke dish suited to their tastes. The steak was perfectly cooked medium rare and had a zingy, fresh and slightly hot aftertaste. The sea bass was a real show stopper of a dish and something both of us savoured - the fresh peppercorn sauce gave a new dimension to a dish I thought I had eaten every-which-way before, whilst the lemongrass offered a refreshing break.
Surprising, my favourite dish was the seafood curry, which I learnt had all the ingredients (including fish and prawns) blended together before being steamed. This gave the dish a truly unique texture and taste, and even though we had SO much food I think I could have eaten another portion with coconut rice as it was utterly delicious.
I wasn't looking forward to dessert as it was blandly described on the menu as 'mango ice cream served with pandan sticky rice and Thai toppings'. Boy, was I wrong to judge this dish on its name! It's probably one of the simplest but tastiest desserts I have ever eaten (and that's high praise indeed!). Served with a salted coconut milk, the textures and flavours of the sweet and savoury dessert left me memorised. I'd come back to The Mango Tree just for this dish!
Thai New Year is officially on 13th April, and on the evening guests at the restaurant will enjoy the Thai New Year menu alongside complimentary entertainment including cooking demonstrations, Thai massage, a symbolic water ceremony, traditional dance, Muay Thai boxing performances and live DJ throughout the evening.
We had an absolutely amazing evening which we can't fault in any way (and you all know by now that we're pretty picky). I'd thoroughly recommend joining The Mango Tree this month to enjoy the limited edition menu, which I personally feel is excellent value for money, and we can't wait to go back to try more dishes of their main menu.