Mango Tree (Thai) – Belgravia, London
Belgravia’s Mango Tree is a fine dining Thai restaurant that exudes class in more ways than one.
Warmly welcomed at the front desk before being led past the separate bar room into the dining area, the first thing to hit you is the sheer size of the hall – it’s huge, with a seating capacity of 160, and exquisitely decked out.
The dark mahogany tables and brown leather seating contrast perfectly with the restaurant’s overall colour scheme of grey and white. But what really gives this place the sense of grandeur are the heavy maroon curtains running from the ceiling to the floor and extending across the entire length of the hall. Couple that with low hanging neon tube lights, large daffodil vases resting on window sills draped with bamboo shades, and you can’t help but be impressed.
According to their website, the interior is styled after “the restaurants in Thailand and has been feng-shui designed to enhance the dining experience”.
Little wonder, therefore, that Mango Tree has appeared on the BBC’s celebrated cooking show, MasterChef, while also having been mentioned in a J.K. Rowling novel.
A delightful trio of smartly presented mocktails kick started our evening.
The Mango Fruit Flavoured Mojito allowed the fruit to rightfully dominate over the mint all the way down to the last slurp. Very tasty!
Although the raspberry in this other Fruit Flavoured Mojito came through far more subtly, it still managed to maintain that unmistakable mojito lemony-lime kick we all love. Delicious!
The Virgin Colada had bags of flavour. Not only did the tiny bits of coconut flesh provide some texture while allowing for the sharp pineapple to comes through well. While one Lion considered it “too sweet”, the others thoroughly enjoyed the strength of its conviction.
What an unbelievably creamy and smooth textured concoction the Mango Tree Beauty was. The hit of lychee with, what appeared to be, the subtle taste of rosewater running through it, was divine. This would go superbly with any main course.
The cranberry in the Berries Garden came through strongly offset just enough by the strawberry and mint. If you’re looking for a strong berry mocktail, this is it.
Meanwhile, and said to be directly from Thailand itself, we were presented with all the natural goodness of a Fresh Thai Young Coconut. And young it was too because, much to our surprise, this was light and refreshing, and no where near as heavy as perhaps its mature counterpart. Again, an excellent accompaniment to any main course.
The Mango Tree Paradise had mixed reactions. While one Lion considered it “too basic”, the other two were more appreciative of both its attractive presentation and its layered composition which ensured that the flavour gradually intensified from the mild taste of mango at the top, to a more potent mixture of mango and berries further down towards the bottom.
As for the Virgin Mojito, then the intensity of the punch delivered by its all too familiar mint and lime combo knocked us off our collective feet. In fact, the intensity of the mint was such that, by the end, it left that slight bitter aftertaste. And though one of us thought there might have been a little too much ice, another considered this “one of the, if not the, best”.
The Director’s Special’s predominant flavour was lychee with a hint of orange to it. The texture was smooth bordering on creamy; the taste maintaining well in spite of all the ice. An interesting one, although in comparison to the above, quite average.
Being handed a spoon of apple strips will, at the very least, be a thought-provoking appetiser.
But this, with its combination of sour and chilli, was simple and lovely.
No match aganst Nine7One’s, but this shell crab tempura was, in its own right, pretty good. The non-oily, golden crispy batter, with its mildly salty and well cooked crab interior, went well with the gentle citrus sauce.
But what really prompted debate between the three of us was the relationship between this and the accompanying hot mango salad mixed with diced red chillis.
The interplay between the heat of the salad and the sourness of the citrus sauce kept us talking well after the crabs were devoured.
This perfectly cooked spicy king scallop was divine.
The flavour sensations, when taken down in one, were captivating. Superb!
And this version was only slightly less memorable though memorable nonetheless. In comparison to the above, this was all about subtleties of flavour with a hint of heat to it. Sublime!
We really wanted to enjoy these more than we did.
That’s not to say they weren’t tasty if slightly on the dry side. But, with a pleasant enough sweet marinade and a chatni mayo that delivered a solid fruity kick, this simply didn’t have that wow factor.
Nice enough without doing justice to the wagyu.
This Mango Tree Satay offered chicken and prawns that were all very well cooked.
The grilled chicken was nice and soft and went best with the creamy peanut butter sauce.
The prawns, however, went better with the sweet and sharp vinegar dip.
A decent satay that’s well presented on a mini-grill.
On to the mains…
Arguably one of the best Thai Green Curries we’ve had the pleasure of eating.
The strength and depth of flavour of this silky smooth sauce, with the light fragrance of lemon grass in the background, was quite something.
The vegetable base was delicately spiced leaving a good amount of heat at the back of the throat.
Do not, we repeat, DO NOT be put off by the £58 tag, because we assure you this wagyu steak is worth every penny.
Cooked medium, this is close to melt-in-your-mouth meat as you’re possibly going to get at this price.
This had an addictively subtle sweet flavour to it that we just couldn’t get enough of.
As one Lion put it so poetically, “A grand premium, super vooodoo cut of pure goodness!”
But, while the onion salad was soft and nicely wilted, we considered the sauce far too intense for such delicate and deliciously tasting beef.
Enjoy it only as it is!
This perfectly cooked piece of sea bass, so beautifully steamed and presented in banana leaves, exuded a mouth-watering fragrance.
But, with a sweet and spicy sauce dressing as powerful as the one this came with, our initial fear was that it would entirely overpower such a delicate thing. Much to our surprise and pleasure, however, the heat from the sauce quickly mellowed out to give way to our enjoyment of the flavours of the fish.
A lovely journey of flavours and quite an incredible dish in spite of its price.
First time for the three of us in tasting these Chinese Kale.
Drizzled in truffle oil and some sea salt, this went down a treat with the root of the vegetable tasting distinctly different and more spinach-like than the stem.
Well, this seems to be the closest you’ll get with crushed peanuts, dry chilli flakes, and bean sprouts served separately on the side accompanied by lobster tails.
But, when had together with the noodles and the crab, prepare yourself for mouthfuls where no two will ever be the alike.
The flavours happening in this dish juxtaposed with the variety of textures makes this arguably the most interesting dish of the evening. Quite superb!
The lobster tails were quite tasty too brushed as they were with a subtly sweet sauce.
The cooking of this Canadian lobster was such that it still had that slight springiness and bite to it that would be expected of a perfectly cooked lobster.
In essence, however, the garlic butter sauce, though simple in flavour, brought this dish alive.
With a hint of pepper providing just the right level of heat, we savoured each and every bite.
The reason this doesn’t come with a price tag is because this absolutely scrumptious Green Tea Cheesecake is not only a new addition to their impressive menu, but currently part of their set special menu.
But, given that this was recommended by our waitress, we were compelled to give it a go. So glad we did too. This ultra smooth and creamy cheesecake was divine!
With the strong, heady fragrance and taste of green tea coming through well, this really hit the high notes.
Further, the sharp tarty burst of fruitiness from the berry garnish adds to the overall experience.
As for the vanilla ice cream (yup, it’s green), then this was pretty well made.
Needless to say, however, it’s all about the Green Tea Cheesecake.
Firmer in texture than the above, this Chocolate Paradise had a rich, soft and buttery top that had a hint of dark chocolate to it.
The base was light and biscuity, and with the addition of the small toffee balls, provided textural contrast.
Very good indeed.
And to round off our journey at Mango Tree, this unbelievable Jasmine Flower Tea.
It was apparent from the first sip that this was made from top notch tea leaves.
Clasping our small cups with two hands, we made certain of breathing deeply to inhale that sweet warm smell of Jasmine flower with every sip we took.
Simply a must!
- YES/ YES
- CHILD SEATING
Not only does the food match the exquisite design of this modern Thai restaurant, but surpasses it. There were dishes we had on the night that left us collectively speechless. The one dish standing above all the rest: the Weeping Tiger Neur Wagyu.
What's more, the service was, as would be expected of any fine dining establishment, on point, well regimented and extremely efficient. In fact, such was their attention that at one point during our loo break, a staff member came over to adjust and reposition the absentee's napkin. And before every dish served, the table was wiped down appropriately.
Although there's pork on the menu, all ingredients are cooked separately with all utensils properly cleaned before the cooking of every dish (as personally witnessed by one of the Lions).
Mango Tree provides discounts to local businesses, and, at the time of the publication of this review, there's a 50% discount available for all newsletter sign ups.
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