A Taste of Thailand: Mango Tree In Mumbai
The mango season has begun to embrace us in its annual hues and flavours – and at almost the same time a newly-minted restaurant in the suburbs, one that boasts the king of fruits in its name Mango Tree has begun to roll out its plates. Located in Juhu in the erstwhile Hotel Horizon – now reinvented as an upscale dining destination, Mango Tree – originally from Bangkok with branches in Tokyo, Hong Kong, China, Tokyo, Manila and London – serves, as we discover on our visit there – Thai-inspired Asian cuisine. Incidentally, the first Mango Tree was opened about 24 years ago by founder and celebrity chef owner Pitaya Phanphensophon in Bangkok. Mango Tree Mumbai makes its appearance here in partnership with Rana Singh of Mondo Culinary who has already gained a name for himself as the sole representative in India for the luxurious dinnerware brands Wedgwood and Vera Wang Home.
The space:The décor of the 120-seater restaurant is conventional in its ambience. Divided into three zones, a lounge, the dining area and the private dining space, though fun, comfortable and pleasant to be, the spaces may not be the stand-out memory of the place that you would take back home. And that, as a foodie, I think it should be. But once the food comes on your table, the focus will be entirely what’s slipping down your palate into your stomach.
The food: Mango Tree had yet to get its liquor license when I visited, it so I opted for a simple chiller to freshen up, after the heat of the city. As starters, my first choice – the Egg Noodle Wrapped Prawns (Goong Sarong – fine egg noodle wrapped deep friend prawns marinated in coriander and garlic, Sriracha chilli sauce) were worth every crunchy mouthful. Resisting the temptation to ask for more of the same, I chose to enjoy the healthier Green Papaya Salad – a popular Thai-street favourite before moving on to the mains for my evening. The Steamed Fish in Lime and Chilli (Pla Neung Manao), a whole steamed fish fillet in chilli, lime, lemongrass and basil broth was very gentle on the palate, its flavours as light as the dish looked. With a yen for rice, how could I not have the signature Thai curry with sticky rice. The Chicken Red Curry – Gaeng Ped Gai Plod Sarn was comfort food indeed.
The desserts: Toying between a Mango Cheesecake, Mango Sticky Rice and a ‘Mango Tree’ Brownie, I finally opted for the Mango Sticky Rice – Khoa Niew Mamuang. The sweet sticky rice served with sticky black rice, sliced sweet mango and pandanus tapioca pearls was an interesting way to end the meal.
With Mango Tree and other dining options opening up in the new commercial building, it is right to say that foodies will soon have another gourmet address to head to – one where you can take your pick of flavours and plates.
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