on July 27, 2007
I stumbled upon the Mango Tree restaurant by accident some years ago and still remember how much I enjoyed that first meal. I must have been impressed because I started telling Thai friends about this discovery, but then found that many of them already knew about the restaurant and its great food.Nothing much has changed except that other outlets at Bangkok’s new airport and in London, Tokyo, Korea, and Malaysia have since joined Mango Tree in downtown Bangkok. The lovely informal atmosphere and the high quality food remain the same in this lovely 80-year-old Siamese restaurant house with its own tropical garden.Mango Tree offers a quiet retreat from the surrounding hectic Patpong area. Live traditional music and classical Thai decorative touches fill the house with charm. The belief of its CEO – Mr. Phithaya Phanphensophon, is that every guest should be treated as if they were coming into your own home. The entry lobby sets you up with good expectations. Marvel at the owner's old camera collection and the posh ceramics. There is a lovely tree and plant bedecked terrace for outdoor dining (usually accompanied at night by live traditional music) or a series of small, fairly intimate rooms, tastefully mixing contemporary and traditional decor. Cross the faded Oriental carpet and lower yourself into a booth or pad across a raised dais to recline against cushions around a shin-high table.I have eaten here both at lunchtime and for dinner. I must say that the evening is much more impressive although of course the food is the same anytime. Here are some of my recommendations:Appetizer – Miang Kham, crispy coconut, savoury herbs with green bitter leaves and tamarind sauce (Bt120 – about US$3.50).Salad – Poached shrimp salad with lemongrass, shallots, chili, and lime (Bt220).Soup – Tom Yum Ruam Mitr Tha-Lay, spicy mixed seafood soup (Bt240).Grills – Grilled pork spare ribs (Bt140).Mains – Gai Phad Khing, stir fried chicken with ginger and onion (Bt160).-Pla Meuk Thod Gra-Tiam, deep-fried squid with garlic and pepper (Bt250).Kaeng Phed Ped Yang, red curry with BBQ duck in pineapple boat (Bt240).There is also a selection of vegetarian dishes.The waiters will help you through ordering if you are not versed in the "put it all in together" approach of starters, soups, curries, veggies, and desserts. All the curries rely on flavours rather than heat alone. The soups are none too bitter either. The Tom Kha Gai is usually the right balance of lime and herbs.On a recent visit, the music was pleasant and unobtrusive. The food and service were excellent and we didn't think the bill was exorbitant considering what we ate. It’s best to roll up before 8pm to get a table. On Wednesday to Saturday the outside area has dancers from 8pm.
©Travelocity.com LP 2000-2009