It was the hottest day of the year in London. We’d ambled for miles around the Royal Parks, sweating in the midday heat, but inside the entrance to Mango Tree in Belgravia, we were provided with a very welcome respite from the glaring sunshine. The contrast of the cool, dark interior of the restaurant and chic minimalist decor which looked as though it had had the full Feng-Shui treatment was exactly what we needed.
We had come to sample the menu, as well as the new Dim Sum menu, which I was rather excited about. The London branch used to have a sister restaurant in Doha, which closed shortly before we arrived, and we had heard so many good things about it from our friends.
But before we got stuck into the food, I really needed a drink. As if reading my mind, a member of staff welcomed us with a warm ‘sawadee kah!’ (hello) and showed us through to the bar.
It is one of those bars which reminds me of ones I used to frequent in my
younger, care free pre-child days, with comfy seating, an extensive cocktail list and lots of strategically-placed uplighting. It was reassuring to see that even though it was lunchtime on a random Monday, there were still a few office workers inside, enjoying a rather leisurely post-lunch drink – they looked quite at home and had obviously made it their local.
One delicious and fruity mocktail later, and we were shown our table to peruse the extensive menu. The starters all looked delicious, and being the indecisive people that we are, Mr Sunshine and I went for the platter to share.
Chicken satay, Thai fishcakes, prawn spring rolls and duck spring rolls were brought out on a beautifully-presented slate. I loved that the chicken had been char-grilled, giving it that lovely barbecued taste, and the accompanying satay sauce was sweet and crunchy. The Thai fishcakes were perfectly seasoned, and both Spring Rolls, although a little greasy, had that deliciously crispy bite to them.
I’m a big sauce fan, and delighted in dunking everything in the satay, plum and sweet chili sauce, and then spooning more on top. Being married is great because Mr Sunshine knows and accepts this kind of behaviour. If I was on a first date, I’m not sure my date would want to take it any further!
We were also keen on trying the Dim Sum platter, but unfortunately two of the Dim Sum that made up the selection were not available, so we opted for the Tom Yum Chicken Siu Long Bao instead.
The waiter warned us that this Dim Sum was rather sloppy to eat, and he wasn’t exaggerating! They weren’t the firm little parcels that I was used to, and it was difficult to bite into them without juice dripping down your chin (once again, thank goodness I wasn’t on a first date!). Still, the flavour was beautiful, and I wish that we had ordered more.
Our main dishes included a twist on the classic Pad Thai and Ped Makham – roast duck on a bed of Pak Choi with aromatic tamarind sauce.
The restaurant’s signature egg nest made the presentation of the noodles instantly Instagrammable, but it was the taste which really made me smile. The signature sauce was sweet and oh-so moreish, and it was like no Pad Thai I had tasted before. I also liked that various elements of the dish had been deconstructed, so you could stir in as many peanuts or bean sprouts as you desired. The duck was something which I wouldn’t usually choose on a menu, as I think it’s incredibly difficult to get right, but it landed on our table perfectly cooked, with just a touch of pink, and the sweet and sour Tamarind sauce tied the whole dish together beautifully.
Now I rarely order dessert on hot summer days, as it usually makes me crave an afternoon nap, but the rest of the food had been so good that when I was handed the dessert menu, I couldn’t resist. In fact, we both agreed that if we were doing this properly, we probably should go the whole hog, and ended up ordering the dessert platter.
The chocolate tart, layered banana pudding and matcha ice cream were all perfectly executed and indulgent without being overly sweet or overpowering. But the real winner in the selection was the mango Crème Brûlée, which tasted heavenly. I hoovered up most of this before Mr Sunshine had even had a look in. Sorry hubby, I couldn’t help myself, desserts this good weren’t made to be shared!
With quality such as this, it didn’t surprise me when we were told that a Mango Tree had opened in the world famous Harrods food hall, as well as another restaurant in the Mango Tree empire, Pan Chai.
With kind service, deliciously authentic Thai food and a beautiful ambience, this is one Belgravia restaurant not to be missed. Even Sophia was content throughout the entire meal, looking around at the pretty vases of flowers and dozing on and off in the serene atmosphere. And that, for me, is a real win.
Mr Sunshine says:
“Really liked this restaurant. Good food and drinks in an effortlessly cool environment. Was a little underwhelmed by the starters and I did think the Dim Sum was a little sloppy but the main courses more than made up for it. Look forward to trying the deserts next time we go as I didn’t get a look in this time round!!”
Mango Tree London | 46 Grosvenor Place SW1X 7EQ | 0207 823 1888
We were guests of Mango Tree on this occasion, but as always all views are my own.