You may have noticed that I like my food…..I also like eating out so I was really pleased when I was invited to eat at Mango Tree in Belgravia as a blog reviewer! What was even better was the chance coincided with my recent birthday, and as we planned to be in London I obviously leapt at the chance. What follows is my review, and all views are my own. Mango Tree is conveniently situated on Grosvenor Place, Belgravia pretty much at the bottom of the Queen’s back garden. It’s a short walk from Victoria, Hyde Park Corner and actually most of central London, if like me, you like a good wander! The restaurant opens at 6pm for dinner and we had booked for opening as I like to eat early. I am always hungry and once nearly chewed my arm off on a business trip to Madrid because we didn’t get seated for dinner until about 10pm!
We were slightly early, and so we were seated in the bar with a few other groups whilst the final touches were being put in place in the dining room. This was a great opportunity to have one of the many cocktails on offer. There was a lot of choice, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic options were available, and in the end the Boyf and I managed to narrow it down. Being a lover of both Tequila and Gin, I had to go for the Thai Sunrise which has them both in…the Boyf went mocktail, and had a Strawberry Monkey. They were both really well presented and more importantly, really tasty!
This was obviously to be the theme for the evening!
We were taken through to the dining area and were situated by the window, great for a bit of people watching. As we perused the menu we were treated to some spicy prawn crackers. I am not normally a prawn cracker fan but these were great, and were balanced well with the house white we were drinking. We were to be eating from a set menu, but the cool thing was we were going to be treated to all 3 options on the menu. Three starters, three mains and just the one dessert….but it was a taster option so we still had lots to try. It was actually nice to have the food choices already pre-determined as their main menu has a lot of choice. I think we would have struggled to narrow it down, or would have stuck to tired and tested dishes. This would have been a real shame as having expanded my horizons more than usual I tried some great dishes that I wouldn’t normally have gone near.
First up were the starters. Thankfully my favourite, chicken satay was one of the dishes we were served. I do love a good satay (it’s spicy peanut butter, how could I not like it?), and we had skewers of chicken and prawn. It tasted great and was really well presented on a mini-grill to keep them warm as we worked our way through everything. I was glad that one of the other dishes, gai yang jeerapan was also chicken based as it meant the Boyf and I weren’t fighting over the satay. That dish had a sweet chilli sauce and we also had goong ten which was king prawns in a chilli and garlic sauce. All three dishes looked amazing and had their own distinct flavours. This is really important to me as I hate everything tasting the same despite the menu descriptions being really different.
Onto the mains and again, they looked amazing when they arrived. We had a red curry with duck which was served up inside a pineapple….this was a mild dish which was as yummy as the fruit it was served in, and as it also contained grapes, pineapple and tomato meant I was in with a chance of hitting my five a day for a change. The second dish was wok fried seafood and it was my least favourite of the day. This is only really because I am not a fan of squid or mussels (I did try them though). The prawns and scallops were nice and the sauce tasted good too. If you are a seafood fan then I am sure you would enjoy it.
The best looking dish had to be the pad thai goong Yai though, it was served in a sort of deconstructed state, allowing you to mix the rice noodles, prawns, peanuts and other bits and bobs together with as much chilli as you liked. I kept it fairly mild, but if you like spicy food then you definitely had enough chilli available to give it an extra kick.
Finally it was time for dessert….my blogger contact had passed on to the team that it was my birthday, so when the platter was brought out, it was accompanied by singing servers and had a giant sparkler in it! Great fun and a nice touch that I had seen happening for other diners as well. It seems a few of us Aries were out celebrating that night! What did we have? Three chocolate cake, banana and pistachio pudding, coffee cheesecake and vanilla-pandan ice cream. They were small snippets but perfectly sized for sharing and again it means you get to experience many desserts not just be stuck with one, wishing you were eating what your friend chose instead!
The service was great, and whilst the restaurant filled up quite quickly there seemed to be plenty of staff working. Certainly no one seemed to be waiting long for their food or looked irritated at not being looked after. Would I go back? Definitely! There is lots on the menu that I would like to try and it’s convenient location means that we can easily get home after an evening out. For those of you with families, there were plenty of family groups there as well, so you don’t need to feel you can’t take them along….of course you may want to use it as an excuse to get a baby-sitter and escape for some peace and quiet without them. If you like Thai food then I really do think the Mango Tree is worth checking out, and I am looking forward to my next visit.