Tuesday, 4 October 2005

Mango Tree

Last week, I had the great privilege of meeting a Filipina food blogger based in the US. Purplegirl was on a flying to visit to London on her way to the Middleast for a holiday. We grabbed the chance to meet up, chat, and of course eat! What else would food bloggers do? ;) She was so kind and generous to give me a Jalapeno bread which she recently raved about in her blog so naturally I was very curious. I opened it first thing when I got home and the great aroma that hit me was that buttery-cheesy smell spiked with the spiciness of jalapeno chunks dotting each slice. Me and my husband had a great time eating it with our soup. We toasted it and mmmmmm! it was even more aromatic and tasty. Love that bread - I gotta hunt down a copycat recipe in the hope that maybe I could recreate even a fraction of it.

Getting back to my meeting with Purplegirl, we walked a few yards from Victoria station to a traditional Thai restaurant recommended by Lady Charlie, called Mango Tree. Now, I'm not a restaurant reviewer so I'll just try the best way I can to describe the experience.

The place looks smart, neat and well appointed, good high ceilings with recessed lightings, modern furnishings all in the earthy color scheme of different shades of brown. I liked it immediately since I prefer an uncluttered, neat and airy ambiance in a restaurant. Loved the little Thai touches like the big dried chilli tucked in the napkin holder, small mango trees in pots, etc.

We ordered largely from the lunch set menu since it has what we wanted. I had Fish Cakes for starters while Purplegirl had the Papaya Salad. Mine was good although I find it had a tad bit more flour (making it more chewy) than I wanted. All I can hear from Purplegirl was 'Mmmm, mmmm' with her head nodding positively approving of her Papaya salad.

For mains I had Green Curry Chicken and she had the Prawn Curry. They served it with plain boiled rice and a side salad. I don't know which one we liked better - the side salad or the mains. LOL! The salad was your usual mix of greens but their dressing was so nice. The taste had a very mild taste of patis, lime, and sugar. It was mild and sort of 'unobtrusive' that I feel like it's teasing me to eat more. Maybe next time I'll have a full order of the salad instead of just on the side. About my green curry - it was great with the sauce suitably thick and mildly spiced. Not too spicy not too bland - just right. Purplegirl noted that her Prawn Curry was nicely balanced as well, spiced enough and not too salty unlike what she often gets in other restaurants.

Desserts were served with Purplegirl having the Strawberry Pandan Cheesecake(?) and me with Cheesecake Malakor. The latter had papaya and passion fruit mixed in it on a peanut crumble base. It was good although I find it a bit too sour for me. I prefer sweet creamy cheesecake that's why I'm not too keen on most American cheesecakes. As for hers, she said it was good as well albeit the taste of the pandan was not so forthcoming. She was expecting a stronger taste and so was I.

As a whole, we thoroughly enjoyed our meals and at least I myself would come back to explore more of their menu. We were fortunate to be there just before 12 noon so we practically had the place to ourselves and able to order before the kitchen got busy. Believe me the place was packed by the time we left at past 1 PM. That's no great wonder with the kind of service and good food on offer.

Thanks Purplegirl for the delish loaf of Jalapeno bread and that great lunch we had. :) 'Hope to see you again so we can raid another restaurant!

Mango Tree
46 Grosvenor Place
London SW1X 7EQ

Tel. No.: 020 7823 1888

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