Hasn’t the weather been glorious lately? Walking home from work the other night it was so balmy I could almost close my eyes and imagine that I was abroad on holiday somewhere warm. Summery weather means eschewing comfort food and seeking out the light and tropical. Last weekend that’s exactly what we got at lunch at Thai restaurant, the Mango Tree in Belgravia.
Located just a hop, skip and a jump from Buckingham Palace (I wonder if the Queen has ever ordered food for a Friday night in in front of Netflix?), the Mango Tree has been serving up Thai food in Belgravia since 2001 (and more recently in Harrod’s food hall). It’s a popular haunt with celebrities and even gets a namecheck by J.K. Rowling, not in Harry Potter but under her nom de plume, Robert Galbraith, in The Silkworm.
We started our lunch with drinks in the bar and given the summery weather went for fruity cocktails – a Woo Woo for my boyfriend and a Mango Tree Fizz for me (Amaretto, fresh mango juice, champagne, cocktail cherry) – who can resist a cocktail named after the place you’re in?
We were then shown to a table by the window (the restaurant is drenched in lovely natural light) where we were presented with menus to consider whilst we snacked on a dish of prawn crackers.
Once we’d ordered we were surprised with two little spoons of green apple salad with red onion, coriander, mint, strawberry and spicy lime dressing. Delicious and fresh and the perfect palate preparation for the feast that was to come.
Rather than limit ourselves (we like choice) we chose to sample a variety of snacks by way of the starter platter which included chicken satay, thai fish cakes, prawn spring rolls. It was also supposed to come with duck spring rolls but we asked whether we could switch them for vegetarian spring rolls so that we could share as much as possible, they had absolutely no problem with that. They were served with a selection of dips – satay peanut sauce (with a sprinkling of crushed peanuts on top for a bit of crunch), sweet chilli sauce and a plum sauce. All of it was good, I’m sometimes unsure about Thai fish cakes as they can be a little squeaky and soapy, these weren’t at all, which was great, although I could have happily had a bit more of a spicy Thai kick from them. The chicken satay was perfect.
Sticking with the mango theme (I do love a good mango), I ordered a mango mojito to accompany our main courses. I’ve never had a mango mojito before but it was good, something to try at home at some point perhaps.
My boyfriend ordered the Pla Neung Nam Jim for his main, a steamed Chilean sea bass served on a spicy bed of chinese kale with a spicy chilli garlic and lemongrass sauce. He really enjoyed it, so much so that I didn’t really get a look in.
He ordered an accompaniment of stir-fried thai rice with soy sauce and egg which, with hindsight, we really should have shared as it was genuinely massive (I ordered Thai sticky rice).
For my main I’d chosen duck (which was part of the reason why I didn’t mind switching our duck spring rolls for vegetable ones). I love duck and this was perfect. Served sliced and on bed of pak choi it was accompanied by a pot of sweet and sour tamarind sauce, although it was wonderfully flavoured. Final meal worthy.
Although stuffed full of food, we were tempted by some of the dishes on the dessert menu and our dessert stomachs started to kick in.
My boyfriend chose the chocolate sphere. Nestled in a bed of white chocolate shavings and fruit it came served with hot salted caramel on the side to be drizzled over.
The melting chocolate sphere isn’t a new concept in desserts but it is a delicious one. The chocolate shell melted to reveal its ice cream heart.
We never normally particularly have desserts at Thai restaurants as our experience so far has shown us that they’re usually the weakest aspect of any Thai meal. Not at the Mango Tree. My boyfriend declared his chocolate sphere to be the best dessert he’s ever had at a Thai restaurant. We’re going to have to change our stance on desserts I think because my mango creme brûlée was amazing.
As I said, I have a real thing for mangos, so this was my dream dessert. Containing small pieces of mango throughout the base, this was just gorgeous. You have to try it if you’re a mango fiend like me!
To walk off all of the food we’d eaten we decided to take a leisurely stroll through St James’s Park afterwards, the Mango Tree really is perfectly placed for it.
The Mango Tree is a great choice if you’re after a Thai meal that’s a cut above the rest, plus, you really can’t beat the neighbourhood!
Our meal was provided on a complimentary basis but the views expressed here are my own unbiased opinions. Thanks Mango Tree!