Finally, after a year of diligent Top Table dining, I banked up enough points to take myself and a friend to dinner. For free. Score.
I remember reading a very mixed review of Mango Tree from EuWen over at A Very Unusual Chinaman – one that was confirmed for me earlier this week when I saw him at an event at Silk for the India Tourism Office and 2010 Commonwealth Games put on by my sister PR agency (yes, that’s a small plug, but India really does look amazing). However, the other choices for a free meal looked pretty rubbish (like Maxwell’s in Covent Garden, which may just be the worst tourist trap in London apart from all the chain steakhouses), so Mango Tree it was.
The restaurant is very slick. It’s accented with dark wood and low lights all around, but each table has an overhead spotlight, which made the food look brilliant, and even gave me enough light for my stupid iPhone to take a decent picture.
We had a very small menu to choose from, but I was starving, and when faced with too much choices, I tend to waffle. I was grateful.
For my starter, the Vegetable Spring Rolls:
Nice light, albeit basic, spring roll. It was a little on the greasy side, but it was served with a very nice sweet chilli sauce that masked any imperfections.
I also got to try a bite of my friend’s Thai Fish Cakes:
I wasn’t a fan of these rather rubbery little patties, but to be fair, I’ve never really had one I’ve liked. Every Thai restaurant I’ve ever been to cooks the hell out of them and then serves them with a completely overwhelming dipping sauce.
My main, on the other hand, was much more successful. The Thai Green Curry on Noodles:
Alright, it was fairly basic, but it was still really tasty. Rich, but not too rich. Spicy, but not too spicy. It was juuuust right.
Dessert was the Ice Cream Selection and the Lychee Cheesecake:
Both fairly odd selections for a Thai restaurant. The ice cream was essentially a Neapolitan, and the cheesecake was just normal cheesecake served alongside a lychee jelly. It was just ok.
Mango Tree is certainly not the best place in the world, but it was decent easy-to-handle Thai food in a nice setting. I should mention we had very attentive service too. And for free, it was totally worth it. But then again, I suppose there would be little that wasn’t worth it.