Mango Tree (CLOSED)
Time Out says
The Mango Tree brand has been wowing foodies since its inception in Bangkok in 1994. The delicious Thai chain has subsequently opened in London, Tokyo and Dubai – and has fortunately just arrived in Hong Kong.
In its native Bangkok, Mango Tree is set in a beautiful historical Thai house adorned with lanterns hanging from its namesake tree that dominates the courtyard. In Hong Kong, the charming, casual feel has been replaced by an elegant contemporary style decorated in teak wood, ceramics and glass. The stylish interiors come courtesy of renowned Hong Kong designer Steve Leung and
no doubt adapt to the modern building which the restaurant is housed in.
When it comes to food, Mango Tree’s excellent reputation for serving authentic and delicious Thai cuisine certainly holds strong. Our meal starts off perfectly with a plate of tasty Thai fish cakes ($98) served with an amazing sweet chilli, peanut and cucumber dipping sauce. We follow this up with a lamb shank massaman curry ($180). The beautifully cooked lamb slides straight off the bone, but while the first bite is heavenly and full of intense spices, the curry is so rich and sweet that it’s near impossible to stomach all of it.
The basil and chilli rice noodles with assorted seafood ($128) are almost perfect; just the right level of chilli and fresh hot basil. Our only complaint is that it’s served with only three pathetic prawns. A side dish of morning glory ($98) with garlic and chilli is impossible to fault as every bite tastes better than the last. To finish, we share a beautifully light mango cheesecake ($80) served with mouth-watering fresh mango imported straight from Thailand.
Service on the whole is slow; don’t be surprised if there are long pauses between courses. However, the Thai waiters are very amicable, serving each dish with a sense of genuine hospitality that seems imported from the Land of Smiles. In fact, the restaurant’s two head chefs, staff and the spices all combine to form an authentic dining experience.
What is not authentic, however, are the exorbitant prices. A meal for two (without wine) comes close to $800, which is shockingly expensive for Thai food. But a move to Hong Kong will always result in a shift to Hong Kong prices, we guess. Still, despite the outrageous cost and below-par service, we are certain that the brand alone will be sufficient to carry this branch of Mango Tree to success. Ale Wilkinson
5/F, Cubus, 1 Hoi Ping Rd, Causeway Bay, 2577 0828. Daily noon-3pm & 6pm-midnight. Dinner for two: around $800.