Thai fine dining in a homey and relaxed atmosphere
If you have spent a great deal of time in Bangkok and you haven’t heard of Mango Tree, you’ve been living under a rock. Famed for bringing Thai party favourites to the masses, they have a fleet of branches all over the world. They’re a force to be reckoned with.
The Surawongse branch, one of five in Thailand, is a hidden gem. Tucked away on a small street off Silom Road—with an unassuming entrance—its beautiful interior gradually unfolds before your very eyes as you enter. First impressions are somewhat deceiving with this one, as it hides a quaint multi-level seating area with ample open space. But, if possible, you’ll definitely want to sit facing the gorgeous miniature courtyard.
Bedecked with rattan chairs and solid teak wood tables, it has a homey and very relaxed vibe. So much so, that I spent some time walking round and ‘discovering’ the numerous hidden personal touches and trinkets dotted around the place. There are plenty of staff milling around as well, attending to the waves of tourists and locals alike.
The palate opener of Prawn Satay (B250) was lovely. Juicy, charred, salty, and sweet with a slight tart finish, and set over a mini charcoal burner, this dish was unapologetically familiar but executed so well. Next up was the Pad Thai (B270). I didn’t know whether to eat it or have it enshrined, on account of the ridiculously oversized prawn that guarded it. Smooth and sweet but still tangy, it was just as a proper Pad Thai should be.
As far as curries are concerned, their Seafood Red Curry (B300) is definitely one for tamer Western palates than mine. Served with uber fluffy white rice, it was not my absolute favourite dish of the night, but it was an overall tasty dish with a distinct herby kick. However, the Sweet and Sour Grouper (B450) was moreishness incarnate. This crispy number was luckily served with a tame amount of sweet and sour marinade that complemented the zingy warmth of the restaurant’s signature sweet Mango Daiquiri (B250). I also sampled one of their sweet non-alcoholic offerings—the Mango Tango (B130)—which was simple, beautifully executed, and sorely missed after I gulped it all down.
Positively stuffed, I gingerly unwrapped the Pandan Chicken (B220), and after one bite in I declared it my absolutely favourite dish of the night. The marinade seeps into every part of the chicken, and it really has to be tried to be believed.
If you fancy yourself a connoisseur of Thai food at the highest level, this perhaps this isn’t the place for you. However, if you want beautifully presented traditional dishes—in a great central location—that are bound to please even the fussiest eaters, then Mango Tree definitely fits the bill.
By Zipporah Gene
37 Soi Tantawan, Surawongse Rd.
Tel: 02 236 2820
Open daily: 11:30am-midnight