If you venture outside of Victoria tube station, you’ll notice it appears to be going through something of a regeneration at the moment, judging by the building sites plastered everywhere. I’d only ever viewed Victoria as a place to travel through rather than to dine, as it has good links to; buses, tubes, coaches and trains. But I was recently in the area with an old college friend Nick, to review Mango Tree, a Thai restaurant just around the corner in Belgravia.
Mango Tree is plush, modern, and laid out over one spacious open-planned floor designed around the rules of Feng Shui. The restaurant was busy when we where there, but reckon you’d be a bit lost in the space on quieter times. There’s a funky cocktail bar near the entrance and I’d highly recommend trying one. I had a very delicious Mango Tree Fizz with amaretto, fresh mango juice and champagne.
Celebrity chef, Ian Pengelley, heads the kitchen with an extensive menu of dishes originating from all over the country. But it’s clumsily laid out and I was a bit overwhelmed by it – too much choice. The classics are there such as Pad Thai, Tom Yum Goong, but between us we opted for dishes from the section titled ‘Ian Pengelley’s Selection’. I must add that there’s a good vegetarian section too – for those so inclined, which certainly isn’t me.
Wonderfully fresh Soft-Shelled Crab Tempura with a refreshingly light Thai salad and sweet chilli sauce was a great start. The sauce could’ve done with a bit more kick, but it still complimented the crab nicely. Nick had the beautifully cooked lobster tempura, which didn’t last long on the plate – in fact, neither of them did.
My main was a spectacular tasting, generously portioned and impressive looking Lobster in a Spicy Choo Chee Red Curry Sauce, which was vibrant and creamy. It was a good touch that some of the meat had been prized from the shell, meaning less work, so you could concentrate on the eating – the most important part! Egg fried rice and steamed broccoli were lovely accompaniments. Nick had the Massaman Curry Lamb Shanks, which he found too fatty and grisly to finish, but really loved the taste of the curry.
After the epic main, I was too full to give a clear judgement on my dessert of a mango crème brulee with pistachio biscotti – it was good, perfect crunch of sugar on top and fruity sweet mango. Nick didn’t fare so well with his choice of chocolate brownie, which he found dry and probably should have chosen a more Thai inspired dessert.
There was a lot going on during the busy service. The charming and very polite staff walked around with earpieces on like the ones you see on TV presenters. And were being orchestrated by someone in the shadows – I’m presuming manager – who happened to conduct a seamlessly harmonious service.
Mango Tree is the place to go for a special occasion. The food overall is very good with great service to match – it’s high-end dining with high-end prices. Though they do currently offer a pre-theatre menu for two courses at £17. They also hold monthly themed events; the last was in celebration of Thai New Year. Check out their site for the next one.
Food I Fancy dined as guests.
46 Grosvenor Place
London SW1X 7EQ
Tel: 020 7823 1888