December 3, 2010

Mango Tree Bistro


                Craving for Asian cuisine? Try Thai food in a stylish bistro at Mango Tree Bistro.

                The first Mango Tree restaurant was established in the early 90s, located in Silom Road in Bangkok. The name of the restaurant originated from the mango tree planted in the courtyard of the pioneer restaurant. Mango Tree is famous for its authentic traditional and popular Thai food. Currently, the restaurant has expanded to major cities in the world like London, Dubai, Tokyo, Busan and more.



                In dim light with light stone walls, furniture in black with violet and orange decors and modern furnishings, the restaurant looks classy and stylish. The atmosphere imparts a comforting environment.


                I’m not that familiar with the names of Thai dishes and with names like Nam Tak, Goong, Yang, Gaeng, Khem, the menu is slightly confusing. Although there’s a description of the dish below the name, it would have been better if there’s an English translation of the dish itself.


                Phla Salmon. Fresh salmon tartare with lemongrass, shallots and chili-lime dressing. P350. “Phla” means raw meat salad; in this case, fresh salmon is used. It doesn’t look raw because the salmon was ‘cooked’ in the chili-lime dressing. Phla Salmon tastes like Kilawin (or Ceviche) but the lemongrass gives an additional depth to the Thai’s version. This is recommended.


                Gaeng Ped Nua. Beef fillet with pea aubergine in red curry. P380. I eat just about everything but the food that I resent is curry. I can’t tolerate a lot of curries but I have a few exceptions [which I can count in one hand], and Gaeng Ped Nua is one of them. The beef is tender and the curry tastes good too.

                Also, this is the first time I’ve come across pea aubergine. It’s a member of the aubergine/eggplant family, round and green in color with a distinct strong flavor. My friends spit it out the moment they took a bite because they mistook it for a green pea. For me, the pea aubergine has a one-of-a-kind taste and I think it’s the key to why I like this curry dish.


                Pad Thai Goong. Stir fried noodles with prawns in pad Thai sauce. P350. Pad Thai is one of Thai’s national dishes. Mango Tree’s Pad Thai looks impressive particularly the egg net covering the dish but unexpectedly, it just tastes so-so. It does have the “dry” factor for an authentic Pad Thai but it lacks in flavor and I can’t taste the crushed peanuts at all.


                Tub Tim Grob. Red ruby chestnut in coconut milk and ice cubes. P150. “Crunchy Ruby” in English, is a famous dessert in Thailand. It’s made of cooked diced water chestnut covered in tapioca starch which gives its gelatinous exterior and a crunchy core. Westerners compare Tub Tim Grob to faux Pomegranate.

                You can compare the taste of Tub Tim Grob to our very own Halo-Halo, except that this dessert only has 1 ingredient. Water chestnuts have a bland taste but the gelatinous exterior and the crunchy inside, plus the sweet cold coconut milk, makes this dessert interesting to eat.


                Thai Iced Tea. P80. Thailand’s milk tea has a distinct orange hue, very sweet and creamier than other milk teas. Condensed milk and sugar are the main sweeteners and it’s topped with evaporated milk. I’m a bit disappointed with Mango Tree’s version because it’s not as sweet as the milk teas you can buy in Thailand but I’m also a bit pleased because I won’t have to worry about overloading in sugar.  

                Cocktail drinks are also available in Mango Tree Bistro.

                I’m not happy with all of our orders but the case is that we might have ordered wrong. My sister also tried Mango Tree Bistro and she gave a few high praises (which is rare). It’s more likely that I will visit them again for my verdict. Still, I think Mango Tree Bistro is a promising Thai restaurant seeing that I liked their curry.


                Visit Mango Tree Bistro, the new addition to the celebrated dining scene in Trinoma, Quezon City. It is located in the 3rd level, beside Powerbooks.




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