Thursday, January 26, 2012

Hong Kong - Mango Tree

Mango Tree is probably the most talked about Thai place in town after most people slammed the Greyhound Cafe at the IFC.  I've not yet made the Greyhound but the 2 menus are distinct, of course.  While Mango Tree offers traditional Thai dishes perhaps modernised for the international palate, Greyhound's menu is modernity with Thai influences.  So between the 2, their only common denominator is that they are exported concepts from Thailand.

Mango Tree is possibly one of the more comfortable places in Hong Kong to enjoy Thai cuisine.  It's bustling (mind you, it is still difficult to get reservations) but you don't feel the squeeze of Hong Kong in the dining room.  Tables are decent sized and there is adequate distance between tables so you don't feel compelled to eavesdrop on your neighbors.

Lychee Smash
I loved that they had a wonderful drinks menu with something for everything.  But whatever it was, it provided the perfect Thai resort feel and backdrop as you peruse the menu.

Crispy Rice Crackers - served with minced pork, peanuts and fresh coconut dip

Pomelo Salad
Starters were very competent and everything just came across as very fresh.  Sometimes, with Thai food, the authenticity is sometimes marred by the imagination of a dirty street kitchen, which while adding to exoticism, tends to just disrupt the joy with a touch of concern - just a touch.  But here you got the sense that the kitchen was just pristine, especially with the salad that was chilled right.  And the starters did well to suppress hunger pangs while we waited to complete the party.

The rest of the food was again, internationalized Thai cuisine.  Extremely competent and I will not hesitate to bring guests again.  

Tom Yum Goong
 If you like the prawny version ie. packed with a lot of shrimp roe, you will like this.  It is spicy though.

Roasted Duck Curry
Can't go wrong with roast duck in the land of Cantonese roasts so the duck was actually well done.  A little "wasted" in the curry, which was ok.

Thai Egg Omelette
This was a surprising wow.  The perfect egginess and fluffiness combined and oh so fragrant.  Given more substance with the minced pork but even a plain omelette of this quality would have made me happy.

Phad Thai
This did not have the usual Wok Hei (breath of the wok) which I like in my phad thai.  The "dirtiness" of a well used wok would have given it the x-factor but I came away from this one imagining that it was stir fried in an ultra clean virgin stainless steel pan.

Barbequed Fresh Jumbo Squid
This was another very well executed dish.  Perfect bounce of a squid just barely cooked but with slight crisp bits from being over a charcoal fire.

Homemade Ice Cream - Young Coconut

Homemade Ice Cream - Fresh Mango
Ice creams were creamy - in a good way.  Definitely home made.  The party liked the young coconut, which if you are a fan of coconut, you would lap up pretty easily.  The fresh mango was tangy sweet, and made for an easier finish for me since I was pretty full from the meal.

Overall, a satisfying meal in decent surrounds.  There is no rush even if you wanted to tarry after the meal.  And there is enough of a drinks menu to make people happy and almost forget they're in HK.

5/F Cubus
1 Hoi Ping Road
Causeway Bay
Tel: +852-2577 0828


  1. oooh I love lychee cocktails! About 15 years ago, Mango Tree was my must-stop in Bangkok; since it went international it seems to have let go of their trad Thai roots, but if cocktails and a swish environment is what'll get more people getting started on eating Thai, I guess that's not a bad thing!

  2. So true. If it's about getting more people educated about and embracing different food cultures, why not! The world could do with even more variety, if that's even possible!