Inside Mango Tree, Juhu | All The Deets
This week we were presented with an opportunity to check out what promises to be an authentic Thai dining experience. Mango Tree is located in Juhu at the Horizon Hotel which is soon to be home to several well-known culinary destinations, such as Pa Pa Ya, Indigo Deli, Wedgewood Tea Room, Kettlery and I Think Fitness. The venue could not have been more apt, it was about time that Juhu became a more diverse food destination and this new building seems to be solving that problem!
Bold brown and brass doors welcome you into an extravagant space with plush sofas and low wooden tables making way to a luxurious 120 seater restaurant. This is divided into three distinctive zones; a lounge, a dining area and a private dining room.
Mango Tree comes alive as soon as you walk in, with the open bar beckoning you to have a cocktail or two. The indoor seating is more suited for intimate gatherings or a dinner date, with marble tables and a welcoming napkin ornamented with dry red chilies. This sort of table décor gives you an idea of the experience you will be having.
Having been well versed with Thai food and eaten various versions of ‘authentic Thai’ in my life, it has been surprisingly difficult to find a good Thai restaurant in Mumbai. However, the first plate of the Sai Qui (Chicken Thai Sausage) did more than just tickle the taste buds. Served with fresh condiments, including finely chopped galangal, this appetizer opened the way to even higher expectations. The Chicken Satay with a peanut sauce was a winner; the moist and tender chargrilled chicken served with a creamy, nutty peanut sauce that will have you asking for seconds. This sauce was balanced perfectly with the added spice of dry chili flakes which cut the nuttiness, adding more flavor and zing to it.
My companions and I have had various versions of the Som Tam Thai (Green Papaya Salad), however the one at Mango Tree has solidified its space onto our list of favourites. Since the papaya being used is imported, it adds the necessary crunch which we have found missing from the local produce used at other restaurants. Packed with flavor, this salad works well on every level. We should have passed on the Fried Morning Glory served with a coconut and chilli jam which was a tad bit too oily. We then decided to extend our palette and experiment with new flavors instead of sticking to the traditional choices and we were not disappointed. Adventurous diners must call for the Yum Hua Pee (Banana Blossom Salad.) This dish not only makes for a pretty picture but is packed with powerful flavors and different textures. The banana blossom is slow cooked with Thai herbs giving the dish a great tangy flavor which is further complemented by the toasted coconut, which cleverly breaks the monotone of the pungent vegetable.
For our mains, we sampled a very generous portion of the Pla Nueng Manao, which was steamed fish in a beautiful broth that was a concoction of a basil, lemongrass with chili. The Poo Phad Phong Karee (Yellow Crab Curry) was richly spiced and hit the right notes, but what won our hearts was the Pad Thai with the yolk omelet. The Pad Thai was artfully sweet, salty and sour all at once with Brussel sprouts adding a little bit of crunch. Having a good Pad Thai is a rare occasion and we will surely be coming back to indulge in this one again!
We ended our evening with the beautifully textured Ice Cream Tub Tim Krob where red water chestnut jelly was accompanied with a jackfruit and coconut ice-cream. It took a lot of self-control for us to refrain from asking for more! The menu also offers a wide variety of drinks. We tried the Citrus Berry Slush and the Mango Cheesecake Smoothie and both were refreshing to have, quenching our thirst with panache.
Mango Tree serves variety from all parts of Thailand. It is an indulgent menu that is bold yet stays true to the essential Thai cooking techniques. The distinctive and delicious flavours come from blending the perfect balance of fresh herbs, local produce with an array of Thai spices and fresh ingredients. Having been globally acclaimed, it is exciting to have another noteworthy restaurant to add to Mumbai as we’re always on the lookout for bold, bright flavours like those served here.