I've long been a fan of the Mango Tree but had been years since I'd last been - it's on Grosvenor Place near Buckingham Palace, Victoria and Belgravia and I don't find myself around there very often. But I was seeing a friend who was staying in town close to the restaurant so it was a perfect opportunity to go.
When you walk in you can smell the flavour from the word go - the restaurant is always busy, and feels almost like a hotel or corporate space when you walk in. Make time to go and have a drink at the bar first, as it's more intimate and a nice way to start. Booked through toptable, the Mango Tree always has excellent deals on - we got 50% off the food bill. As an FYI, the restaurant's food is always excellent value due to the toptable offers - but they make up the bill with drinks. Their cocktails are brilliant, but are between 8 and 15 pounds each so don't guzzle them down. Unusually for a pan Asian restaurant, they have a very good wine list.
Even the prawn crackers in this place are good, which are on the table when you are seated. I had the Tom Kha soup (coconut milk based, with chicken, mushroom and red chilli) which was gorgeous and has inspired me to have a go making it, and my friend had the giant prawn spring rolls which were presented beautifully and tasted divine - they didn't scrimp on the amount of prawn - it made up most of the roll!
For main, I had the garlic chicken with cashew nuts and onion (not that adventurous but always a good dish to test out a restaurant) which was cooked to perfect, and the sticky rice accompaniment was exactly as it should be. Good portion size, enough for you before your guests start pronging their forks in! Now, my favourite bit - Mango Tree does have a great dessert menu. I had the cooked Mango with vanilla sticky rice which was sensational. Service wise, it was very good considering how busy they are too - although they did keep asking if we wanted our plates cleared when we hadn't finished (pet hate) - the restaurant was packed and had a small queue by the time we left.
Overall this place is fantastic, great for large or small gatherings and considering how central it is, it's fantastic value. Great broad menu with something for everyone - as spicy as you want it to be. Recommend with confidence!
Fun Factor: 8
Book here Mango Tree, 46 Grosvenor Place, Belgravia, SW1X 7EQ
South Molton St Starving