Mango Tree Manila: An Unpretentious Oasis of Thai Food
by Jace Amodo, September 07, 2019 6:00pm
Photo by Dani Elevazo
From the same company that brought Manillennials closer to Peruvian cuisine through Cocina Peruvia and the experience of Japanese sushi train through Genki Sushi, Mango Tree adds to our list of compelling restaurants to visit Inside Manila.
Thai food combines all flavors to make for a perfect dish: salty, spicy, sour, sweet, and of course, spicy—and that's what Mango Tree is all about. The international restaurant chain first established in Bangkok, Thailand, has long been dishing Thai favorites to Filipinos. Now, it's known as one of the biggest authentic Thailand fine dining restaurants in Manila.
Businesspeople and young professionals, from millennials and influencers, locals and tourists—adventurous individuals seem to find solace under Mango Tree's roofs. Its high ceilings, earthy tones, its zinger of a facade—the interior design is modest and unpretentious, inviting positive energy into the dining experience, which in turn allow conversations to occur naturally.
But acquiring that "authentic" title isn't simple. The consistency in Mango Tree's brand is assured by the chefs' occasional trip to Thailand for refresher lessons, the daily import of ingredients from the land of smiles itself. Especially with the changing trend in consumers' palates, restaurants who remain consonant with their core are precious.
A Purist's And Adventurist's Haven
Inspired from four regions of Thailand, Mango Tree's menu is set to appeal to a diverse clientele. There's a noticeable balance of sweet, sour, salty, and spicy upon trying out each dish. Their menu is even neatly organized from traditional and classic dishes, aptly called Purist, and the modernized ones, akaAdventurist. We were able to try some of their dishes so we'll have a quick run-through of them for you.
For appetizers, The Satay Moo Sam Chun or Pork Belly Satay (580php) is a skewer to thai for. It comes with two dip options that make it all the more exciting. There's also one of the bestselling appetizers, the Yum Mamuang Isan or Green Mango Salad Isan Style (400php). Thanks to the mix of bird's eye chili, peanut brittle, dried shrimp, and cherry tomatoes, the dish is equal parts sweet and spicy, allowing you to get the best of both worlds.
One of the Purist's rice meals is the Gai Yang or Isan Grilled Chicken (680php), which has Thai herbs and jim jaew sauce, a spicy Thai BBQ condiment popular in Thailand. Though of Lao origin, the dish is a staple in Thai street markets. So if you appreciate it when foreigners try our street foods like balut, isaw, and what-have-you, you'll want to try theirs too.
What the popular Tom Yum is to soup varieties, Phad Thai is to noodles. The Purist's Phad Thai Goong or Phad Thai with Prawns (480php) is made with stir-fried rice noodles, prawns, roasted peanuts, mixed vegetables, tofu, chili flakes, bean sprouts, and lime. Fun fact: Phad Thai played an important role in Thailand's rice shortage and nation-building amidst World War II. When visiting Mango Tree for the first time, try at least one of Thailand's national dishes such as the Phad Thai.
Some restaurateurs fail to acknowledge that there's a huge market for vegans and vegetarians. Here, there's Phad Phak Ruem Mit (380php), vegan mixed vegetables with garlic and light soy sauce. But even for non-vegans, this dish could work up an appetite for its peculiarity.
Coconuts and mangoes are often associated with Thai desserts; in our case, the former wins—be a guest of the delectable Pandan Panna Cotta (280php). And in true Mango Tree fashion, the dessert is topped with nuts.
Mango Tree prides itself with an array of drinks that they even built an open bar for guests to come in. Pineapple shake and mango shake, even sangria, are good starters. But let's not kid, you're curious if they serve Thai milk tea (they do!). To sip on iced Thai milk tea (120php) is to breathe a sigh of relief after all the spicy dishes.
A Hangout Worth More Than A Detour
Warm ambiance given, Mango Tree is undeniably ideal for events. Good thing for us, it's open for events reservations. Be it a birthday, wedding reception, baptismal, product launch, or even simple business meetings, Mango Tree's doors are open. The ground floor and mezzanine can accommodate combined guests of 200. In case the crowd and noise level is a matter of utmost importance, do note that it's almost peak throughout the week except on Mondays.
Our spice tolerance may vary and our ideal course may differ. Nevertheless, this restaurant knows the genuine challenge they instill to non-Thai cuisine fans. That's where Mango Tree thrives, and that's how they continue to shake the landscape of culinary arts.
Mango Tree is at 7th Avenue corner 30th Street, Bonifacio High Street, BGC, Taguig City, and is open Sundays to Thursday, 11am-11pm; Fridays to Saturdays, 11am-12mn. For more information, call (02) 616 6694 or follow @mangotreemanila on Facebook and Instagram.