6 reasons why you must visit Mango Tree
You can't beat the fab food and fountains combo
With twenty-two restaurants in Souk Al Bahar alone (and countless more across the footbridge at Dubai Mall), serving everything from fast-food to fine dining, choosing which restaurant to eat at is no easy task.Throw in the option of watching the Dubai Fountains as you dine and you're faced with an even bigger conundrum.
Do you want a view from those lining the waterfront? Or to be up a level so you can overlook the lake at the foot of the Burj Khalifa. Mango Tree is one of the latter; the authentic Thai restaurant, which is situated on level 3 of the Souk Al Bahar, has probably got one of the best views of the whole bunch.
Here are six of our favourite things about Mango Tree...
1. The ambiance
With an unbeatable view of the Burj Khalifa, and a prime-viewing spot for the fountain show, it would be easy for the relaxed atmosphere to be compromised by guests cramming to the edge of the restaurant (which was where we were seated) and snapping endless pictures of the show. Here, (when we visited anyway) this wasn't the case. Guests took in the Burj and enjoyed the show without hopping out of their seats every thirty minutes. The staff barely disturbed us, except to offer some helpful menu suggestions, the lighting was soft and (minus the loud table of girls we could occasionally hear from the restaurant next door) you could be forgiven for thinking you were in a secluded restaurant...not bang in the middle of one of Dubai's bustling restaurant districts and beneath the world's tallest building.
2. The extensive and authentic Thai menu
There is always a fear that when a menu is too crowded with choice, individual dishes might lack care and attention to detail. This menu has an overwhelming number of dishes, but it did not compromise on taste. Appetizers consisting of endless fried meats and seafood, added with the various sauces; tamarind sauce, pineapple relishes, and chilli spiked plum sauce, had our tastebuds tingling right from the start. Thailand is famous for it's seafood and this menu reads accordingly; from tempting jumbo tiger prawns with stir fried with sweet pineapple and capsicum, to crispy fried soft-shell crab, claypot baked lobster and SO much more, the menu is a real treat for seafood lovers.
3. The beautifully presented starters
Any fan of nibbles will agree, it's impossible to choose just one starter; so of course we went for three. The Gai Hor Bai Toey; juicy free-range marinated chicken pieces wrapped in pandan leaves served with house tamarind sauce, the Giew Tod Edamame; crispy fried wanton parcels with edamame and sweet water chestnut served with kaffir lime and chili spiked with plum sauce, and the crispy fried calamari with Tom Yum Aioli were all plated with care and attention and they looked (nearly) too good to eat when they arrived to the table...this lasted just about as long as it takes to snap a few quick pictures.
4. The melt-in-your-mouth mains
There was no food envy at our table when the mains arrived. The Pia Pow; the catch of the day (we were delighted to hear it was sea bass) arrived wrapped in chargrilled banana leaf and cooked with garlic, kaffir lime, and oyster sauce, served with mixed Asian lettuce salad, was cooked to absolute perfection. The combo of melt-in-your-mouth-fish with an authentic Thai sauce was just about matched by the Gaeng Pet Ped Yang; a roast red duck curry, the tender, succulent duck was cooked in a spicy (Western spicy!) sauce together with pineapple and piping hot cherry tomatoes was served in a pineapple shell. Our only issue with the mains was trying to make sure we had room for dessert.
4. The desserts are actually divine
We went for a sharing plate; our very friendly waitress Mandy chose three of the best-sellers and brought them, in smaller portions, plated together. These were perfect share-size bites. We devoured a heavenly chocolate ganache, with peanut crumb, mango orange compote, sesame brittle and Thai coffee ice cream. The peanut and citrus compote flavours are perfect to accompany the rich ganache. We also had the super-sweet sticky rice which came with fresh mango and coconut milk, and the best-selling cheesecake with Thai sweet mango sauce. If these sound too rich, there are lighter options on the menu in the form of fruit-flavoured sorbets, or the jellied water chestnut rubies and jackfruit slivers which we were told are a particular staff favourite...whatever sweets you're into, there's something for everyone on this dessert menu.
5. The cocktail menu is an unexpected treat
Things you hope for when you visit any Thai restaurant (and checked accordingly): Good food; check. Good service; check. Good view, nice decor, and great ambiance...check, check, check. What you don't expect is a really special cocktail menu. Our waitress urged us to try the watermelon pop; it was refreshing and sweet, an excellent recommendation. We also tried a lychee mojito, (which comes as part of the brunch package if you decide to brunch here) this was mixed with lime juice and fresh mint, and served with a fresh lychee as a sweetener on top. Each was adorned with fresh fruit which had us (nearly) feeling healthy again after such a delicious feed.
6. The view
(We had to save the best bit till last).
The important stuff:
STARTERS: From AED 55 for deep fried corn cakes to AED 85 for mixed chargrilled satay
MAINS: From AED 112 for baked seasonal shellfish to AED 625 for an absolutely massive grilled seafood platter, filled with everything from jumbo prawns, to scallops, crabs legs and mussels
DESSERTS: All desserts AED 45
Cocktails: From AED 65 for signature cocktails to AED 165 for signature cocktails with fizz
To book and more info: Call 04 5509216