Mango Tree’s new lunch menu; does it live up to its London sibling?

Dubai; Only two more weeks until Taste of Dubai arrives, so we’re cracking on with another restaurant preview…the London-based Thai concept, Mango Tree at Souk Al Bahar. I should highlight that FooDiva and a bunch of fellow foodie bloggers were invited to sample the new lunchtime menu, but note impartiality still prevails.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from the hospitality industry over far too many years it’s location, location, location. And Mango Tree has prime position overlooking Dubai’s dancing fountains, which by the way now perform during the day as well (for DSF I expect). Naturally it has both an indoor and outdoor seating area…mind you it’s very cold and blustery these days, so FooDiva says sit inside for now.

The new Head Chef, Paul Kennedy, who also oversees the Mirfif City Centre outlet, has created two three-course menus (each with eight dishes!), which diners are welcome to inter-change. Here’s the one we sampled;

Starters; fresh salmon salad with lemongrass, red onion, chilli and lime dressing, deep fried crispy green papaya salad, and hot and spicy chicken soup with vegetables.

A couple of Thai salads

A couple of Thai salads

Mains; wok-fried US rib eye beef with kale, ginger and spicy soy sauce, Tom yum steamed sea bass with spicy lime sauce and accompanied with steamed bok choy in a light soy sauce and vegetable egg fried rice.

Dessert; chocolate mousse with mango compote.

It may sound a lot for a lunchtime meal, but dishes are served in traditional Thai sharing style, and it’s all portion-controlled. What more, you can be in and out in less than an hour, perfect if your office is nearby.

Tom yum steamed sea bass with spicy lime sauceAll that bok choyChoc mousse with mango compote

The diced salmon sashimi-style was exquisitely tender with just the right amount of marinade. The papaya was deep-fried and crispy to the core…you would never have guessed you were eating an exotic fruit. I confess to not trying the soup (and also the beef) as FooDiva has a distaste for all things mushroomy. The steamed sea bass was so light, it just melted in my mouth, and was quickly devoured with al dente steamed bok choy, one of my all-time favourite vegetables, and plenty of fluffy rice. I’ll be honest mousse is not one of my preferred desserts…it’s something to do with that milky taste. I did dip in though, and loved the milk chocolate contrast with the mango.

Having had a disappointing dining experience at Mango Tree Souk Al Bahar a couple of years back, FooDiva is delighted to see Chef Paul take charge, significantly improving the quality of the food and bringing it on a par with its London sibling. Please keep the good food flowing.

Mango Tree is open daily for lunch and dinner. The new lunchtime menu is available as two courses for AED79, or three courses for AED99. Incredibly good value, don’t you agree? Tel: +971 4 4267313. Don’t forget to visit them at Taste of Dubai from March 3rd to 5th. And you still have time to enter the draw to win tickets – ten lucky winners will be notified on February 24th.

A bientôt.

FooDiva. x

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7 Responses to “Mango Tree’s new lunch menu; does it live up to its London sibling?”

  1. Sally - My Custard Pie February 16, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    Having been part of the foodie crew just wanted to add my two pennies worth. I really enjoyed this lunch and would definitely go and eat there again. The soup was hot and well balanced, the beef and kale excellent. The salmon salad was my favourite – and the chocolate mousse…well you’ll be hearing more about this from me…divine!

  2. John Podaras February 16, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    Delighted to read this review. I last had an apalling meal a few months ago in their so called private dining room consisting of insipid offerings from a set menu. Hopefully it looks as if that was a one-off.

    • FooDiva February 16, 2011 at 3:50 pm

      It has most definitely improved…give it one more try. Or sample their dishes at Taste of Dubai first.

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