MANGO TREE ON THE RIVER
By : JOHN GRANVILLE
03 April 2019
Anyone who lives in Bangkok is familiar with the problem: a friend or family member arrives from overseas and wants to be taken to a “real” Thai restaurant. And you can’t think of one. Mango Tree On The River is a suggestion.
The restaurant is on the deck of Yodpiman River Walk, the mall built in a long, linear strip where the Pak Klong Talat wholesale market stalls used to stand. This development has actually cleaned up what was a scruffy area, and the dealers now work out of booths on the ground floor, with the upper decks housing shops and restaurants.
Mango Tree is a very well known and respected brand of Thai restaurant here and overseas, and occupies the shop space at the far end of the mall. The main deck houses the restaurant, with seating indoors and out, while on the second floor there is a bar and on the third floor a private room.
Yodpiman has been designed in Rama V style, and is rather like an elongated mansion. Mango Tree has minimal design of its own, the gracious architecture of the development providing the ambience, together of course with the river. Almost directly opposite is the lit prang of the Temple of the Dawn. The setting itself is enough to charm your overseas guests.
There are some exotic martinis on the drinks list, including lychee, watermelon, apple, passion fruit, mango and espresso, and of course a classic dry martini. The menu is the kind of good, authentic regional Thai cuisine that has a broad appeal, and there is a listing of vegetarian dishes.
We opened with grilled tiger prawns from the char grill (950 baht) and coconut cream soup (290 baht). Next came a signature dish, baby pork spare ribs (450 baht), presented as a slab that we carved ourselves, and accompanied by a pungent larb-style dip. The dish named steak jim jaw was Australian strip loin cooked on the grill and served with a spicy tamarind sauce (990 baht). Our curry course was Alaska king crab in a yellow curry sauce (950 baht), and we had a stir-fry of sweet and sour chicken (260 baht). Plakapong lad prik (450 baht) was a medium-size fish deep-fried to a crunchy texture and served with a tangy-hot chilli sauce. To end, mango with sticky rice, and a coconut ice cream completed our enjoyable evening.
In terms of dependable traditional Thai food, magnificent riverfront location, prompt and pleasant service (if a little shaky on the English language), and value for money, Mango Tree On The River meets all demands. The quality of the food is outstanding, finding the approval of the fastidious Thai member of our party. Locals and tourists alike will be happy.
The easiest way to get here is to cut through the covered Pak Klong Talat flower market, which is busy throughout the night, and provides opportunities for selfies.