Monday, September 5, 2016

First Bite: Mango Tree

I always get so giddy whenever I see an email from Peanut. It always mean great news and by great news, I mean yummy treats! This time, the email was all about a rendezvoos in Mango Tree. We were advised to wear something a bit more formal. But given the humidity of Manila, I simply could not sport a blazer. 

Hello, Mango Tree!
It does have a fancy feel to it with its dim lighting and dark colored interiors. No wonder we were told to dress nicely. We would get so out of place if we dine here wearing shorts and flip flops. But they do not enforce any dress code so you're okay to wear whatever you want. (Actually, I have been here before for a shoot with the late OK! Magazine staff for our annual editorial shoot but we only had a few drinks then which I vaguely remembered to be strong.)
The group was already pigging out together as early as 3 p.m. in Makati for another event but we left a huge tummy space for the feast that was prepared for us. It was perfect too as I was craving for some Thai dishes
While waiting for the feast, I ordered Hennessy Mango Lemonade (PHP350) and it was served in less than 5 minutes. 
The taste of Hennessy was evident but it was complemented by the sweet taste of mango juice. Abe pointed though that the mango taste reminded him of canned juice. But I liked it! 
The appetizer Miang Kham (PHP380) was served next and it looked like a feast for vegetarians. True enough, this dish is loved by veggie lovers. It also means everything in one bite and I will tell you why in a bit. One order comes with dried coconuts, lemon, chili, ginger, peanuts, onions, sesame leaves and chutney sauce which is a combination of shrimp paste, ginger and palm sugar. 
The wait staff showed us how to stuff every ingredient inside the sesame leaf and I failed when I tried as I put too much in my leafy cone. Taste-wise, it was a lovely harmony of flavors. It was refreshing because of the sesame leaves (though a tad rough in terms of texture) and lemon bits. I sparingly put ginger and skipped the chili as I am not fond of spicy food. I stuffed a lot of peanuts though for added crunch. 
Tom Kha Gai (PHP480) was served next and I was worried that it'll be spicy. I was so happy that it was mild. 
It was tolerable that I easily finished my bowl of sweet and sour coconut milk and galangal soup with chicken and was even craving for more! 
 The star of the night for me was the Poo Phad Phong Ka Ree (PHP980). The stir-fried fresh crab with onions and yellow curry powder was so delectable that I had several spoonfuls of this. It is best enjoyed with rice as it could be cloying if eaten alone. You could order this dish with the whole crab (with shell and all) or just the meat. It is best to order it with just the meat though to avoid the pain of cracking and peeling the shell. 
The curry taste was not as strong as I thought. It actually reminded me of "tortang alimasag" only this one was saucier. The onion bits added crunch to the dish which I liked. 
Pla Krapong Neung Ma Now (PHP980) is one of Mango Tree's bestsellers and it sure deserves to be one. The scrumptious steamed sea bass was a piece of seafood heaven. The taste of the fish was light and was well complemented by the garlic, chili and lime flavors. The sauce though was too spicy for me. 
Pair this dish with Khao Ob Supparod (PHP550) and you have a winner! The pineapple fried rice with chicken and mushrooms was slightly sweet and a nice complement to the huge fish.
The Phad Thai Goong (PHP480) was also delectable. The rice noodles topped with prawns and bean sprouts is a must-order in any Thai restaurant. 
The one from Mango Tree was a bit more on the sweet side. I blame myself though for not drizzling some lime juice on my serving. 
We also ordered Iced Thai Coffee and Iced Thai Tea (each glass priced at PHP90) and both were good. I prefer iced tea over coffee though because of it's lovely Thai milk tea taste. The iced coffee was a bit too sweet and I like my coffee slightly bitter. 

Our super cool host, Betsy, also ordered desserts namely Khao Niew Ma Muang (PHP280) and Tako Khao Phod (PHP220). 
The ripe mango with sticky rice was so good! 
The rice was firm and was a nice contrast with the soft and sweet mangoes. The mangoes were so sweet that I couldn't resist ask where they source it. Unfortunately, Betsy is not very sure with the exact province but they get a regular supply and delivered via Victory Liner! 
The Tako Khao Phod was good too but not as good as the sticky rice. I'm not sure if I was already too full to enjoy this but I wasn't too excited with the coconut custard with sweet corn filling. It was definitely lighter than the former dessert though and more ideal after indulging in a feast. 
Overall, it was a spectacular dinner as always! I had a lot of fun and left with a happy tummy. Service was amazing too as the one assigned to our table was game with our ridiculous requests such as holding plates and slowly pouring soup just so we could capture good photos worthy to be featured.

Thanks again, |oo|oo and Mango Tree! I'll be back for more of that crab curry!

Mango Tree is located at Bonifacio High Street, 7th Avenue, Fort Bonifacio Taguig City. It is across Kabisera and Crystal Jade and below Single Origin. 

Mango Tree Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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