When you think of luxury food, I guess Lobster, caviar and fillet mignon come to mind. The types of food you would order from a menu if you were treating yourself at a high-end restaurant. For anyone who has ever visited Harrods in London, you will know the luxury food market hall on the ground floor is a whole other ball game home to a champagne and caviar bar, wagyu beef by not only the weighted pounds but the monetary hundreds of too. It’s also the place for what I’m going to call ‘fast fine-dining food’. Imagine if Five Guys served Wagyu beef burgers or Wagamama served hand picked fresh lobster rolls, this is the kind of thing I am talking about. I wouldn’t put Mango Tree even in the same water the high street chain restaurant boat was sitting in but you get my drift, very much a one in, one out kinda vibe and who’d have thunk it for a pan Asian restaurant on the first floor of one of the most iconic luxury goods stores in the world?
Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great business model. Superior food served quickly and cleared ready for the next person eagerly awaiting a little bit of luxury for lunch and trust me, it comes with the ‘luxury’ price tag. I found it crazy that there were people, families even, queuing for enough seats available around the small semi-circular seating area when there are starters going for the rate of £26.
Yes, you read that correctly, on the menu was a £26 starter but here, at Mango Tree, you get what you pay for and the portions aren’t poncey either. We ordered Chicken in Szechuan Sauce (£9.80) and Lobster Popcorn (£26.50) to start along with some Prawn Crackers to go with our Singha Beer (£9) and Hibiscus Flower Champagne (£19) – well, why not, if you are going all out you might as well go alllll out right?
This quickly made me realise that your food pretty much comes to you as and when it’s ready rather than served together so whilst Ben was happily (and silently – the sign of a good dish) tucking into the Lobster Popcorn, there was a short wait before mine arrived. Fine by me, I was able to enjoy Ben’s starter too and words cannot do this justice. This dish needs to be everywhere or I need to win a lifetime supply of the stuff. If you go or even if you just fancy popping to Harrods, treat yourself to a portion of Lobster Popcorn because seriously, I cannot fathom the words to even begin to describe how tasty they were. Battered and deep fried chunks of fresh lobster served with a small salad and a spicy mayonnaise.
My starter arrived, a bamboo bowl filled with Chicken Dim Sum swimming in Szechuan sauce. I wasn’t so sure after the first bite, the texture was somewhat unusual but then the flavour took over and I couldn’t eat the rest quick enough.
Our mains were awaiting us on the table top before we had chance to finish the starters (I told you, as soon as they are ready, they are passed to you) My Grilled Wagyu Beef (£66.95) looked the part and I have never seen a piece of meat look so perfectly cooked.
It was beautifully marbled and looked like it just fell from the knife when it was cut, it had such smooth shear lines and was perfectly pink. I was able to trial all the available sauces that you can choose to have with this dish, a spicy homemade Thai sauce, Sweet Soy Sauce or Thai Green Curry which, once all the beef was devoured was a perfect accompaniment for the Jasmine Sticky Rice that comes with it. This dish was worth every single penny, the beef unlike any other I’d ever tried, tantalisingly tender and with the freshest and most meaty flavour too. My favourite sauce was the Sweet Soy when eating the beef but you cant go wrong with the Thai Green Curry for the rice. Ben’s dish, the Chicken Kai Tod (£26.50) were delightfully crisp wings absolutely full of flavour.
My overall verdict, even though our experience was over in around 45 minutes (see, fast fine-dining food) is that Mango Tree is a must-do visit. If you want to go all out in London and are visiting Harrods, why not eat there too. Treat yourself. The food is of a standard most local Michelins to me would use and it’s not very often if you visit the city that you can eat in one of the most famous retail stores in the world. I know when I go to London, I always like to try somewhere new and am happy to part with my cash for a good bit of food, well Mango Tree certainly has good food and after eating there, I can certainly justify those prices.
If you do fancy more of an intimate setting and a table to yourself, Mango Tree also has a restaurant located in Belgravia which I believe is slightly less expensive and with a slightly larger pan-asian style menu including a tasting menu too. And, for any of my readers either not located in the UK or visiting anytime soon, you can book into one of their restaurants in Bangkok, Dubai or Doha.
*I was kindly invited to review Mango Tree, Harrods in exchange for an honest review on my blog. All opinions and photos are my own and Ben and I thank the PR company for the opportunity and for Mango Tree for such an excellent experience.