In a Thai state of mind


In a Thai state of mind

Mango Tree Thai Bistro, located at JBR the Walk, has just launched a Friday brunch that celebrates Bangkok's street food


Janice Rodrigues

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Published: Fri 18 Oct 2019, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Fri 18 Oct 2019, 2:00 AM

Only two months ago, I was exploring the streets of Bangkok. There's something about the place - the vibe, culture, greenery - that makes it both bustling and laid-back at the same time. So, when I heard that Mango Tree Thai Bistro, a global brand launched in Bangkok in 1994, had a Dubai branch that opened earlier this year, I was intrigued. I was craving flavourful curries with a side of that warm Thai hospitality and calls of 'kapunka' (thank you, in Thai). A sample of the newly-launched brunch was on the cards.

The interiors certainly have character. Colourful wooden chairs, tropical wallpaper, wicker lanterns, old posters and lively music will transport you straight to the beach shacks of Bangkok. A friendly waitress told us to help ourselves to the starters and desserts that sat along the long counter - balled watermelon pieces and an extensive make-your-own salad bar (vegetarians are spoiled for choice). A live station served coconut ice cream while another dished out raw papaya salad, spicy and fresh.

But, this is a street food themed brunch, and yet another counter served shrimp and fish balls, chicken satay and fried chicken, with an array of sauces. And, finally, there were mains featuring Thai green curry amongst others. After a hearty meal, there was nothing more to do... other than say 'kapunka' to the staff.

If it's Thai you're craving, this hits the spot. The spicy papaya salad was the highlight as was the tender chicken satay and other 'street meats' which we tried with tangy peanut sauce. We didn't find the ubiquitous Pad Thai, but mango sticky rice made an appearance...

Deliberate effort has gone into recreating the place after some of Bangkok's trendy beach shacks. We liked that there were little pots of rice on the table, and pictures stuck on walls outside. If it hadn't been for the view of JBR outside, we would've thought we'd landed in Bangkok!

Since most of the dishes were served buffet-style, we can't rate the service on the usual parameters. But suffice it to say they were friendly, although a tad busy. Our plates were dutifully cleared when a new course was picked up and drinks were constantly served.

Their street food appetisers were served from a grill station and the mains were dished out in classic buffet style, which doesn't quite say much about presentation. But the salads and desserts, served in adorable mini portions, was a feast for the eyes and taste buds.

At Dh149 (with soft drinks) and Dh299 per person for house beverages, the Bangkok street brunch is value for money. This one is perfect for those craving authentic Thai fare, served in a quaint, laid-back ambiance

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