After my trip to Thailand and Cambodia last year, I developed a new found affinity for everything Thai. Top of that list happened to be the food. OMG the food. Anyone who has been there will know how good the food is. And, as is tradition, you generally sulk when you get home because any imitation doesn’t quite stack up.
So when Mango Tree got in touch a few years after our last visit to their Belgravia location with an offer to try the foodie delights at their oh-so-social sit-down counter in London’s Harrods, we knew we couldn’t resist. We loved it the last time around and although the menu isn’t as varied (given the location) we were most interested indeed.
The restaurant is tucked away on the ground floor of Harrods’ food halls. We were made aware when we booked that it’s not a restaurant as you’d probably envisage it. You rock up, take a bar seat (be warned, it gets super busy with shoppers making the most of the gorgeous aroma wafting through the place) and get comfy. We started out with some Rose Champagne, a firm favourite for Harrods frequenters and West London types. We were pretty happy with that to be fair, and our bubbling excitement increased as we saw the food options on offer.
We were surrounded by the hustle and bustle of Harrods, next to quick diners grabbing champers before their next shopping spree, and those taking their time and enjoying a hearty meal in between retail therapy. It was so surreal! Browsing the menu and having a crafty look to see what others were eating made us super hungry, super fast. After some deliberation and a helping hand from our waitress, we pretty much decided to eat everything.
We’re not joking. The Dim Sum Platter and the Fried Platter were just for starters, and were incredible. Lobster and coriander? Gold Leaf Chilean Sea Bass? Black truffle golden fish shape dumplings? Oh, OK then. And the fried platter with its King Crab and Pumpkin Spring Rolls, Duck Spring Rolls, Golden String Phoenix Prawns was just as delicious. We were pretty full after them, but the food kept on coming.
If you’re not sure about Dim Sum style food (and let’s be honest, not everyone is a fan) then the fried platter is plenty to share. We’d definitely recommend one per couple, sharing a few bits between you. How very romantic!
With our appetite for starters sated, it was on to the main. Laura couldn’t say no to the not-so-spicy, nutty, creamy Beef Massaman Curry, which just happened to include a huge chunk of slow-cooked fillet steak to boot. I mean, fillet steak, in a curry?! (Yes. It was beautiful). I went for the Crispy Spring Chicken and some fried rice, which is perfect if you’re into spicy food rather than creamy curry bases. We also thought the Ped Makham – grilled duck – and the Goong ten – fresh giant King Prawns – would go nicely. Which they did. They really did.
And every single item just reminded me of Thailand. It was fresh, suitably quick, and even pretty light, considering the dishes we chose. I always thought it was pretty difficult to fill up on Thai food, but here we were, stuffed. And as much as each dish came with its own little luxurious feature, such as caviar, it was the authentic taste that did it for me. This was a little bit of Thailand in the most luxurious department stores, in the most cosmopolitan city the world has to offer.
Of course, our eyes were far too big for our belly so instead of letting it go to waste we managed to take the last few bits and bobs home with us for lunch the next day. Yum!
Harrods Mango Tree Prices
As you might gather with this being in Harrods, the prices reflect that with a meal for two starting from £60, dim sum sharers around £20, starters around £10 each and mains £15-20 upwards. Drinks are fairly standard for London with champagne and Singha beer about £6. Should that put you off? Absolutely not. Let’s face it, if you’re shopping in Harrods it’s probably not going to make too much of a difference. It’s perfect for a first date, second date or 300th date, too.
And honestly, there’s something to be said for authentic food right in the middle of Harrods. Mango Tree’s restaurant out west is a far more formal affair, with showy cocktails and huge tables to spread out on. But in Harrods, your visit can be as quick or as relaxed as you like. Want to grab a quick bite while you’re shopping? Great, grab a sharing platter and go to town. Want to discuss the day’s events with your significant other? That’s OK too, choose a curry and while away an hour or two. Chopstick novices rejoice – you can ask for cutlery if you’re struggling.
Thailand is a bit far away. I’d struggle to justify the air fare, the time off work and the jet lag for just a bite of some street food. But it’s nice to know we have the option of popping in for some Thai cravings.
Mango Tree Harrods | Harrods, 87-135 Brompton Rd, London SW1X 7XL | Reservations
Interior Harrods images via Shutterstock