Mango Chilli Thai Cafe is the younger sister of signature brand Mango Tree which can be found in major world capitals such as Hong Kong, Tokyo, London, and Washington DC. Now here in Nepal, the restaurant aims to provide local food fanatics with an authentic taste of Thai cuisine.
Situated on the second floor of Labim Mall, Pulchowk, the eatery felt so cozy yet spacious when I stepped in. Comfortable and relaxed seating dominate the space, which is surrounded by warm lighting and relaxing background music. Greeted with smiles upon our arrival, the impeccable service and accommodating staffs are definitely a big part of what makes dining at Mango Chilli an experience not to be missed.
I was genuinely impressed by the attentive service quality at Mango Chilli. The main chef was kind enough to help us go through the menu, explaining each dish thoroughly. Their menu is highly influenced by the four regions of Thailand: north, north-east, central, and south, and is focused on bring the taste of Thailand to our plates. “The distinct Thai flavors come from the balanced taste between the sweet, sour, and spicy,” explained the chef. It wasn’t long after we placed our orders that we were greeted with the welcoming sight of scrumptious Thai cuisine. For the starter, we chose the northern spiced chicken soup, Yum Jin Gai. Served steaming hot, the soup was spicier than the usual Tom Yum soup, and the comforting chicken flavor was quite satisfying.
Next, we went directly for the Pad Thai, also known as the national dish of Thailand; this makes it a must-try at Mango Chilli. Pad Thai is basically chewy rice noodles with tofu, bean sprouts, and Pad Thai sauce along with your choice of vegetables, chicken, or prawn. We had the dish with prawn, and the portion was very generous. The taste was mild, with just a whisper of sourness from the tamarind sauce at first, but a squeeze of lime, as recommended by the chef, greatly improved the taste. While we were happily devouring our Pad Thai, another dish arrived at our table. Mutton Shank Massaman is one of the dishes included in Mango Chilli’s Thai Regional Specials menu. Not only did the plating look interesting, the dish was even more so. Served with potatoes and peanuts, the mutton shank was meltingly tender, having been slow-cooked for three hours to reach this point. It was indeed a deliciously comforting meal served with plain rice, and Massaman gravy.
After the hearty meal, we treated ourselves to one of the restauran’ts signature desserts: chewy, sticky rice laced with coconut, and the freshest of mangoes. Sticky rice is a celebrated dish mainly found in the northern part of Thailand. As strange as the combination of rice and mango may sound to some, the resulting taste was an uncommon swirl of sweet and velvety flavors. Eating it was pure joy and a perfect conclusion to the savory dinner.