FOOD REVIEW: Mango Tree at Bonifacio High Street Central

Find out if this posh incarnation is worth a visit.

Mango Tree
7th Avenue
Bonifacio High Street Central
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
Tel. No. 217-2367

Mango Tree Bistro’s posh older sister. Click for more.

( From the outside, it's easy to overlook. While Mango Tree is located right at the foreground of the sprawling new Bonifacio High Street Central, the restaurant's understated signage and partially obscured entrance wouldn't necessarily catch your eye at first glance, especially with all the new names in the area beckoning hungry potential patrons.

Inside, though, the restaurant is somewhat awe-inspiring, thanks mostly to high ceilings and an almost opulent spaciousness. We were told that this Mango Tree is meant to be a more formal incarnation of Greenbelt and TriNoma's Mango Tree Bistro, and looks-wise, that's definitely the case.

When it came to ordering, we asked our server for recommendations-a good idea, it turned out, since their menu is filled with names that are a challenge to pronounce (though thankfully, descriptive). Our favorites included the Yum Pla Duk Fu (P380), which is an excellent execution of the catfish-and-green mango combination, with catfish flakes that are tasty and so perfectly crispy that it almost feels like you're eating chicharon.

The Chicken Satay (P350), served with cucumber and peanut dipping sauce, features chicken that is deliciously grilled-tender and not at all dry. The chicken can stand on its own, but the peanut sauce adds an extra dimension to the dish with its lightly sweet and very slightly tangy flavor.

For those who like a little bit more spice on their palates, there's the Tod Mun Pla (P350), deep-fried fish cakes served with cucumber, peanut, and sweet chili sauce. The crunchy-but-soft texture of the cakes almost leaves you unprepared for the heat that sneaks up on you with every bite, but the strong taste of cilantro provides a soothing backdrop.

Finally, there was the Poo Phad Phong Ka Ree (P850)-never mind the name, which is undoubtedly a mouthful. This stir-fried fresh mud crab with onion and yellow curry powder can be served shredded, saving you from having to coax the meat out of the crab shell, and arrives at your table looking impressive aside from being irresistibly fragrant. Amazingly enough, the curry, which we found to be slightly sweet, doesn't overpower the subtle flavor of the crab.

While we found ourselves wishing their pad thai could have been a little less ordinary-the dish is a Thai staple after all, and one would expect an extraordinary version at a place that specializes in Thai food-the crab more than made up for it. Just for that, we’d gladly go back.

3 SPOTS •••

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