lychee & mango cocktail; lobster pad thai

He loves me, he loves me not. Don’t pretend you don’t know that game. Because everyone knows that game. You know, you pick a flower and remove its petals one by one and as you do, you think of a guy and meticulously chant “he loves me, he loves me not, he loves me…” and well, what you end up with after removing the last petal is as good as Fate Carved In Stone. So you better rig it and get it right. Trust me, I know. Cos I totally stuffed it up while I was thinking of Johnny Depp and look what happened. He went and got all happy and set up house with Vanessa whats-her-name.


Well, I have a new version of the game now, it’s called She loves you, she loves you not. And I only ever seem to play it with Mango Tree.

I’ve never had such opposingly strong feelings about anyone, anything or anyfood before. I mean, I’m a simple creature. If I love ya, I love ya (and I generally do love every-ya), and if I don’t love ya, well, tough. But I rarely, in fact I’ve never gone back and forth between loving something-one-food to hating something-one-food… except goddamn Mango Tree.

And it is so confusing.

I’ve been to Mango Tree probably a half dozen times, and each time I either come out ranting and raving that I will never go back, or having had an awesome meal and dying to get back there. Every. Single. Time. And it alternates between the two so perfectly it’s like a total set up and Mr and Mrs Tree are out the back having a good ol’ giggle at me.

There’s been some shocker meals, with absolutely crap service (because I just can’t put that any more eloquently) and bland, dry, tasteless food. We’ve been ignored, hurried and even denied dessert. You would think that would put me off from going back. But there is the fact that I love food more than myself, and Toptable’s never ending offer of 50% off the a la carte menu, and their awesome cocktail list (the one thing they actually do consistently well), so I inevitably go back. And it’s not always bad.

Like the last time I was there, when everything was so spanktastically perfect that I couldn’t even imagine ever not liking this place. The service was attentive, professional and spotless. We ordered cocktails, they came, and we shared a softshelled crab  starter which (although in a questionable batter) was meaty, like wow there’s actually crab in there, and a decent portion.

soft shelled crab; red duck curry

For our mains, we shared a lobster pad thai (which again, has lobster in it!) and red duck curry, which was served in a pineapple boat and just the right amount of kick, spice and sweetness.  For dessert we ordered an interesting lychee & lime cheesecake with lychee jelly. The most delicate lychee sweetness, muddled with the mascarpone and cream cheese ~ scrumptious.

lychee & lime cheesecake with lychee jelly

So you see, everything ran like clockwork. Even the extreme hustle bustle of Mango Tree seemed systematic that night. And maybe when I’m loved up, I’m luurved up, because I was even in love with their Molton Brown bathroom products.

I don’t know what it is? Why can’t they nail it every time?

By the way, if you squint ever so carefully can you just see my boyfriend hovering over all the meals like “hurry the frick up woman, I’m hungry!” Gawd he loves it when I take photos… not. *grin*

Mango Tree
16 Grosvenor Place
Belgravia, SW1X 7EQ
0207 823 1888

Mango Tree on Urbanspoon

6 Thoughts on “he loves me, he loves me not: my relationship with Mango Tree

  1. Maylin on August 4, 2009 at 4:22 am said:

    haha! that’s hilarious. I CAN see poor Panu, waiting to dig in to the food while you try to get the perfect pic!

  2. I know 🙂 I’m training him well though – he may be impatient but at least he knows not to damage the food until I’ve taken at least a dozen photos of it 🙂

  3. mel c on August 6, 2009 at 5:30 pm said:

    I’ve only been once but I loved this place! Though it sounds like I got it on a sporadic good day! I’m all feeling like Thai now and it’s midnight here – your blog does me no good, darlingheart!

  4. mel c: I’ve missed you darling, where have you been? You have to come back to London so we can continue eating together… xx

  5. chooken on August 9, 2009 at 9:07 am said:

    hehe, I can see Panu’s veins popping in the background…you are a cruel one catherine

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