Spicy new menu at Mango Tree

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THE TROPICAL climate of Thailand and the vibrance of its culture are reflected in its richly flavored cuisine. A certain over-the-top quality that is well-appreciated was tasted late last month in the new menu offerings by Thai restaurant Mango Tree in Bonifacio Global City.

The franchise of Mango Tree in the Philippines was brought from Thailand by Mother Spice Food Corp., which also has under its umbrella Genki Sushi. As well, it shares an owner with retail brand Maldita.

Among the new offerings are Prawns in Pandan (a rendition of the chicken dish wrapped in the same leaves), deep-fried prawns in Tamarind Sauce, Thai Chicken and Pork Skewers, Thai Crispy Rice Crackers, Tom Yum Chicken Wings, Pad Thai with Soft Shell Crab, Fried Sea Bass in Tamarind Sauce, and Homok Seafood Curry.

Among these, the standouts were the Thai Crispy Rice Crackers, the Tom Yum Chicken Wings, the Homok Seafood Curry, and, of course, the Pad Thai.

The Thai Crispy Rice Crackers served as appetizers and will be a great idea for parties at home: think deep-fried circles made of crispy rice, on which you can spread a creamy dip made of coconut milk, and the juices of chicken and shrimp (people with allergies, you have been warned).

The Tom Yum Chicken Wings are a twist on an old favorite: Tom Yum soup. The hot and sour soup, made lively with herbs such as lemongrass, usually includes prawn or chicken in the mix. Instead of having the chicken in the soup, the wings are rubbed with a powdered version of the soup, making for a nice snack that’s lively in texture and taste.

The Pad Thai, a stir-fried noodle dish, is a classic, and a Thai restaurant would never fail to serve it. While Mango Tree already had several versions of it, it’s the first time for it to use whole softshell crabs in it.

The Homok Seafood Curry, meanwhile, had very fresh seafood swimming in a rich, spicy sauce that made one’s nose form beads of sweat. This writer asked for servings of rice, and then some more, to tame the spicy curry, which is a test in endurance one would gladly take again and again.

Mango Tree will soon close for renovation in July, but its smaller sisters, the Mango Tree Bistro branches in Trinoma and Greenbelt would be enough to satisfy your Thai cravings. The restaurant will open again in September. — JLG