Meal courtesy of Mango Tree, attended by Ed @onehungryasian
London Bridge isn’t exactly lacking for food options. Aside from the obvious Borough Market, there’s a wealth of restaurants tucked in and around the area, ones that you will have walked past and not paid attention to in your rush to get to the doughnuts or cheese toasties in the market!
Mango Indian is a somewhat small restaurant, tucked round the back of Borough Market and is unlike most Indians you’ll have been to before. Forget the traditional local curry houses, dimly lit with gaudy music and wallpaper; Mango Indian features sleek and refined plates of food in an equally polished environment.
The meal kicks off with papadum, but to my surprise we weren’t presented with the normal disks, but instead shards of crunchy papadum (or papad as they’re called here) served with 4 chutneys/dips, with an incredibly good lime pickle that we had to ask for seconds of.
Mixed platters of starters for both meat and seafood demonstrated Mango Indian’s commitment to using fresh ingredients and their skill with spicing, as the chicken tikka were mouth wateringly good, and their lasooni jhinga (grilled prawns) went down a treat with a Cobra. But the standout for our group was easily the vegetable samosa, with crispy pastry and a deep and flavourful filling that we couldn’t get enough of.
Curries came up next with two of their house specials, the shikandari lamb shank and jhinga allepy (king prawn with green mango). The lamb basically fell off the bone with a little shake, and was covered in a rich sauce that brought out the best of the lamb and added more. The prawn curry was also great, with the mango added a touch of sweetness but never overpowering with its fruity or sweet flavour.
A curry wouldn’t be complete though without great side dishes, including mushroom rice, pilau rice and a garlic naan. We also ordered some great vegetarian side dishes of baby aubergine and okra, both of which were quickly wolfed down and given the thumbs up by the resident vegetarian (who also doesn’t normally like curry!).
All in all, Mango Indian does Indian food in a highly refined way without losing any of the impact or depth of the flavour you look for from your curries or takeaways. The fresh ingredients, from the vegetables to the meat and seafood that goes into your dishes, is abundantly clear from the first taste, and there’s little to no sign of excess grease or oil in the dishes they serve up.
The only negatives I would have to say is that the restaurant is somewhat cosy, so it can be hard to have a quiet or intimate meal here. The commitment to fresh ingredients and quality cooking means the price is slightly higher here than you’ll find at other Indians in London, but the taste and quality of the food is well worth the trip