Mango, tempting in passers by with the irresistible smells of Thai cooking wafting out of its doors, is one restaurant that all of Southampton’s residents should try. With its cosy décor and tapas-style menu, it has long been considered a good choice for romantic dates. With a mouth-wateringly tempting selection of tapas and the potential to greatly increase the bill, it is also a perfect choice for when parents are visiting (and paying).
Food score: 8/10
Value for money: 7/10
Downstairs has a small room perfectly pleasant to sit in – just avoid sitting too close to the door on a cold night – but upstairs is where you ideally want to sit. With two rooms of tables, one has cosy booth like-areas, perfect for more intimate meals, and another can be used for large groups which is often used for the more calm socials. The walls showcase an eclectic mix of art loosely fitting in a jungle theme, and add to the restaurant’s intimate atmosphere. Occasionally a little cramped, it is worth reserving a table ahead of time, especially for evening visits. No matter how busy the restaurant gets however, the staff are consistently friendly and eager to please.
The food itself is delicious. At my last visit, being short on funds, I picked the “Hot and Spicy Tom Yum Soup”, a spicy soup heavily flavoured by lemongrass and tomatoes. The latter was not an overpowering flavour in the style of European tomato soups, but complemented well the other flavours within it, especially the lemon and lime juices. Although the bowl it came in was too small to be fully satisfying, the flavour more than made up for my disappointment on that count. A little sparse on the chicken side, this should probably be taken for a starter. In terms of taste, though, and probably for those watching either their waist-lines or wallets, I would definitely recommend it.
For those a little less cash-strapped, my absolute favourite choice at Mango has to be the “Weeping Tiger”. Ambitiously priced at just under £14, it’s worth every penny. My friend took my recommendation on this and was rewarded by a sliced steak thankfully not overcooked, as is always the danger, but deliciously pink. For those craving a little more sauce with their meals this may not be the right one, although the accompanying chilli sauce combined just the right tastes of heat and sweetness to add to any rice.
For those with less adventurous taste buds, the reliable red/ green curry options proved satisfying, richly creamy but still with a bit of a kick to them. Again, portions aren’t exactly hearty, but enough to fill you up, especially if you decided to combine a main meal with tapas. For those overly-sensitive to spiciness a little caution should be taken.
Another trip to taste more of the food Mango offers seems in order. From memory I seem to remember that the “Wings of Love” tapas, stuffed chicken wings with a sweet chilli sauce, was particularly tasty and shall no doubt be trying it again soon.
Tapas from £5.75
Curries from £7.95
27 Portswood Road, Southampton, SO17 2ES
023 8067 8877
Open seven days a week, 11am – late.
For a browse of their menu, click here.
Any suggestions for restaurants to be reviewed? If you have any, especially places not well known to the student population, please don’t hesitate to post below.