Located in the newly renovated Labim Mall in Pulchok, Mango Chili) promises a fresh and unique vibe this side of the river. With modern décor and an interior design unlike that of any other traditional Thai restaurant in town, the restaurant offers a contemporary twist to lemon grass, tamarind and shrimp Tom yum.
Greeted with a smile on arrival, the impeccable service and over-accommodating waiters make dining at Mango Chili an experience comparable to that of a five-star restaurant. If you’re having trouble choosing from the array of meals on offer, the waiters are glad to oblige with rational advice.
Mango Chili offers curries, rice and noodle dishes, soups, an Asian pan range and salads.
We were also enticed by the array of dessert options which were all under Rs 225 and included sorbet, chocolate brownie, and blueberry heesecake. Nothing Thai about those items, of course, but they complemented the spicy main course.
The choice extends beyond the menu items to seating, with the option of high bench tops and stools, tables in front of the bar or closer to the back of the restaurant with some visibility of woks in action in the kitchen. Mango Chili also offers an extensive variety of beverages including chilled and mixed drinks as well as hot brews and alcohol.
The Mango Tango (Rs180) chiller was the perfect choice to build up an appetite. Although they were not freshly-plucked mangoes, the drink tasted tropical, flavourful and light.
After an average wait of 15 minutes, leaving us enough time to develop a strong craving, we were served the Tofu Satay (Rs 175) which surpassed presentation standards. While it lacked in satay sauce, the generous portioning made for a satisfying start.
Do take note of the helpful chilli guide on the menu, and if you’re after a kick, the classic Tom yum with a choice of prawns (Rs 475) should be first on your order. The famous tangy Thai taste stays on your tongue, and a warm stocky taste that warms up your insides. The dish easily fed two people, and can be a good option if you are in a hurry.
The next dish on our table was the Massaman Curry (Rs 475) with a side order of Steamed Rice (Rs 50). The thick curry had a medley of tastes from ingredients like cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, nutmeg, and among the exotic spices swam chunks of chicken and potato. Although at times, Nepalis may feel the curry too sweet for their taste buds, it did settle well with the rice.
To round off our meal, we tried the hot Thai Tea (Rs 150) against the waiter’s recommendations and soon understood why. We were let down by its partially bitter flavour, but for regular Thai diners or those seeking an authentic Siamese experience, you could finish off the meal with the warm brew.
Although the much anticipated arrival of Mango Chili lacks traditional Thai décor and atmosphere, the famous Pad Thai dish, which patrons swear by, has renewed interest in a quick Thai lunch for the denizens of Jhamel, Pulchok and Jawalakhel. Reasonable pricing and generous portion, as well as location in Kathmandu’s fanciest mall makes this a destination for those who need to mix predictability with good taste.
Thai Ghar, Xiaotong Xu and Siran Liang