Reviewed by Zainab Faizal | 11 months ago
The Indian food scene in Sri Lanka is growing and we've probably got a good long list of Indian restaurants in every nook of the city. However what makes The Mango Tree stand out, is the fact that it's actually the oldest Indian restaurant in town!
15 years of unchanged recipe, authenticity and just the right ambience is what The Mango Tree's all about.
Without further due check out our review, and hopefully you don't end up drooling all over your phone but do end up calling them up for a takeout or reservation!
Methi Aloo Tikki | Rs.725
This according to the menu is described as a " combination of spiced potatoes, fenugreek and cheese, crisp fried to perfection " obviously reading this description gets your digestive system at work and you're dying to try it out. The dish once arrived, looked quite interesting. We found the dish had a strong fenugreek flavor along with the smooth potato base. Unfortunately we didn't find the "cheese" within, or it's probably the strong Indian spices that overpowered this.
Chicken Rogani | Rs.1150
This dish according to the manager was introduced to us as a the basic Indian Chicken Curry, and as usual we were also expecting "basic". However if you get your hands on these, or feast your eyes upon this dish - your perspective of basic is just about to change. Probably the most delicious chicken curry we've tried. Succulent pieces of chicken (yes they were boneless and in plenty) cooked with aromatic spices - possibly a secret.
Reshmi Chicken Tikka | Rs.1075
Another starter we tried was the Reshmi Chicken Tikka. Once again fat pieces of chicken marinated in both cream and yogurt giving it a smooth and juicy texture which was charcoal grilled.
Palak Paneer | Rs.975
This name has been so familiar to the ears of those who spend their afternoons watching Indian television. Palak Paneer is a favorite and we finally found out why! Paneer is cottage cheese, and the palak is spinach - when combined together with the strong Indian spices (which they'd rather not disclose) you taste a small fraction of heaven. The cheese was super soft and creamy, along with the thick green spinach gravy that was packed with flavor. The contrasting colors speak for themselves.
Jeera Rice | Rs.725
It was long grained aromatic basmati rice tossed with cumin seeds. The rice wasn't dry like the usual and it was quite oily but so delicious that you could simply hang onto the sole flavor of the rice.
Mango Slush | Rs.450
The Mango Slush was quite intriguing. The fact that once you take a good long sip, you'd find your taste buds registering the fact that there's most certainly mango but also a delicious coconut aftertaste.
Gajar Halwa | Rs.550
Yes it's that dish all the Indian aunties make for their nephews in order to spoil them. The gajar which translates carrot, is a mix of cooked carrots in sugar and sweetened milk along with desired raisins and cashew bringing to the table the classic Indian pudding.
Mango Kulfi | Rs.595
Normal ice cream is over rated. Kulfi is known as a homemade rice ice cream, locally available everywhere in India but scarcely in Colombo. The ice cream had a exceedingly smooth texture, frozen and a delicious fresh mango flavor along with the pistachio nuts making it just - incredible.
Gulab Jamun | Rs.550
- Everyone's tried this out, not everyone's tried out the best. Surely on the pricey side but two giant Indian version of round donuts made from condensed milk which practically melts into your mouth, soaked in a sugar syrup with a strong cardamom infusion.
Garlic & Chili Naan
The Naans in general here are a killer. If Naan was a guy all the girls would start drooling all over him. (No jokes) the garlic & chili Naan had lots of fresh melted butter with chopped garlic along with finely chopped green chili for the heat.
This one although said to be with mint (you can see the green) didn't have the fresh minty vibe we expected. It felt like having a plain parota with its crispy layers. Regardless, we enjoyed it dearly.
All dishes were served in modern white plating along with cutlery for the oh so shy ones who wouldn't dig in with their hands. The dishes looked pleasing to the eyes with an aroma that gets your body tingling.
The staff were well equipped with their menu and they seemed to be friendly and not the nosy type who keeps butting in to everyone's business.
Interior and Ambience
The restaurant as a whole most certainly doesn't look very appealing, it didn't have the "Ooh" and "aahs" of how an Indian restaurant is expected. However the lush deep purple and the yellow washed walls along with the famous celebrities plastered outside in a row would be the constant reminder that this is Indian. Regardless of architect, the seating was comfortable and quite intimate.
What can we say? The Mango Tree is the perfect restaurant to spend heavily for both quality & quantity. The aromatic hum of the Indian spices to the incredible experience of the food, would keep wanting you to come back! do remember that although they are quite expensive, you'd be surprised how filling the meal can be and how large the portions are withouth compromising on quality.
Note : All potions are twice as large as picture above for the price.