That the food at Mango Tree is good is no news flash. So, the need to ‘review’ the food doesn’t make for a sensible feature. Instead, we get you the Chef at Mango Tree to tell you his side of the story in making the restaurant work.
Of course, before that we have to tell you what a great time we had. The attention descended upon us was endearing to say the least. Thank you to Chef Paul and the staff over at Mango Tree. We drooled (and eventually ate as well) over:
-The Som Tum Thai (Papaya Salad)
– The Yum Talay (Seafood Salad)
– Lobster with Red Chilli Paste
– Mango Tree Cooler
– and especially made for us – Chocolate Brownies with fresh Vanilla / Coconut Ice-cream (bless!)
Needless to mention that we consciously build up an appetite to savor these dishes prior to our visit. My companion and I didn’t leave one bite of the dessert. She especially relished the Lobster with Red Chilli paste and the Seafood Salad.
Now over to Chef Paul Kennedy. Paul Kennedy is the Brand Chef of Mango Tree in Dubai and Doha. A little bit of background info on Chef Paul:
After graduating with a diploma in culinary arts at Stratford-upon-Avon Catering College in the UK, Paul travelled to Amsterdam to work under Albert Roux; one of the world’s most respected and best known chefs, at The Grand in Amsterdam. Under the talented guidance of a Michelin-starred chef, Paul learnt the art of keeping food simple in a fine dining establishment, the dedication involved in working in a kitchen full-time, and later on how classic French cooking is at the basis of any cuisine.
Paul joined the Landmark Group in June 2010, as Brand Chef for one of Foodmark’s international outlets, Mango Tree, where he heads a team of 25 across both the Dubai and Doha properties. Paul’s passion for Thai cuisine and knowledge on balancing the strong and exotic flavors has been key to the restaurant’s strong standing as a culinary destination in the region.
A quick Q&A with the Chef:
DIAF: When we talk about Thai food in this city, we almost always mention Mango Tree. What is your secret to drawing people here? For a Monday night, the place is almost full.
Chef Paul: I joined Mango Tree in 2010 in this region and it was the first time for me with Thai food. I went to Bangkok, where the original Mango Tree resides, which opened in 1994 and I learned my trade of Thai food and whatever else I needed to know about the cuisine. From there, I came straight here and we have just gone from strenght to strength really. The restaurant was already doing well before I joined. My role was to come in and add a branch here, so I look after two other Mango Trees at the same time. I ensure that the food is served and executed the same way as it is in the Mango Tree in Bangkok. That is what I think also makes the restaurant stand out. We use products from Thailand and we use authentic methods of cooking the food (the Thai food).
DIAF: Three dishes that people keep coming back for / the three most popular dishes at the restaurant.
Chef Paul: On the regular menu, we have the ‘Mixed Appetiser’, people seem to love that one. It has four dishes from our starter and salad section. And then we have the ‘Lamb Shank’ which is braised in panang sauce. The other dish that is very popular at the moment is our Lobster Dish in kung pao sauce which is a chilli paste. Again, I suppose what makes us stand out is that we use live lobster as opposed to a frozen one.
DIAF: Do you want to tell us a little bit about the health menu that was served to the food bloggers last week?
Chef Paul: People have a perception of Thai food, some of it being healthy, some of it being unhealthy, like a lot of oil etc. So, we wanted people to know that we use very minimal oil. Sometimes we use oil that is good for you, which is Granola Oil or Linseed Oil. We use the sour, the sweet, the salty and the spicy — we get all these ingredients together — to make a healthy dish. And most of the Thai ingredients are very good, medicinally, for you. Every vegetable, spice or herb that we use in the kitchen has some benefit for your whole body.
Also, the salads for example, everything that goes into our salads is raw, so we are not losing any of those vitamins by over doing the food.
DIAF: You cook these exotic dishes for us all the time, but what is Chef Paul’s favorite food?
Chef Paul: Beans on Toast with Eggs with and Fish’ n’ Chips. I am an English guy at heart so I love my English breakfast!
Would you have ever thought?
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Hello, I am Paul’s brother and live in England. On a recent trip to Dubai for Paul’s wedding we were treated to a meal at the Mango Tree. I have never really eaten Thai food as spicy food is not really my taste though I have to say the food was amazing (and I’m not just saying that as he is my brother!!) I am very proud of Paul and all of his achievements to date, his career is going from strength to strength. By the way, you can’t beat a good English breakfast or fish and chips!
Keep up the good work bro!
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Apart from that, wonderful blog!