Today, my friend Martin has led Sam and I to The Mango Tree . It is a Thai restaurant not far from the gardens of Buckingham Palace. Martin and I share a strong interest in birds and Sam has an even stronger interest in food.
We hover briefly over the menu. Sam and Martin both start with the Prawn & Squid Salad – a deep nest of tender seafood served under a small crest of green leaves. I dabble with the Chicken Satay and we all share a small flock of Prawn Spring Rolls.
We glide serenely onto the next course, with Sam and I both choosing the Beef Penang, a red curry made with coconut milk and sweet basil leaves. Martin selects the Thai Green Chicken Curry made with pea aubergine and thai aubergine. We also share a Pad Thai – a colony of chicken, noodles, beansprouts, bean curd, Chinese chives and peanuts.
There is a minor accident that leads to an almost complete bottle of Singha beer migrating from the table into Sam’s lap. But Sam does not twitch or brood on the matter or let it distract him from the food.
The visual highlight is the Jasmine Flower Green Tea that Martin and Sam choose at the end of the meal. Served in a clear glass teapot, the jasmine flower gradually opens as the hot water is added – almost like a beautiful bird-of-paradise chick fledging from its egg.
Good quality Thai food is clearly not an endangered species in central London!