The Mango Tree < 007 = Dr. No
The Oakham Curry Club (OCC) is a well-respected Institution with multiple international franchises. This review of The Mango Tree being the latest by our Singapore branch.
The OCC takes pride in searching out the finest Indian restaurants and providing impartial reviews of Curry Houses all over the world.
Members vote anonymously without being influenced by other members (we call this “no swaying”) on 5 categories, and an average score out of a maximum 10 is given to each restaurant we review.
On Friday 23rd August 2019 – The OCC visited The Mango Tree - 91 East Coast Road 428791
For full transparency, see below scores (out of 10). The voting is based on the votes from OCC members.
Restaurants must score an average of 7/10 or above to receive the OCC sticker of recommendation. All OCC members have been through a rigorous selection process to gain entry into the Club. In short, we all know our curries.
Customer care: 5.58
The Mango Tree IS NOT awarded the much-coveted OCC sticker of recommendation, falling well short of the required 7/10 average.
The Mango Tree describes itself ‘as the first Indian Coastal Restaurant in Singapore, we strive to pamper your taste buds with our finely perfected recipes from the Malabar Coast of India. Experience mouthwatering dishes from Goa, Kerala, Bombay and Northern parts of India while you immerse in our traditional yet contemporary ambience. Dine with The Mango Tree for an unforgettable experience and share the love for true quality Indian Cuisine.’
There is a classic scene in James Bond’s Dr. No, where Honey Rider comes out of the ocean clutching a couple of sea shells, singing ‘Underneath the mango tree, me honey and me...’, as Bond looks on lustfully from a distance. A timeless encounter back from 1962, which still stands strong today.
And so it was our opportunity to create a lustful experience as we walked through the faux antique sliding doors of The Mango Tree on East Coast Road on a hot and sticky August evening. The ‘honeys’ and me - as the song goes - were in this case the OCC members, ready for their own timeless encounter of the curry variety under the banner of a dutiful tribe of connoisseurs.
We were warmly greeted in pleasant surroundings of comfortable seats, albeit right outside the toilets, with appropriately addressed interior detailing, and served beers and menus in good time.
The menu reflected this description and while the beers arrived in good time, the wine list took more navigating around what was actually available (settling on a nice but pricier Bordeaux) before the poppadum baskets arrived. A group order was made.
And then we waited. And waited... Still waiting.
After a few more rounds of beers the starters eventually began dribbling in. One by one. We hadn’t ordered the tasting menu by mistake had we? No there wasn’t one. Then why were the starters coming through like an introductory line-up at a debutante ball? First the kofte. Sadly a rubberised tube much akin to a foam Nerf gun dart. But beige not blue.
Then another long wait. Out came some paneer tikka. Another long wait (you get the idea). The kebab platter, and some other bits. We made our way through the tapas-like situation one mouthful at a time as the service became more and more sporadic.
On to the mains.
Well-sauced things began appearing in front of us, but without a description we guessed at which dishes were which. The vegetarian of the group did not like this particular game. But the dishes were well received nonetheless which included the Murgh Makhani, Mutton Rogan Josh, Fish Tikka and Aloo Gobi.
A slight let down with the tandoori lamb chops (Adhraki Panja) which seemed less like chops and more ‘bits’ of fatty floppy lamb.
But where were the Naan’s? We’ve asked, we’ve chased, they’ve chased. Still nowt. We were coming to the end of our meal. We couldn’t hold out any longer, the food was disappearing. As baskets of beautifully baked breads were placed on the tables the staff realised there was little use for them. And so we finished our evening with the various flavours of bread in our mouths as opposed to a sumptuous curry linger.
The OCC scores reflect the fact that the Mango Tree never seemed to get properly out of the starting blocks. At least not on our visit. Anecdotal accounts suggest this might be an anomaly and has been better in the past. But nonetheless not one of the individual scores made it past the 7/10 mark required, with an obvious falling down at the service and customer care levels. Both just as important as the food quality and value.
Speaking of value, the bill came to approx. $100 per head, including beers and two bottles of wine. One of the higher prices paid per OCC individual in recent outings, considering the experience.
In summary the expectations were high for our outing to the Mango Tree. But delivery and execution left much to be desired. Honey Rider would definitely have considered this evening a Dr. No. All in all it was much less 007 and simply ‘Double Oh Maybe Next Time’.