When I venture out with friends, both those from Kingston and others who are simply passing by, deciding where to dine tends to be an unnecessary challenge. I interpret that as an indication of the strength and modest diversity of Kingston’s food scene, which we’ve tried to capture here on Kingstonist. Last night my partner in crime had no preference where to go, or even what type of cuisine he was in the mood for. Save for steering away from dishes with even a tinge of spiciness, the options were wide open. As we made our way down Princess Street, my hankering for Thai was overwhelming, while the first establishment that catered to this craving happened to be Mango. I had been to Mango years ago, and while I can’t recall exactly why my first experience was also my last, suffice to say that it was deserving of a second chance.
In comparison to the many other Thai restaurants that we’ve reviewed, Mango is without a doubt the nicest looking of the bunch. Inside the front entrance you’ll find a calming ceiling-to-floor water feature, while the space also enjoys exposed brick and limestone. The menu has a decent variety of Thai and Pan-Asian dishes, vegetarian options, as well as items that won’t scorch sensitive palettes. From your wallet’s perspective, Mango charges slightly a bit more than the competition, but then again a few extra pennies are worth the prime real estate on Princess Street, and upgraded ambiance. The price differential really is slight, and not across the board, so don’t let that be a deterrent.
We started our meal with the Vegetarian Spring Rolls ($4.99), which come stuffed with tofu, mushrooms and vegetables, served with lemon dipping sauce. I know that a lot of people probably don’t get excited about spring rolls, but this was honestly a highlight of the meal. After my first bite I could tell that these were prepared on site as opposed to being pulled out of a freezer. Although deep fried, the veggies were perfectly crunchy, which again hints that the ingredients are as fresh as possible. I honestly could have ordered a second helping of these, but I exercised constraint. Next time I want to try out one of their other apps, which include: Shichuan Crispy Tofu, Torpedo Shrimp Rolls, Thai Calamari and Chicken Spring Rolls.
As I stated above, Mango’s menu has a lot of interesting items on it, such as soups , curries, vegetable, beef and chicken stir fries, noodles, salads and the list goes on. Needless to say, I struggled selecting something that offered a lot of heat, but the waitress quickly intervened and suggested that I try the Green Chicken Curry ($10.99). This luxurious Thai green curry was bursting with bamboo shoots, squash, carrots, green beans, and coconut milk. Although the menu states that there is also broccoli in this dish, I did not find any. Even so, it was perfect as-is. You can really good curry at a lot of the Thai places in Kingston. What sets Mango apart from the rest is their unique combination of vegetables, which offers interesting flavours and textures.
Sadly, my dining companion did not share. That’s partly because he’s not a fan of inferno-grade curries, but also because he genuinely enjoyed his meal. He selected the Mango Chicken ($9.59), which includes crispy chicken, fresh mango, onions, red and green peppers in mango sauce. Served with rice on the side, same as my dish, this was not only a generous amount of food for the price, but also a really nice presentation. Did I mention that’s fresh mango on the top? If chicken is not your thing, this dish can ordered in tofu, shrimp and fish varieties.
In case you’ve skipped over the entire review to read the final verdict, Mango is a fantastic Thai option for those who want something a bit more upscale, without breaking the bank. Sometimes second chances work out, and with respect to Mango I’m glad I returned for another look. The menu is vast, with traditional items as well as interesting but palatable variations. Further, the freshness of their ingredients will also keep you coming back. And in case you’re feeling lazy, keep in mind, like a lot of the other Thai places, Mango delivers.