Mango Tree

Continuing the long search for the Phantom’s favourite takeaway curry, the latest leaflet to join the pile on the doormat was for Mango Tree in Blackheath Road.

I’m absolutely sure I’ve ordered from the same address before (110) but not the name, so perhaps they’ve changed management (or at least names.) But even established joints change chef, so Mango Tree needed testing.

Top marks for organisation. The guy who answered the phone was speedy, efficient and clear. He must have been doing it online because he asked the postcode then house number. He repeated the order back, then before I could even ask, told me exactly how long he thought it would take to deliver and how much it would be – something it’s always handy to know.

And he was spot-on. It arrived in the specified time, still nice and hot. Average price.

As usual the Phantom Control Meal was ordered – no extras this time, I’m trying to cut down a little, though I was tempted by a couple of the chefs exclusives – especially the garlic chilli, which is ‘recommended’ (I’ve always wondered about that phrase on a menu – does it imply the rest of the dishes aren’t recommended?)

Of course the Control Menu remains a closely guarded secret, but there are a few obvious things I can talk about. The poppadoms were crisp and fresh and came with a couple of free dips. The rice, too, was fresh, both smelling and tasting good.

As for the sundry dishes and sauces – well, they were actually also pretty good. Not the very best I’ve ever tasted, but all in all, a decent all-rounder.

Classic in flavour and consistency, despite their claim to be ‘contemporary,’ about which I have no problem at all. I confess to want no surprises when it comes to a takeaway curry. I’m happy to experiment with unusual stuff when I eat out – for modern Indian cuisine, I still love Babur in Brockley, but when I’m loafing around in front of Heroes I want comfort food.

And Mango Tree’s food does fit that bill. Spicy but not too spicy, tasty – but not too tasty. And there’s the rub. I enjoyed this, but after the first few mouthfuls I really didn’t notice it going down very much. Of course I finished it because I’m a greedy Phantom, but I frankly forgot I was eating, which is probably not that great for my health.

It is possible, I guess, that Heroes was just that exciting but – nah…

Presumably the ‘chef’s exclusives’ are the cutting-edge bit, but as far as the bog-standard section (easily the biggest bit) goes, it’s absolutely what you’d expect from a takeaway. It’s joined my ‘eat again’ list, because I really did enjoy those first few mouthfuls, but it wasn’t quite nice enough to become a Phantom Definitive.

The search continues.

Anyone else find themselves humming that really annoying calypso from Dr No at the name Mango Tree, by now?

Just me then…

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