Monday, January 4, 2010

Mango Thai - St. Paul, MN

EnyaFace! scored a job after 8 months of not working, so she invited me out to dinner to lord it over me that I’m unemployed and poor (which means she was planning to pay for my dinner). I, of course, agreed. We decided to go to Mango Thai in St. Paul, since it’s one of her favorites and I had heard good things about their food.

I showed up waaaay too early since rush hour traffic was really nice to me. I showed up so early that I felt I needed to go the Muddy Pig around the corner for a drink while I waited for EnyaFace!. I got a text from her saying she was there, so I finished my drink and headed back around the corner to Mango Thai.

The inside is much smaller than I expected. There are four 4-top tables, which oddly MT feels they can cram 6 people into. A 2-top, and then three tables along the wall where two people can sit on pillows on the floor (right next to the door). It’s small, quaint, and actually quite charming inside. Luckily we got there early enough we beat the rush and got one of the 4-tops all to ourselves. The lighting is pretty low (as you’ll see from the photos), but it doesn’t take away from the décor.

We perused the menu and, of course, both found 20 things we wanted to try. I was surprised how small the menu selection was, but thankfully, everything on the menu looked delicious, so no worries. The waitress ran through the specials for the evening, most of which were seafood-based and all of which were curry based. We ordered two appetizers: the Mango Spring Rolls and the Regular Egg Rolls. I ordered the special our waitress discussed: duck breast in a red curry sauce, served over bokchoy. I asked the waitress to add some extra zing to the spice level since I was trying to burn this cold out of my sinuses. EnyaFace! ordered the Spinach and Peanut Curry, which I was also eyeballing.

The appetizers came out and looked delicious. The regular egg rolls were lightly fried and flaky and had an awesome flavor and came with a light sweet/sour dipping sauce. I really liked these rolls a lot. The mango spring rolls were also delicious, but I wished you could taste more of the mango inside them. The spring rolls came with a spicy peanut dipping sauce and the light sweet/sour sauce also. EnyaFace! and I fought over the peanut sauce and when the waitress came to clear our appetizer plates, we wouldn’t let her take the peanut sauce. The presentation on both of these sets of rolls was beautiful, with shaved carrot curls and bean sprouts and all kinds of lettuce. I feel bad that a lot of the extra stuff went to waste after we finished the rolls. They were both awesome though.

The entrees came out as we were finishing up the appetizers and had beautiful presentation. Both had fancy plates and the rice was served in a bowl shaped mold on a separate plate. My plate was sort of a flat glass square and was piled beautifully with delicious looking food. To my delight, there were pieces of pineapple and also LYCHEES!!! Lychees are the tastiest of the eyeball-shaped fruits and are one of my favorites. They were the perfect complement to the spiciness of the red curry. The spice level (thankfully, the waitress kicked it up a notch) was absolutely perfect – enough to make my face numb, but not enough to bring tears. The duck meat was really flavorful, though there was more fat than I care for on my duck (just a tiny complaint there), and the bokchoy was delicious with the basil and pineapple flavor. This was exactly what I had hoped for.

EnyaFace!’s spinach peanut curry was also delicious. I scored a couple bites of it and though it wasn’t spicy, it was very peanuty and delicious. You’re not going to have a bad meal here, based on either of the dishes we tried, including the appetizers. Mango Thai may not take the place of my favorite Thai place (King and I), but it’s up there on the list. Thanks EnyaFace!

We headed back to the Muddy Pig for Peppermint Patties after dinner – the perfect finish to the night!

Top 5 things about Mango Thai
1. Duck with Red Curry
2. Surprise lychees on my plate
3. Egg Rolls
4. Mango Spring Rolls
5. Spinach and Peanut Curry

Bottom 5 things
1. Gerd loved Thai food and would have had a blast with EnyaFace! and I. I’m super sorry she’s missing out on all this amazing food I’ve found in the past year.
2. It’s super small inside, and if you get stuck by the door, you’re going to freeze
3. I wish you could taste more of the mango in the spring rolls
4. Surprisingly small menu
5. Felt like some of the decorative food went to waste


Anonymous said...

Yeah, I miss Gerd too. Wish I could've spent more time with her, but happy for what I did get!

It was a great dinner. Fine recap except you forgot the restroom review! :-)

EnYa Face!

Chao said...

Oh yeah!!! The restaurant was so dark that when you turned on the light in the restroom it nearly blinded me. Classic.