Review – The Green Mango
The Green Mango Thai restaurant is set in the heart of Hove on Church Road. Open for over three years, Green Mango is run by Sebastian Trower, his Thai born wife Suchani and a dedicated team of Thai nationals. With a pale green exterior, the Green Mango looks different and interesting compared to the Italian and Indian restaurants that surround the area.
With a menu spanning over sixty choices, all cooked fresh to order, Green Mango is both business focussed and crowd pleasing. Dining with a Thai food devotee only widened my eyes to the choices at Green Mango; some authentic Thai dishes and some very Westernised counterparts. Taking comfort in the fact that the restaurant was busy, especially for a Tuesday evening, we ordered a mixture of dishes (some being Sebastian’s recommendations) and a large glass of house white each.
Having a longstanding affection for crab – whole, dressed or otherwise – I was immediately drawn to the Soft Shell Crab – Quartered, battered and deep-fried. Served with sweet chilli sauce (£5.95) to start. Not entirely Thai focused but when the mood takes you, nothing is better than soft, gooey crab in a light batter. Deciding to sway more toward authentic Thai cooking, I opted for a main dish of chicken Panaeng Curry – with coconut milk, peanuts, peppers, kaffir lime leaves and shredded chillies (£7.50).
The starter was served on a rectangular wooden board and arrive fairly swiftly after ordering. Lingering to photograph shortly was a wise move as the crab was served scalding from the kitchen, heat radiating the petit fried crustacean.
Crunching through the hot crab, my first impressions were that a lot of batter had been used and thickly adorned the soft shell crab; a lighter coating would have allowed for more crab flavour and texture to shine through. Chowing down, the sweet and savoury crab disappeared in mouthfuls of greasy, warm batter. By no means unpleasant, but void of any real pizzazz.
Jess, my Thai food devotee, adored her Salt and Pepper Squid, labelling it ‘light and more-ish’, quickly polishing off the whole plate as though it were going out of fashion.
By contrast to the mediocre crab starter, the Chicken Panaeng Curry was delightful. Served on a square plate with a side of Egg Fried Rice in a pretty white pot, the curry was aromatic and fruity with a mild spice. The dish was scattered with chunks of tender chicken and both red and green peppers which adding a crunchy sweet and bitter taste to the thick, rich curry. Generous portion size coupled with warm, well cooked rice made for a winning dish.
The ‘Volcano Chicken’ at Green Mango is no mean feat. Nearly a whole chicken is presented spitting and sparking specks of scalding oil hence the ‘volcano’ element. Quirks aside, Green Mango triumphed with this tamarind tinged dish.
Deciding against the range of lychee laced Thai desserts and Boho Gelato ice cream, our evening at Green Mango had finished. Shocked to discover we’d been eating and conversing for nearly two hours, Green Mango left us both with a wonderful taste in our mouths. Affordable, relaxing and with a menu catering for all tastes and desires, Green Mango provides Hove with thoughtful Thai food in an intimate setting.
Words by Claire Beveridge.
Claire’s food and drinks were complementary courtesy of Green Mango.