We head to Southwark, south-east London for a taste of the exotic at Peter Lloyd’s renowned Sticky Mango. Is it worth the trip? We think so…
In a word:
A wide demographic. There are families, groups of friends, couples and there are a number of tourists. Most notably from the EU.
Tucked away in a quiet corner just a short walk from Waterloo station is the Sticky Mango. Renowned chef Peter Lloyd draws inspiration from Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, creating modern interpretations of south-east Asian dishes. After it opened in 2016, it’s been drawing in the crowds. So, what’s the appeal?
At first glance, it may not look like a big venue, but when you step inside this historic building, you’ll be surprised by the layout. The restaurant is spread over three floors. On the lower ground floor, you’ll find a stylish cocktail bar and space for private dining. Upstairs is an intimate dining space, which surprisingly, doesn’t feel cramped, but rather cosy.
There’s a calm and relaxing vibe here emphasised by the south-east Asian style-interiors, thanks to the dimmed lighting, arched ceilings and silk wallpaper.
So, Jack and I decide that we want to try a bit of everything and so we order the tasting menu, which comprises nine different dishes. To start it off, we’re served with Thai Green Mango Salad with a candied ginger dressing and cashew nuts. There’s a lovely mix of sweetness and crunch, and the mango refreshes the palate nicely.
The candied ginger dressing is a little strong for my liking, but luckily the mango balances it out.
Next, we try the Malaysian Chicken Curry Puffs with coriander yoghurt dipping sauce and crispy curry leaves. It’s a pocket of curry heaven in puff pastry, which might sound unusual, but tastes divine. The coriander yoghurt cools down the spices a little and leaves a satisfying taste on the tongue.
We round-up round one with Black Pepper Prawns with dehydrated pineapple and pea shoots. There’s a deliciously sticky, sweetness to the succulent prawns, which goes really well with the chewiness of the dehydrated pineapple. Overall, we off to a very good start.
Onto round two, and we start with the Wok-fried Monkfish with Malaysian chilli sauce, served with a deep-fried courgette flower and apple blossom. The fish is soft and tender with undertones of spice, and the dish is heightened by the crunch of the courgette flower and sweetness of the apple blossom.
The Tenderstem Broccoli with water chestnuts, shitake mushrooms and oyster sauce is a veggie delight. The broccoli is nice and firm and there is a bold, nutty flavour provided by the water chestnuts and oyster sauce that makes this a great side.
The Mamak BBQ Chicken is a meal in itself. The half boneless chicken is accompanied by charred long green beans and pickled red onion salad. The chicken is tenderly cooked and the pickled red onion heightens the flavour of the dish overall.
Those who love their truffle will find it hard not to love the Truffle Egg Fried Rice with leeks and truffle paste. It’s extremely truffly and satisfying – but you do need to be a big fan of truffle, or this might be a tad overwhelming…
Round Three – Dessert
The tasting menu finishes with dessert. Of course, there’s a dessert that bears of the name of the restaurant and it’s no surprise why.
The Sticky Mango is a complete show-stopper. When it arrives, it looks a bit like a ball of cotton wool – well, candy floss to be exact, but the waitress pours a little warm coconut cream over the top and it slowly melts to reveal the scoop of mango sorbet on a bed of sticky rice.
There’s a beautiful mix of sweet and savoury, warm and cold, and has to be tasted to be believed. It’s a truly remarkable dessert.
The Pandan Macaron is opened to reveal a scoop of soy sauce and caramel ice cream – much like an oyster displaying its pearl. The waitress advises us to cut it in half and eat it like a sandwich to get the full flavour – and we do.
The tanginess of the soy sauce cuts through the sweetness of the caramel and green tea flavoured macaron to create a rather interesting flavour. Impressive.
Sticky Mango is a standout restaurant with a great atmosphere, delicious food and excellent service. The dishes are well presented and there’s a beautiful mix of flavours and textures that dance on the tongue with each bite. A visit to Sticky Mango is highly recommended.
33 Coin Street, London SE1 9NR
Tel: 020 7928 4554