You’ve probably noticed a lot more vegan posting going on around here and it’s because, throughout January (veganuary) I’ve been lucky enough to work with some brands to show you how easy it can be to eat out as a vegan. The Vegan food at Mango Thai is top of my list of recommendations and they kindly invited me to their Portswood restaurant to try out some of the options. Just so you know, the food was gifted, but my opinions are completely my own!
Mango Thai have 3 locations in central Southampton and, having been to all of them at some point in my life, the Portswood restaurant is my new favourite. It’s in a great location, just on the outskirts of the City Centre and on a corner plot with lots of big windows. This location is designed to represent Chiang Mai (which also happens to be one of my favourite parts of Thailand!) and is decorated in a bohemian way, which adds to the cosy atmosphere.
But you’re here for the food review, right? The food at Mango Thai is absolutely delicious. As well as having an extensive menu, the food when I visited was perfectly cooked, seasoned and spiced. It felt like eating authentic Thai food and I love that it’s tapas style – perfect for sharing a few dishes with friends over a glass of wine.
It’s super easy to spot the vegan options at Mango Thai, because the menu is really well labelled. Options which are either already vegan, or can be easily made vegan, are clearly marked (with a cute little carrot) so you just need to let the team know if you’d like it as a vegan option. Easy peasy. Even the drinks menu is labelled which saves frantic searching on Barnivore [one of my favourite resources, by the way].
We had the sharing menu – this is a great way to try out a selection of dishes and only costs £21 or £26 per person (depending on the options you choose). You can pick specific dishes or ask for recommendations and they’ll put together some options for you. We had mango corn cakes, which are a fritter made of fresh mango and sweetcorn, deep fried and served with a chilli and lime dipping sauce. Definitely one of my favourite dishes; they were crispy on the outside and smooth in the middle. We also had the vegetable spring rolls (fried) which had a really lovely flavour and came with a sweet chilli dipping sauce.
For the ‘main’ dishes, we shared a tofu golden curry and sweet and sour vegetables. As you’ll know from previous posts, I am a little up and down with tofu – but this was cooked my favourite way; so you get a firm (almost leathery.. but in a good way) outside texture and smooth tofu inside – this, alongside the creamy golden curry sauce with potatoes and vegetables was amazing. The creaminess of the sauce made it feel like it wasn’t a vegan dish, so would be a good option for any sceptics! In fact the golden curry with tofu was probably one of my favourite Mango Thai dishes! The sweet and sour sauce had the perfect level of sourness and the vegetables were in a lovely light tempura batter, which I wasn’t expecting! And of course we had to have some rice in for the mix – because we had a real mix of flavours, we just opted for the jasmine rice, which was a great addition.
The portion sizes were very healthy and I definitely didn’t need to eat all of the food we ordered.. but did anyway. For £21/26 per person, I think it represents really great value. We were both completely stuffed and in hindsight, I should have asked to take some of it home because I was so full!
… Not that it stopped me from ordering pudding. Oops. Luckily the vegan food at Mango Thai does include a few pudding options to choose from. There was a bit of confusion (from me) over which deserts were vegan as the labelling is slightly different. Also, the desert menu we ordered from was a festive desert menu, so slightly different to what you can see online. I had a cookies and cream loaf cake, served with coconut ice cream and my friend had the lemon sorbet, which she was was the perfect way to finish off her meal, albeit another massive portion size!
If you fancy giving Mango Thai a go, you can see their menu here. Has anyone else been?