I love heading out of Waterloo Station and wandering across to London’s Southbank – I mean, who doesn’t? Whether I’m off to watch a gig at the Southbank centre, or moseying down for a few bevs – it’s always a good go-to spot. Being relatively new to the big smoke, I foolishly hadn’t ever ventured along the streets away from that area – so it was about time I did. So, one Saturday, I took my boyfriend along to Sticky Mango, a luxury Pan-Asian hidden gem just a stone’s throw away from Waterloo Station.
After admiring the mural of the late chef Anthony Bourdain situated to the right of Sticky Mango’s front door, we stepped inside the dimly lit entrance and met with the warmest of welcomes. We were escorted up to the top floor and for a split second, I thought we’d been led into an enchanted forest. In the middle of the intimate dining room stood a large pink blossom tree wrapped in fairy lights. It spread across a good chunk of the ceiling, giving magical alfresco dining vibes (despite being sat inside sheltering from the British weather) which we loved.
We dived straight in and ordered the ginger amaretto sour (£12) and Bangkok margarita (£12) cocktails, which were exactly what we needed after a thirsty tube journey. The ginger amaretto sour had just the right amount of spice and sweetness, while the Bangkok margarita was a refreshing twist on a classic cocktail – the perfect combo of tequila, lime and ginger infusion. Suffice it to say, we were off to a great start.
After chatting to our fabulous waitress about all the options, we opted for several starters and mains from the a la carte menu. We were feeling particularly ravenous so decided to go all out and order not one, not two, but three appetisers to share. In hindsight, this was probably a bit too ambitious – but we have no regrets.
Beautifully crispy and packed with flavour, the Malaysian chicken curry puffs (£9.50) were a melt-in-your-mouth dream - it was love at first bite. I was also obsessed with the coriander yoghurt dipping sauce that came with the dish and when I say I could eat this every day, I mean it. We also tucked into some spicy Thai pork ribs (£9.50), topped with green papaya salad and cashew nuts. These were fall-off-the-bone tender, with a sticky sauce that was packed with spice. Although some of us (well, me) needed a few glasses of water to make it through, they were still absolutely delish. Safe to say we were ready for a pallet cleanser, and the Thai green papaya salad (£9.50) was just the ticket. Loaded with charred long beans, cherry tomatoes, cashews, and a generous amount of heat, it was the perfect dish to wake up our taste buds.
In between courses, it was obviously time for another cocktail. I went for the Asian mule (£12) – a lemongrass and marigold tea infusion with lime, ginger ale and vodka. It was light and refreshing, exactly what was needed to gear myself up for round two.
After putting down our main courses, our waitress took the side of truffle egg fried rice (£9) and showed us how to break up the fried egg so it was properly mixed all together. I then copied the same technique with the duck fried rice (£18) – and let me tell you, both dishes didn’t disappoint. The duck was tender and succulent, and the combination of Xo sauce, fried egg, garlic and ginger crumbs made the whole experience irresistible.
But I know what you’re thinking – that’s a lot of rice. Don’t worry, we also shared the chargrilled 28 days aged rib eye steak (£26.50) which was served with a nam jim jaew sauce. Not being fans of rare meat, we opted to have the steak cooked medium – I’m sorry if that is blasphemous to some. It was so juicy and the sauce, which was a classic Thai chilli dip, brought out all the wonderfully rich flavours. Alongside the aforementioned egg fried rice, we also chose the wok-fried tender stem broccoli (£6.50) as a side. Served with water chestnuts, shitake mushrooms and oyster sauce, it’s safe to say this was completely devoured.
The DesignMyNight Digest
Sticky Mango is a true hidden gem which makes for the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of London’s Southbank. It’s the ideal place for lovers of fresh, sweet and spicy Pan-Asian delights (but seriously, be prepared to fall in love with the Malaysian chicken curry puffs). Plus, it's not every day you get to say you’ve wined and dined under an indoor blossom tree in the heart of the big smoke – with a seriously tasty Bangkok margarita in hand.
💰 The damage: £125 between two, plus service charge.
📍 The location: 33 Coin St, London SE1 9NR.
👌 Perfect for: Intimate date nights and lunches with friends.
⭐ Need to know: Their private rooms are just as stunning if you fancy throwing a dinner party.
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