After a fun blogger meet up for drinks at the downtown Mango earlier in the year, I’ve been wanting to go back to try out some of their food, whose beautiful presentation teased me as it passed us and was delivered to nearby tables. Plus I had heard great things about it from friends and knew I had to test it out myself. The restaurant is on Lucas, right off Washington, making it a great location for an affordable dinner before a night out downtown. The place is pretty spacious and has a fun contemporary feel to it, with the huge plus of having a non-smoking dining room. While they specialize in Peruvian food, the menu has Argentinean and Chilean influences.
The dining room was pretty full on the Friday night, but it was by no means packed, and had a more relaxed feel than other downtown restaurants. Our waitress was extremely knowledgeable and the friendliness of the staff made it feel even more inviting.
We snacked on some of the plantain chips dipped green sauce and decided to go for a pitcher of Sangria to get the night started off right ;)
The Sangria was unique and was very cinnamony…which was a bit strange at first but it grew on me. The cinnamon warmed the drink up, and we had no problems polishing it off. For the meal, we started with the Ceviche Mixto with tilapia, mussels, and shrimp.
Ceviche is a seafood dish made up of raw fish marinated in citrus juices. The citric acid not only gives the dish flavor, but also denatures the proteins in the fish, ‘cooking’ it without heat. This plate was simply delicious and was served with some hot peppers, onion, and cilantro. Definitely a must get starter.
For the entree, I sampled one of their specials that night: seared scallops topped with a mango salsa and served with asparagus and a sweet potato slice.
The scallops were huge and the dish came out looking almost too lovely to eat. I was nervous that the raw red onion in the mango salsa would be too strong for me to eat (I can’t handle raw onion), but again the flavors worked so well that I could barely taste the raw onion and this sweet mango salsa brought the scallops to life. Don’t get me wrong, they could have been perfectly tasty on their own as they were juicy and seared just the right amount, but I appreciated the innovative fusion, making this my favorite dish of the night.
I also tried another seafood dish, the Pescado a la Chorrillana, a sauteed tilapia topped with onions and tomatoes, garnished with Peruvian black olives and sliced egg, served with white rice and golden potato. This was also pretty good, but definitely did not measure up to the scallops.
While we weren’t planning on getting dessert as we were pretty stuffed, when we learned that the owner’s family runs a bakery in Peru, we knew we had to at least try their homemade Torta de Chocolate.
All I can say is that I wish I could get my hands on this recipe because this was a chocolate cake that managed to be light and airy while packing in an intense chocolate flavor.
I really hope Mango does well at this new location because it’s a fun, fresh addition to the downtown dining scene.
more pics from subsequent visits:
ceviche de pescado
langostinos al ajo
anticuchos de carne
saltado de calamares. this was great. a nice light dish. the squid was tender & not at all chewy or gummy (I hear this dish varies a lot tho...esp at the other location)