Sticky Mango Tower Bridge – Modern Interpretations Of Delicious Southeast Asian Food Combined With Iconic Views Of Tower Bridge

Chef Peter Lloyd has opened a new flagship site for his Sticky Mango concept in the former home of D&D’s Cantina del Ponte in London Bridge, making this his second Sticky Mango in the capital (with a third opening in Islington). The Luxury Editor was invited to experience the new Tower Bridge restaurant and find out why Sticky Mango has become such a winning formula.

Sticky Mango opened in Waterloo in 2016 to general acclaim. Its mission, as directed by Chef Peter Lloyd, was to showcase his modern interpretations of food inspired by his extensive travels across Southeast Asia. To keep up with his ambition, to spread his word to new customers, Lloyd has opened not one but two new restaurants this year; one in Islington and his flagship in Butler’s Wharf. The latter replaces the D&D Cantina del Ponte and sits just metres down the way from industry stalwarts Pont De La Tour and The Chop House. But as if such illustrious company wasn’t enough, it also shares with them one of London’s most iconic views; Tower Bridge.

The historic, romantic and, arguably quite ‘bling’ bridge sets the mood perfectly for a night at Sticky Mango and offers an immediate wow factor for every diner. As you enter, a quote from Anthony Bourdain is inscribed across the threshold; ‘Your body is not a temple. It’s an amusement park…Enjoy the ride!’ Music pumps over excited voices but it’s the resin floor which is immediately noticeable. It’s quite a trip. It’s like an artistic rendition of oil on water. The beautiful oil with rainbow colours, not the dreaded black stuff. It conveys motion and fluidity and elegance. In other parts of the restaurant, clumps of beautiful flowers sprout out of cork-like trees, providing the space with bursts of colour, and reminders of fragrance and delicacy. On the back wall, bright Asian flowers, almost manga in design, float in an underwater seascape or bloom in an alluring junglescape.

We order Asian city-inspired cocktails: a Bangkok Margarita and a Tokyo Negroni. The former is subtly infused with ginger and its rim is decorated with ginger salt. As well as Campari, the latter comes with Roku Japanese Gin and Umeshu Plum Sake. Both offer exotic but nonetheless subtle oriental twists on classics and hit the spot.

Small plates are always tricky as you have to rely on your waiter to gauge the size of your appetite compared with the size of their plates. Our waitress suggests three is a good number. The Thai Green Papaya Salad is fresh, comes with charred long green beans, a generous helping of bean sprouts and a sprinkling of chopped cashews whilst the Thai Spiced Scallop is, as the name suggests, one scallop. It’s cut into three pieces which assists the sharing and comes with an appealing coconut and cauliflower purée. The Black Pepper Prawns offer the most unusual and in this case, favourite small dish. Dehydrated pineapples pleasantly contrast the spicier prawns with more candy-like bursts, thus providing an irresistibly sweet but tangy fusion with an occasional snap of aniseed.

The Lobster Pad Thai is a large, colourful plate that bursts forth with three different parts of a sunburnt shell. The main lobster head is, literally, a shell, with nothing inside and for purely decorative purposes. The claw is a decent size and has an impressive curve of tender meat inside whilst the tail also has a solid portion of chewier meat.

The Miso Glazed Black Cod is more on the dainty side with two chunks of cod but its black sesame slickly mixes with pickled daikon and a cool cucumber salad definitely leaves one wanting for more. We have one side of Wok Fried Tender Stem Broccoli, served with water chestnuts and Shiitake mushrooms. It has a satisfying and deep-flavoured soy base and is devoured in its entirety.

If the dessert menu is nothing short of tantalising, we find it impossible to go to a restaurant called Sticky Mango without trying the Sticky Mango. As it turns out, it’s one of those dishes which is showy and theatrical and demands a video to put on your SM channels. That said, if you don’t know it’s coming, it’s practically over before it’s begun so be warned. The plate is overloaded by what looks like a curved spacecraft but, actually, is candy floss. Our waiter pours a helping of coconut cream sauce over it and hey presto, it vanishes and in its place appears the mango sorbet and the black sticky rice pudding. It’s a fun trick but doesn’t overbear the dish itself, the flavours and textures of which coalesce with mouth-watering delight.

My dessert is served on an elongated dark plate with sprinklings of white powder. Its contents are hard to guess and, frankly, look a little scary but that makes them all the more special. The Peanut Nougat Satay is like a marshmallow but with way more glamour, character and substance; the kind of marshmallow you’d want to take out on a chatty evening. It’s warm and soft on the inside and crispy on the out. In itself, this would have been a rave desert but it’s accompanied by peanut butter mousse which melts in the mouth and with what appears to be rich, dark chocolate mousse. There’s also a jet black, charcoal ice cream which serves as a palate cleanser between the above which, in this instance, is very much a case of leave the best until last…

Contact Details

Address: 136c Shad Thames, London SE1 2YE

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