We’re almost exactly halfway between the Rio Olympics and last year’s Brazilian world cup – and while the eyes of the world have been on South America, it’s been watching and learning.
Brazilian and Latin American restaurants are beginning to pop up more and more frequently and Mango – in Sauchiehall Street – is the latest.
And it’s more than just a restaurant, it doubles as a nightclub and a bar too.
Now, I’ve never been to Brazil – unless you count the Blue Brazil as Cowdenbeath FC are often called – so I can’t tell you how authentic Mango is as a flavour of the favellas. But I can tell you, it’s pretty good food, and it’s excellent value.
A few weeks before my review date a group of friends I play football with ended up here and had some food. We dined from the small plates menu which retail at £3.95. Or if you time it right three for £4 – well worth it.
The chilli con carne (isn’t that Mexican?) was particularly good as were the prawns and the bean salads – so good the same one’s on the menu twice.
After tucking in and discussing who was Pele and who was the equivalent of the Brazilian Rafael who played at Celtic, one Ronaldo wannabe (and not in football terms) suggested ordering up a couple more. Most of us cried ‘Neymar’ or something like that. We must have all had full Pele’s, I mean, bellies.
Enough football chat now because this isn’t a sports bar and the footballers go next door to Nico’s. It’s going to be an event space as well as a restaurant-bar with dancing and samba bands so something rather different to your standard Sauchiehall Street fare.
Anyway. On the review date itself it was Mrs Oliver and I for an after-work early dinner. After some chicken and guacamole starters – and slices of fresh sharp mango, naturally – and the vivid colours of the dishes reflected the bright and brash interior.
I had salmon topped with mango – appropriately enough – and it was an interesting combination between the sweet mango sauce and fresh salmon steak, which was nice enough on it’s own. While the topping was sweet the salmon itself was fresh and soft.
Mrs Oliver had oven-baked cod which was flaked with coconut in an almost curry-like sauce. The clash of continents worked and she enjoyed it with rice. Both tasted more of their exotic flavours accompanying them than the fish – but doesn’t that indicate how fresh the fish was?
To finish I had a taste of a mango cheesecake and she tried some chocolate truffles.
Glasgow doesn’t have a restaurant like it and with samba nights planned there’ll be a little bit more to dinner than fish and fruit (and football).
So, if you’re hungry on Sauchiehall Street take my advice, man, go!