Mango certainly merited a tick in that box as, when we headed along at 7pm on a Monday – still relatively early for those planning on eating out - the place was already bustling.
And it soon scored another couple of points when we were shown to our seats – not only were they probably the comfiest I have ever had the pleasure to sit on while at restaurant but the dining room was also nice and cosy. How often have you had what would have been a great meal spoiled by hard chairs in a drafty corner?
Mango opened in June last year offering what would seem to be rather strange combination of Indian and Italian menus, but one which has obviously found favour with the locals given the undoubted popularity of the venue.
Prior to welcoming its first customers it underwent a significant period of refurbishment and it was certainly worth it as the welcoming decor and furnishings are in stark contrast to the rather bland-looking exterior.
Maybe it was where we were positioned in the restaurant but, despite Mango offering a takeaway service, we were never troubled by a ringing phone or the stream of people collecting meals which has so often spoiled my dining experience in other establishments.
Anyway on to the meal itself...
While I stuck firmly to the Indian options, my wife Pauline opted to take the Italian route and eight-year-old Calum contented himself with the children’s menu, which offered plenty of options.
As we nibbled on the complimentary poppadoms, I swithered over starting with the tandoori salmon but instead opted for the lamb tikka (£4.95) and wasn’t disappointed. Up there with the best I’ve tasted, it was a sizeable portion and even came with three different dips. Delicious!
Across the table, Calum’s meal came with a sweet rather than a starter but the friendly and efficient staff did check it he wanted his main meal served first – a smart move given that bored children rarely make the best dinner guests.
However, given that his mum had ordered garlic bread, Calum decided he’d be happy chomping away on a piece of that. Pauline was of the opinion that it was a bit soft but that’s purely down to personal taste and, as someone who prefers garlic bread to the garlic toast so often served, it got the thumbs up from me.
On to the mains and again I think I got the better of the deal. Pauline’s pollo piccante (£12.95) – chicken and spicy sausage in a tomato and garlic sauce – was good but not spectacular, and, if going back, she go for the chicken korma, demolished by Calum, which featured an extremely moreish, fruity sauce.
I couldn’t have been happier with my choice - tandoori monkfish (£14.95), complete with rice and a sauce pitched at just the right hotness so it packed a punch without over-powering the fish.
Will I be back? Try keeping me away!