The Venue: The exciting return of Mango Tree to Dubai is a very welcome one. A global brand that now has more than 50 venues around the world, Mango Tree debuted in Dubai as an upscale offering at Souk Al Bahar, but closed three years ago. It has been re-introduced as Mango Tree Thai Bistro at the Hilton Dubai The Walk. A contemporary Thai dining venue hidden in the neighbourhood of JBR, it is a much more accessible and fun design aesthetically inspired by the bustling streets of Bangkok.
The Design: Bishop Design was commissioned with the interiors project and worked to a brief that was all about authenticity and experience. Firstly, it’s location is off the main strip of The Walk, so it feels like you’ve stumbled across a secret gem that looks like a dilapidated townhouse down a back alley in Bangkok, creating intrigue from the very first impression. The exterior structure was suitably enhanced to echo sentiments of the street by commissioning a local artist to create a heavy layering of pasted poster content on the outdoor terrace. Eye-catching and artistic, this treatment creates a naturally striking worn effect without looking too kitschy or over the top.
Inside the restaurant, bold colours and patterns partnered with rustic finishes emulate the street style of the Thai capital too, and many materials were sourced in Thailand to ensure this authenticity, enhancing the strong cultural foundation. Cement finishes, distressed walls, character on the walls through wallpaper and printed mediums, oxidizations, bamboo veneers, as well as distressed wooden flooring culminate in the creation of an overall weathered look to give the impression that the space has been there for years and naturally evolved.
Another authentic touch is the representation of many makeshift design solutions seen in Thailand, such as old bottle crates as tables among other elements curated as temporary fixes but become permanent installations. So the interior is an accurate representation of the Thai mindset. Vibrant lighting and bespoke tiles add a touch of refinement. This hybrid of refined-meets-street is elevated through the venue’s eclectic mix of furniture, textures, lighting elements and finishes bringing the street vibe to life. So much more than just one signature touch, the venue takes a sentimental approach representing the Thai culture as a whole.
The Experience: Once your appetite for design is sated, head chef Atip Intarakased tantalises your tastebuds featuring authentic, flavourful cuisine from all over Thailand. Highlights on the menu include watermelon salad with hand-ground dry shrimp floss – an ancient Thai recipe – as well as som tan corn salad, spicy beef short rib soup, jungle curry and Massaman lamb. Considering a diverse menu that delivers nothing short of dynamic flavours and innovative cooking concepts, the interior narrative perfectly synergises with the dining experience and celebrates the creative Thai culture in an approachable and relaxed setting. Both indoor and outdoor seating is suited to a family-friendly, casual dinner, as well as a great date night escape.
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