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Jun 29, 2004 03:12 PM

Mango Thai -- God Awful food!

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Just wanted to post that we ordered in to Mango Thai on 7th Ave in Park Slope for the first time this weekend and the food was so bad as to be inedible. I got a spicy beef and vegetable dish -- swimming in flavorless sweet sauce (supposed to be spicy, absolutely NO heat) the beef was tough and gamey tasting. I'm gagging just thinking about it. The sticky rice was awful. I threw it all away. It's also expensive for the size of the servings (which of course didn't matter since it ended up in the garbage.) I've been in Park Slope for over a year now (from the UWS) and I am astounded not only at the number of mediocre restaurants, but at the number of inedible meals I've had delivered. I have had to throw away food from 2nd Street Cafe, Laylas, and now Mango Thai. It's throwing money away. So depressing. How do these places stay in business???

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  1. I just dont get it. I ordered from this place about a month ago and pleaded with them to make me decent Thai food. They assured me that I would receive spicy authentic grub. What I got was disgusting bland rubbery chow which was as close to Thai as Chinese food in a Wisconsin mall. I really don't know what's wrong with these people. They are Thai for gods sake- you'd think they would have a clue.

    24 Replies
    1. re: josh L

      I totally agree. I almost called them to complain, but I knew they'd do nothing about it. I think it's condescending to non-Thais to think we'd like that swill. It's true, Sripraphai has ruined other Thai for me, but this place takes the cake in awful. For the life of me I don't understand taking the enormously huge risk of opening a restaurant when you are a terrible cook. It makes no sense at all.

      1. re: vvv03

        I had the same experience at Three Bow Thais, a place in Carroll Gardens. I had ordered from them once before and was disappointed. Tried again to give them another chance and the food was GROSS. Bland gloppy un-spicy sauce despite specifications to contrart (tasted like - sorry - brown phlegm), mushy noodles, raw stale vegetables... bleah! Never again.

        The place is owned by a Thai family. From Thailand. Go figure.

        Compared with this crap, TukTuk (a merely decent restaurant, basically good but without much ambition or nuance) seems like the height of authentic, sophisticated Thai cooking.

        1. re: Sir Gawain

          In CG/CH - Tuk Tuk and, to a lesser extent, Thai Sesame, churn out decent quality Thai food. Thai Sesame is willing to accept requests for "more authentic" Thai food and spice it accordingly. (Almost unfortunately so - a "Thai medium" curry was almost unbearably spicy - I needed a second helping of rice to deal with it.)

          Has anyone been to Siam Garden on Court? Haven't seen mention of it on these boards ... old-school lookin' Thain joint.

          1. re: Lambretta76

            I never ate in Siam Garden, but I did order in one time. It was actually pretty good; perhaps the best Thai I've had delivered. I know this will go over with mixed reviews, but when I go out to eat Thai food in the area, I always go to Joya.

            1. re: Matt M.

              Joya is for the most part mediocre - when I have to go there - the avocado summer roll and the tofu pad see ew (ask for small pieces of tofu) are quite tasty. I just don't care much for the scene.

              1. re: Lambretta76

                I like the scene, which is the main reason we go there. We feel almost obligated, since we've been so loyal. But, the few times we've taken it out, we didn't enjoy it. I don't know if it is a case of the scene really making the meal for us, or their take out simply isn't as good. That is how we came to order from Siam Garden.
                Every friend we have introduced to Joya now goes regularly on their own (none live in the area) and most want to go there when we get together, so I guess they are doing something right.

                1. re: Matt M.

                  If you get to know the owner and one particular Thai waiter you will eat much better.

                  1. re: josh L

                    We did get to know the owners and most of the regular waitstaff. That is why we keep going back.

          2. re: Sir Gawain

            All the food in Thailand isn't amazing and uniformly what you expect when travelling there -- in fact there were places where we just didn't like the food. Obviously, this also translates to some restaurants being better than others here as well, even though they are all run by Thais.

            1. re: chow chow


              E.g., there are more restaurants that you would NOT want to eat at in my mother's hometown in India than otherwise. And guess what, they are ALL run by Indians, many of whom are so "authentic" that they have never been more than 50 miles from where they grew up.



              1. re: PuertaDelSol

                Wouldn't it be nice if conviction could transform "Authenticity" into "Excellence"? Now that would be some welcome alchemy.

                1. re: Lizard

                  I love your comment on authenticity. It applies to so much in life . . .

                  Thanks for the laugh!

              2. re: chow chow

                exactly.... many was the time travelling in Thailand that I would get out of the bus at one of those roadside food parlors and not be able to bring myself to buy anything -- it all looked so gross. Maybe the people running those places have relatives in Park Slope....

                1. re: chow chow

                  yeah, i ate at one of the more well-known places in Bangkok, and it was pretty bland...

                2. re: Sir Gawain

                  I go to Tuk Tuk when I want Thai but not a trek to Queens and have been pleased with it. I know it's not going to be like in Thailand so I don't expect miracles. I often wondered about the quality at the two other Thai places in Smith Street (3 Bow Thai and the other one called Sesame something), but I have never gone there. If they are as terrible as you all say, then why open up on a street where there are other Thai places and then not even make food good enough to compete. If all you have to do is walk 3-4 blocks to TukTuk to get better food, then why EVER good to 3 Bow or Sesame?

                  I guess the old rule still holds true: if you don't see Thai people eating there, it can't be very good. I would think that someone wanting to open a restaurant to showcase their home country's food would really make a go of it, and try to make the very best food and represent. Oh well, I dream on!

                  1. re: Kenzi

                    Hey, I'm at TukTuk all the time. I don't know what it is, in this weather I want to eat Thai food every day. I just thought I'd give those Bow Thais a try just out of curiosity, and I posted my findings here. I'm not complaining or anything, I'll be back at TukTuk tonight, but I was just taken aback at the abysmal quality of food at the 3 Bow Thais.

                    And as for the "like in Thailand" quality, read the posts below: clearly, not everyone in Thailand is a good, or even decent, cook, much like in any other country in the world. Authenticity does not quality make.

                    And as much as I love many dishes at TukTuk as well as the decor, I do think their curries, especially the Masaman, are just too sweet.

                    1. re: Sir Gawain

                      I think I like TukTuk, too, best of all the neighborhood Thai places.. however, there are a couple of things at Three Bow Thais that are quite nice, I sometimes go as it's just a little nearer to my house - the place just seems odd though with the fusion kick they are on (e.g. black bean rice). However, my 2nd fav Thai place is Teeda on Columbia Street. It too has really nice decor, and the food (and presentation) has been quite good in my opinion, except maybe the curries were a little mild and milky the first and only time I tried them. I am quite a fan of this place.

                      1. re: Sir Gawain

                        I am amazed at all the posts about the lack of good food in Thailand. I found the food in Thailand really amazing (though i was only in Bangkok); I ate at street stalls and fine haute cuisine places. I preferred the street food (bigger portions) but it was all amazing. For that reason I find thai food here a little disappointing, but still better than run of the mill Chinese anyday.

                        1. re: Kenzi

                          Completely agree. I wandered around Bangkok, used the look, smell, point, pay method and enjoyed some serious chow on the streets. Went to medium and high end places with locals and loved them too. A serious notch in my chow headboard...

                          1. re: Kenzi

                            I agree- The food was utterly amazing in Thailand and anyone with a decent chow radar could eat well almost anywhere. The only bad meal I had was at a 5 star hotel that everyone raved about- totally dumbed down flavors for gringos- I felt like a fool considering you could eat fabulously jusg about every corner of the city.

                            1. re: Kenzi

                              Street food in Thailand is unbelievable. Best in the world IMHO.

                              1. re: Jay Weedon
                                Thai Connoisseur

                                The food that I've had at Mango Thai was actually pretty decent, but I'm vegetarian, so maybe that's the difference. Also, delivery and takeout are way different than dine-in. Long Tan is ok, but they put shrimp in the vegetarian pad thai, and egg when we requested no egg on several occasions. Their food is great despite the critical errors that have made my dining experiences quite upsetting and stressful, but also pretty pricey, and quite trendy and elitest in my opinion. There is a new place in Park Slope on 5th ave and 6th or 7th st, I'm not sure what the name is, but it's very good. Three Bow Thais was excellent when I had it delivered. One of the best I've had in Brooklyn. But none of any of these places compare to Thai House in Nyack, the best Thai food I've had anywhere. I go there all the time, and it's WELL worth the trip! There's also a great place on 46th and 10th ave in Manhattan called Olieng that is pretty good.

                                1. re: Thai Connoisseur

                                  "There is a new place in Park Slope on 5th ave and 6th or 7th st, I'm not sure what the name is, but it's very good. "

                                  Song is the name of that place.
                                  It's not bad food, although it's very loud. It's the best thing going in the Slope, since Lemongrass and Long Tan have declined so steadily over the years. Both of those places had good food for the first year imho

                                  Me three on the bad takeaway at Mango Thai - yeck!

                                  1. re: Thai Connoisseur

                                    I don't know if it's related but there's an Olieng in Park Slope (7th Ave). I've only had the jungle curry there but it was much better than any other Thai I've had in the neighborhood. I was just happy to see that they offered jungle curry as I haven't found it in any PS Thai restaurants. Caveat -- I ordered it extra spicy and it was about 1/2 the spiciness as you'd get at Sripraphai.

                    2. I thought Mango Thai was pretty darn crummy, too -- but I totally disagree with you about Laila's. Of course it's far from the most ambitious place in Park Slope, but it's fairly low-priced, is BYOB, has a nice assortment of vegetarian options, and does a good amount of standards pretty well.

                      I've eaten there a bunch of times and never had anything close to being "inedible.'