I have been on a search for ramen in the Tampa Bay area and have only found a few places that serves them. The Mango Tree is a cute fusion restaurant located in Downtown St. Petersburg serving up dishes from ramen, curry, sushi and yakisoba.
I love the interior because it's cute, clean, and has edge. The slim restaurant has an open space making it feel airy and has plenty of tables inside and out. I also really like the menu because there's all sorts of Japanese goodies from hot appetizers, sushi, rice dishes, and noodles(ramen, udon, soba).
We decided to try their Kare (Curry) and the Miso Tonkotsu ramen. Both very different dishes yet, very common Japanese dishes.
Here is a bowl of Miso Tonkotsu Ramen which is a mixture of pork and miso broth ramen. I like both so I decided that it'd be a good combo! The dish comes with bamboo shoots, pork (char sui), fish cakes, seaweed, bean sprouts and scallion.
After trying Japanese Kitchen Dosunco ramen a few weeks prior I felt that this was honestly a poor effort. If you've ever had those frozen ramen that comes with miso broth paste, this was exactly what it was. The noodles were cooked perfectly as it still has a bite, but the broth was flavorless. I really like the Japanese Kitchen Dosunco's broth a lot more as it taste like it was home cooked. It was a little too fatty for my personal taste but the flavor was spot on.
Japanese Curry or Kare is one of my favorite dishes to eat. My absolutely favorite place to get it from is Sapporo Ramen in Orlando. I was hoping to find a good Curry place near by, but I was sadly disappointed with the one here at The Mango Tree. They do have great presentation by serving each dish on a bamboo board, but the flavor wasn't there.
The Curry (Kare) itself was a let down. It was not smooth, and had the consistency and texture similar to applesauce (it was sweet too). The potatoes were sadly undercooked and was crunchy, it seemed like everything was cooked separately and then mixed with the curry sauce later on. The Tonkatsu was flavorless and lost it's juicy pork qualities.
I was really hoping this was a place I would really enjoy, especially with such high ratings on Yelp, but sadly I was just disappointed. I was not wowed by any of the dishes and felt unsatisfied afterwards.
I don't see myself returning as there are way better Japanese food elsewhere. The food just tasted like frozen or pre-made food. I'm just not a fan, especially if each dish is about $12 and up, but you're free to give it a try and maybe you get a different outcome :).
The Mango Tree Japanese Fusion Cuisine
443 Central ave
Labels: asian fusion, curry, downtown, japanese food, japanese fusion, japanese ramen, japanese snacks, kare, st. pete. denalovesfood, st. petersburg, tampa bay, tampa food, the mango tree