Going MADD for Australian mangoes in London
One of the first shipments of Queensland’s Kensington Pride mangoes will hit the streets of London this week. TIM MARTIN explores what has the English capital hopping MADD for this delicious Australian favourite.
LONDON. A city of Big Ben chimes, of pasty Poms, of fish and chips (or Brick Lane curries) and of pints of ale. You wouldn’t then necessarily associate the largest city in England with Australian mangoes. But hidden just round the corner from the bright lights of Piccadilly Circus is a relaxed little place that may just be the capital’s best kept mango secret. And it stocks, for the very first time in this great city, those delicious, succulent, juicy, orangey coloured oval fruits of goodness — Aussie mangoes all the way from QLD!
MADD Mango Restaurant (Mango + Addiction = MADD), tucked away in Soho, relaunches this week and one of the men behind the concept, Australian Jon Sivak is hopping mad (or is that MADD?) for Londoners to come and wrap their chops around his mango treats.
When Jon isn’t dressing up as a violently coloured kangaroo and offering random strangers mangoes on the street, he is half the brains trust of this exciting new restaurant cum chill-out space. With business partner Ralph Monthienvichienchai (as much as a mouthful as one of their mango cocktails) the two 23-year-old entrepreneurs are hoping to paint London a mango mauve and set a brilliant new fruity trend across Europe. The boys describe their ‘mango baby’ as “the UK’s first dessert and drinks lounge dedicated to the ‘king of fruits’”.
“For us it was awesome to finally get hold of some premium Australian mangoes,” Canberra born Jon told Australian Times. “If nothing else, they’re a great chance for London Aussie’s to get a taste of home and the tropical Christmas they are used to.”
The Rupert Street restaurant feels like a hip sweet shop has been mixed with a swanky London cocktail bar attached to a very funky hostel-style lounge, complete with bean bags, board games, jenga and of course — mango crates. And it’s in this peaceful den you can nestle down and enjoy a tasty traditional Aussie mango (or mango desserts, cocktails or anything else on offer).
“The incredible taste of the Aussie Kensington Pride reminded me of the delicious Thai mangoes – if not even slightly sweeter – that inspired me to create MADD in the first place, as a homage to this versatile fruit,” Ralph told us in between mouthfuls of the juicy fruit.
We’re told the doors are open pretty much from dawn until long after dusk, but whether the tasty Aussie fruits that are in the window are still there after we’ve raided the place — well, that’s a different story!
Tim is a professional journalist and television producer with over eight years experience in the media industry. Previously a television sports presenter for Prime News in Australia, Tim worked for almost two years as Editor of Australian Times. Tim's a professional producer, reporter and presenter - he loves his sport - and loves getting out and about in the Aussie community in London.