Lunching at the Mango Tree

The Mango Tree Restaurant in George Town has long been famous for its local fare. Indeed, The Mango Tree has a long history in Cayman and is one of the oldest eateries in town. It first opened its doors in the 1950s and has since become famous for its mouthwatering Caribbean dishes. 

Over the years, the restaurant has had a number of different managers and owners, but each has chosen to stay true to the original essence of The Mango Tree, which restaurant manager Lorenzo Loowe says is good local Caribbean cuisine, a friendly atmosphere and purse-friendly prices.

Open for lunch and dinner daily, as well as for breakfast on Sundays, diners can choose to eat in the air-conditioned comfort of the 35-seat restaurant, or in the relaxed and informal setting of the Caribbean-style outdoor bar and cabana – a popular nighttime spot, which often hosts local artists and musicians on the purpose-built stage.

The restaurant, however, is proving particularly popular with the lunchtime crowd. It’s easy to see why, with its relaxed, friendly and informal atmosphere, as well as the good selection of menu options that tantalises the taste buds.

Diners can choose from a wide range of local fish, such as grilled mahi mahi and fried snapper. Curry shrimp, chicken, steak, Cayman style lobster, conch fritters, quesadillas, wings and fries and a whole lot more can also be found here. Indeed, choosing which dish to chow down on could prove tricky!

The restaurant’s signature dish is the fish stew, made with fresh local snapper, hearty Irish potatoes, carrots and pumpkin. Lorenzo says it is a “must try” dish that keeps people coming back for more, time and time again. “Other popular dishes on the menu,” he says, “are the curry goat and oxtail.”

On my visit I opted for the butter shrimp. The dish was loaded with melt-in-the-mouth, cooked to perfection shrimp, which were smothered in a sinfully good buttery sauce and served with a good portion of fresh seasonal vegetables and a hearty jacket potato.

“During the lunchtime rush, the staff is mindful that many people are on a limited one-hour break,” Lorenzo explains. Indeed, service was attentive and the food was served piping hot within 15 minutes, leaving plenty of time to sit back, relax and enjoy. It was priced at a reasonable $12 too, and there was plenty left over to take home to feast on later that evening.

If there’s nothing on the menu that tickles your fancy, then worry not as there are plenty of daily specials to choose from. On Mondays it’s ribs and curry chicken and on Tuesdays enjoy roast chicken and ‘country man’ – a traditional Jamaican dish made with swordfish, onion, pepper and breadkind.

On Thursdays feast on pepper steak, and on Fridays choose from tripe and beans or bone stew fish. Saturdays feature stew chicken or Cayman beef, and on Sundays you’ll find fall-of-the-bone BBQ pork ribs and roast beef.

For refreshment there’s plenty of choice, from alcoholic beverages at the full-service bar, to soft drinks and everything in-between.

The Mango Tree is located along Shedden Road near the airport runway and Lorenzo says the location is ideal for the lunchtime crowd. It’s just a matter of minutes from the heart of the capital, yet still retains that laid back island vibe. There’s parking galore too, so you won’t ever need to worry about not being able to find a space.

So, what are you waiting for?

Make the Mango Tree your lunchtime haunt.

 

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Stephen Clarke