Mango Mango Restaurant: The Life of the Party
Hoi An’s food-scene is a balanced blend of traditional culture and innovative ideas. On a walk through the city centre, you can easily find a place to satisfy any craving. From lively bars to open-air restaurants and modern cafes, there is something for everyone. But, if you want a restaurant that embodies what it means to be the life of the party, Mango Mango Restaurant is the place to go.
A part of Chef Duc’s infamous Mango Group – made up of five restaurants in Hoi An that each have a unique take on Vietnamese cuisine – Mango Mango Restaurant is a colourful eatery that offers a fun, experimental menu and a wide range of signature cocktails. Located along the tranquil Thu Bon River, near the lantern bridge and night market, the restaurant is a popular spot for dinner amongst tourists and locals alike. The spacious, three-floor interior, outdoor patio, and upstairs terrace make it the perfect place to take in Hoi An’s fresh, tropical air and people-watch. It also boasts impressive views of the famous Japanese Covered Bridge, just a two-minute walk away.
With shared plates starting at 115,000VND (5 USD) and entrees for around 360,000 VND (16 USD). Mango Mango sports a diverse a la carte menu, with delicious, festive food that keeps the good times rolling. Then to expand upon the fun, Mango Mango Restaurant now serves a full-course breakfast menu from 8 a.m to 12 noon. Therefore extending the party hours from sunrise to sunset.
Hidden sat down with Chef Duc to chat about the joy of bringing people together through food. From a lively atmosphere to a diverse entrée and cocktail menu, Mango Mango Restaurant is the perfect spot to host a fun gathering with friends.
Mango Mango Restaurant Information
Menu: Asian, Vietnamese, Vegetarian
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Late Night
Opening Hours: 8 a.m – 10 p.m
Address: 45 Nguyen Phuc Chu, Hoi An
Phone: +84 (0) 235 3911 863
A Look Inside Mango Mango Restaurant
Duc opened Mango Mango Restaurant in 2008 as an extension of his first restaurant in Hoi An, Mango Rooms. The cuisine is similar in style, but the menu and unique setting set it apart. Upon entering the establishment, it’s easy to see why. A bamboo tunnel, adorned with soft, multi-coloured lights and wooden fish, create an ocean setting. In addition, gentle, dancing music fills the room with a pleasant feeling but doesn’t overpower conversation. Community and discussion are encouraged. In fact, Duc invites guests upstairs to take a tour of the open-air kitchen, where his personally trained, all-female staff of talented locals prepare the dishes.
“Maggie,” Duc embraced me. “It is great to meet you. Please, settle in. What can I get you to drink?” It felt as if I was meeting an old friend. He danced behind the bar, sliding me a fresh bowl of house-made salsa. A zesty blend of fresh pineapple and tomatoes, and chips. The bartenders smiled, offering their hellos and providing good company. It was clear that for Duc, and his entire crew at Mango Mango, fostering community is essential in the embodiment of being known as the life of the party.
It Began with a Party
When asked about the inspiration and idea behind the expansion, Duc began as many classic storytellers do.
“Once upon a time,” he said with a cheeky grin, “on an island across from the Old Town, there was a small fishing village, An Hoi.” Duc painted a picture of vast landscapes with his hands. “It had lots of mud and open space. One day, I was looking over the [Thu Bon] River from Mango Rooms and noticed that someone was having a party. It looked fun, and I thought to myself – man, if that lit up, that would be pretty cool. [But, soon after], there was a great flood. The bridge between An Hoi and Hoi An broke. I thought – oh man, that’s too bad – but then the government came in and decided to build a new one. When complete, I went across and decided to rent a muddy stall out of somebody’s backyard and serve drinks – Italian-style coffee. From there, the idea expanded, and Mango Mango [Restaurant] became what it is today.”
Fun and Friends at Mango Mango Restaurant
For a fun and lively atmosphere, Mango Mango is the place to be. Known for being the life of the party in An Hoi – the island directly across the river from the Old Town. The diverse cocktail menu, which incorporates many of the fresh, local flavours, is continuously changing. Therefore allowing guests the rare opportunity to sample something original on each visit. The food, while innovative, is reliably delicious – ranking amongst the best of Hoi An’s specialty restaurants. Whether in town for one day or one month, Mango Mango Restaurant is the perfect choice to spend a night amongst friends old and new.
Hidden Hint: For solo travellers looking for something a bit more upscale in terms of the party scene, look no further. The staff has a way of making guests feel right at home, allowing time for conversation, and good company.
Mango Mango Restaurant’s Taste of Excitement
A menu carefully crafted in Duc’s home kitchen, there is something to satisfy every kind of food-lover. Thanks to its premier location in the port city of Hoi An, Duc and his team at Mango Mango Restaurant have year-round access to freshly caught seafood and home-grown ingredients.
Oddly enough, many of Duc’s dishes have names resembling popular movies. Take the Lord of the Squid Rings – tempura-battered calamari rings, tossed in red onion, red pepper rings, garlic, butter, and sesame seeds. Or try the A Geisha Fish – Japanese-Vietnamese style, tempura pieces of red snapper, tossed with green pepper, garlic, and sesame seeds.
“I love movies. Back when I wasn’t so busy, that’s what I would do – watch movies. There were many DVD shops in town, and I would go and get a stack of them. So, I wanted to incorporate my love for movies into the names of my dishes. It makes it unique and fun for guests,” said Duc.
Other standout hits include Rocking Rolls – Duc’s family recipe of crispy rolls with shrimp, pork, and taro root filling, served with herbs, pickles, and sweet and sour dipping sauce (vegetarian option available). And Buddha’s Bite – mini sweet potato tortillas topped with roasted red pepper, tomato sauce, mashed legumes, and roasted, organic Ly Son garlic.
Innovative Entrees at Mango Mango Restaurant
If you’re in the mood for something more substantial, Mango Mango Restaurant has you covered with a diverse offering of innovative, but reliably delicious entrees. Standout dishes include Duc’s personal favourite, In the Mood for Love. A pan-seared tuna steak seasoned in a house-blend, with sesame seeds, flambé vegetables and a twist of lime. Also Hunt for Red Snapper – a red snapper filet encrusted with cashew nuts, coriander seeds, and roasted pepper grilled with a zesty pineapple salsa.
Hidden Hint: If you’re having trouble deciding on just one thing, opt for the four-course tasting menu for only 874,000VND (38 USD), which includes a glass of sparkling wine.
Mango Mango boasts an impressive beverage menu, thanks to its fully stocked Whale Spirit Bar. From partnering with East West Brewing Co., Ho Chi Minh City’s first in-house craft brewery, to an impressive list of imported wine, and an eye-catching collection of spirits. There is something to quench everyone’s thirst.
Hidden Hint: Duc recommends sampling the ‘drink of the week’ – an ever-changing, fresh concoction created by his in-house team. Happy Hour, with half-priced drinks, lasts until 6 p.m – so be sure to swing by in the afternoon and catch the sunset on the river.
“We love to experiment with new combinations. It is important to maintain the vibrant atmosphere that Mango Mango Restaurant is known for, while also giving our guests a memorable dining experience,” said Alexsandre, Bar Manager for Mango Group.
The Party Scene at Mango Mango Restaurant
“At Mango Mango [Restaurant], I want my guests to feel like kings and queens,” said Duc, motioning with his arm forward like a gentleman. “Our team brings delicious food and outstanding service. The guests only job is to bring the party.”
Dining at Mango Mango Restaurant is an experience that engages each of the five senses. From the flavour of the food to its presentation and the ambiance, Duc encourages guests to relax. But also engage with their surroundings.
Music is all about human emotion and memory. So, it comes as no surprise that Duc is continuously on the search for the best of Southeast Asia’s live entertainment.
“Music adds to the comfort and mood of my guests. I want them to relax completely, and music plays a major role in [nurturing] that feeling,” said Duc.
Live music is unique to Mango Mango Restaurant, giving guests a unique experience of having an interactive stage performance with outstanding talent on any given night. With a complete, state-of-the-art speaker system, mood lighting, and cosy seating. It is common for guests to return several nights during their stay in Hoi An. Duc’s team embodies the same passion and spirit as he – making an effort to socialise with guests and learn their names. It’s no wonder Mango Mango Restaurant is known as the life of the party.
Whether you are a gentleman or woman who prefers high-end, premium cigars – such as Cohiba Piramides Extra, and Cohiba Siglo VI. Or, someone who prefers something a bit more accessible – such as Partagas Mille Fleurs, H. Upmann Coronas Major, or Montecristo No.4. Mango Mango has plenty of options to go around.
“I was looking for something special, another way to appeal to our diverse [range of] guests. Some people prefer a digestive at the end of their meal. So, it occurred to me that it might be a good idea to import cigars and incorporate that into our atmosphere. I want guests to be comfortable and seen with their unique style. At the end of the day, life is a party, and you have to choose to live well,” said Duc. A perfect sentiment to describe the kind of comfort and acceptance that guests feel at Mango Mango Restaurant.
In terms of characters amongst Hoi An’s restaurant scene, Mango Mango Restaurant is the hub of entertainment. From live music to a fully loaded bar, to shared plates that encourage community. It is the place to be on any given night. Duc’s advice?
“Come and enjoy Hoi An. Stay for a while. Discover local eats and hang out with the local people. They make an effort to remember you, make you part of the community, and they want to share their culture with you.”