Asian restaurant operator Mango Tree Worldwide has launched a Mango Tree Café in Japan, bringing authentic street food from Isan, in Thailand’s north-eastern region, to diners in the bustling city of Kawasaki.
The new casual restaurant specializes in traditional dishes of Isaan, including som tam gai yang— spicy papaya salad with grilled chicken.
“Som tamis one of the most popular dishes in Thailand, enjoyed by everyone — young and old, rich and poor. We are delighted to bring this wonderfully spicy treat to Japanese diners with the opening of this new Mango Tree Café, as we continued to expand our contemporary culinary concept across the country,” said Trevor MacKenzie, Mango Tree’s global managing director.
A classic som tamincludes shredded papaya, green beans, tomatoes, garlic and peanuts, which are combined with red chillies, palm sugar, fish sauce and lime juice to create the perfect balance of spicy, sweet, salty and sour flavours. This light yet fiery salad is then served with grilled chicken (gai yang)for the ultimate combo meal.
As part of its efforts to showcase Isan cuisine, Mango Tree Japan is also launching a book on Isan cooking in Japanese, supported by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).
Largely rural, the Isan region borders Laos, Cambodia and the Mekong River, and is home to thousands of farms and ranches which grow much of Thailand’s fresh produce. With such an abundance of fresh produce available, Isan has developed a rich culinary culture and is now considered to be the culinary heart of Thailand.
The new Mango Tree Café Kawasaki is located on the fourth floor of Lazona Kawasaki Plaza, a major shopping and lifestyle complex in the heart of the city. Kawasaki lies between Tokyo and Yokohama in the world’s busiest metropolitan area, with a population of over one million people.
“Located in a retail complex within the Greater Tokyo Area, Mango Tree Café Kawasaki will benefit from significant footfall,” MacKenzie, added. “We fully expect this restaurant and its authentic Isan menu to strike a chord with local diners, and I look forward to introducing Mango Tree Cafés to even more parts of Japan in future.”