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Saturday 18 July 2015

Arriving in style for dinner in Bangkok

A year or more ago I was given a guided tour of a building site. A building site with a lovely setting on Bangkok's Chao Praya River, but a building site nonetheless. 

Now that building site has emerged, caterpillar to butterfly style, as the new Mango Tree on the River, the waterfront flagship eatery of the Thai group Mango Tree Worldwide. 

And this is a restaurant with a difference - with guests invited to arrive in style; on board a twin-Mercury-powered speedboat. 

While most hotels in Bangkok favour old-fashioned wooden ferries, this is a very stylish alternative way in which to arrive for dinner - and a very good option as road traffic is the Thai capital is no picnic. 

"Our new flagship enjoys a stunning location right on the river at Yodpiman Pier, in front of the famous flower market at Pak Klong Talat," says Mango Tree managing director Trevor MacKenzie. 

"It's an incredible location, with one of the best views of the Chao Phraya, the famous temples like Wat Arun (Temple of the Dawn) and the city skyline. It is spectacular and will be especially so at sunset when we anticipate bringing in diners.

"At rush hour, the traffic can be barely moving. So diners can drive or catch the Skytrain to Saphan Taksin, we'll pick them up at the ferry pier and whisk them down the river in short order and in high style." 

The journey from Taksin Pier, one of the biggest and busiest interchanges on the river, to Yodpiman takes about 15 minutes. This will be a scheduled service, so walk-in guests can also catch this speedboat to the restaurant although pre-booking is advised. 

Located close to Bangkok's historic Rattanakosin district, birthplace of the ruling Chakri Dynasty, Mango Tree covers four storeys, offering both indoor and al fresco dining, drawing on the four points of Thailand's culinary compass: Northern, North-Eastern, Central and Southern Thai favourites. 

Some of these are adapted for contemporary tastes or inspired by local and seasonal specialties and the restaurant uses only hormone-free meats and no frozen products. 

Guests can watch the sunset whilst sipping innovative cocktails and eating small bites on the third floor before coming down to enjoy modern Thai food in the dining room on the second floor, or in the open air on the ground floor. 

The Mango Tree group has a vision to open in every major world city and operates more than 70 restaurants and cafes in 15 countries in Asia, the Middle East, and the USA.

Mango Tree on the River is open daily from 3.30pm to 1am. 

# The writer was previously a guest of Mango Tree restaurants 

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