Revised and updated April 2020
Just across the river from the Old Town on An Hoi islet, Mango Mango is the second of celebrity chef Duc Tran’s three Hoi An restaurants. It continues the tradition established by Mango Rooms – the tradition Duc calls ‘modern Vietnamese cuisine’. Here, the key elements – the sour, spicy, sweet, bitter, and salty – are preserved in new ways that are genuinely original with previously unheard-of combinations. Find everything you need to know about Mango Mango in Hoi An below.
Mango Mango Overview
Self-described as a lounge bar/restaurant, Mango Mango is a larger space than Mango Rooms and a favorite place to congregate for half-price drinks, especially cocktails, early in the evening. Inside, there’s a bohemian feel with orange tables and Caribbean-style paintings and drawings. But the best place to be is the front veranda that draws quite a crowd when the cut-price sundowners are on offer. Upstairs, though, there’s a nifty view across the river to the Japanese Covered Bridge.
Head Chef Duc was born in Vietnam but was raised in Texas, before travelling around the world, learning and refining his cooking craft as he went. His travels – always done frugally and often with no more than a tent and a few essentials – took him to Central America, Australasia and Europe before he returned to his homeland to put everything he’d learned into practise.
Mango Mango opens 3pm until 10pm. While the inspiration is similar to Mango Rooms, the succinct menu is quite different. Nowhere else are you likely to see duck served with passionfruit and chocolate or stir-fried watermelon with chili and rosemary accompanying tuna. Delicious palate-cleansing puddings include mango granite and affogato – espresso poured over freshly-made ice cream.
Mango Mango has three bars – one for spirits, beers and ciders, another for juices, and a third private bar designed for events and private parties. This one of course will accommodate whatever you wish! Prices are closer to Western prices when compared to a lot of other places in Hoi An, but as with the higher-priced food, you’re paying for the overall experience.
The bar often hosts live music – think lounge jazz and relaxing styles – that’s just right to have in the background whilst you sip your cocktail or have dinner.
Review of Mango Mango
Chef Duc now has three Hoi An-based restaurants – Mango Rooms and Mai Fish being the other two, plus a fourth restaurant in Da Nang called Fat Fish, a bold experiment fusing Vietnamese and Mediterranean cuisines. Mango Mango has a great position just across the water from the Old Town on An Hoi islet. The streets are busy at night with vendors and tourists so dining here gives you a prime position to watch a technicolour world go by.
Mango Mango fits into the bracket of ‘high end’ for Hoi An and it’s another world from many of the cafes and restaurants you’re likely to dine in for the rest of your stay in the city. With the fancy food and cocktails, combined with a vibe that wouldn’t be out of place in somewhere like Venice, it’s well worth the experience. For maximum enjoyment, try to bag one of the outside tables, whether facing the main street or the Night Market ‘round the back’.
Some reviewers complain Mango Mango is too pricey. It’s true that by Hoi An standards it’s top end but if, for 460,000 VND (20 USD), you can get a dish that is truly ‘one-of-a-kind’, a work of art born from original inspiration, then it doesn’t seem much at all, and there’s no harm in going ‘high-end’ once in a while.