(From left): Trevor MacKenzie, Managing Director and Pitaya Phanphensophon, Founder, Mango Tree & COCA Restaurants Worldwide present a donation to Suzanna Pavadee Vicheinrut Yuzon, former Miss Thailand and President of Miss Possibilities Foundation. They are joined by Mother Spice Food Corporation owners, Imelda and Eric Teng, Khun Khankhanit Amphuprapa, Minister Counseller (Commercial) from the Royal Thai Embassy and representatives from DITP (Department of Investment and Trade Philippines).. For high resolution version, click here.
MANILA, PHILIPPINES – Thai restaurant operator, cultural ambassador and culinary innovator Mango Tree Worldwide has announced an ambitious programme of expansion on its fifth anniversary that will significantly extend its branded restaurants and cafés in the Philippines by 2020.
The growth in one of Southeast Asia’s fastest growing economies will for the first time reach outside of the capital into secondary urban and key tourism destinations as Mango Tree embarks on a round of “discovery” research to plan for the second phase of the group’s development plan in the Philippines.
The growth strategy will also see the re-styling of not only restaurants in Manila but throughout the world as Mango Tree Worldwide Managing Director Trevor MacKenzie used the occasion in the Philippine capital as the launch pad for his announcement that will ultimately cover all 70 outlets in the group.
“Our customers here are among the most sophisticated in Asia,” he said. “Diners in Manila are very discerning not only in their taste for Thai food but in their demands for style in presentation and experience in our restaurants.”
“We will be piloting a range of interior renovations that will infuse a new attitude, focusing on a blend of millennial-driven modern Thai lifestyle with a celebration of originality and creativity that encapsulates our evolving vision of style, simplicity and living history. It is an exciting project and one which will offer a reinvigorated platform for the accelerated growth of the brand.”
The cultural capital of Thailand, Chiang Mai and the northern Lanna kingdom are among the inspirations for five new dishes, each one given a delicious twist by Mango Tree CEO, Chef Pitaya Phanphensophon.
Sai Oua, or northern Thai sausage, is made from pork mince and is infused with herbs and spices and freshly pounded curry paste creating an ultimate finger-friendly snack.. For high resolution version, click here.
Kanom-Jean Nam Ngai, a rice noodle dish originating from the ethnic Shan tribe and consisting of a slow-cooked stew using spare ribs, tomatoes, lime and dried chillies and cabbage. For high resolution version, click here.
The highlight dishes are led by Kanom-Jeen Nam Ngiaw, a rice noodle creation originating from the ethnic Shan community made with garlic, red curry paste, yellow bean sauce, diced tomatoes, turmeric, fish sauce, spring onion and coriander; slow-cooked with either chicken or pork ribs. Sai Oua or northern Thai sausage will also be among the offerings. Made from pork mince, the dish is infused with herbs and spices and freshly pounded curry paste creating an ultimate finger-friendly snack served either hot or cold.
Krapaw Bacon is a Mango Tree innovation from central Thailand, taking one of the best-loved spicy dishes and turning it into a lighter and healthier snack by removing the boiled rice and eating with lettuce. Then there’s Moo Ping, pork marinated in sweet soy-based sauce and grilled on charcoal stove, a unique dish that showcases all the signature Thai flavours: sweet, sour and spicy from the north eastern region know for the origins of Som Tam. Chef Pitaya’s recipe reaches beyond the original by using onzen eggs instead of fried hard boiled eggs for a fun, healthy, delicious taste experience.
“Flavours of Thailand”, showcasing the five dishes from the four regions of Thailand, will be launched on May 1, providing diners with the opportunity to taste genuine Thai cuisine and introduce to the market dishes that are less well known, but no less exceptional culinary experiences.
“In many ways we have taken one step back as we look forward,” added Mr. MacKenzie. “We have rediscovered many of the well known dishes in Thailand and reimagined them through creative design and presentation while remaining true to the original ingredients.”
Mango Tree Worldwide will also celebrate its anniversary in Manila by working with Ms. Suzanna Parade Vicheinrut Yuzon, former Miss Thailand and President of Miss Possibilities Foundation – a non- government, non-profit organization, which supports children with special needs. The brand hosted a special charity dinner on 22 March when children entertained the guests with a special performance. Mango Tree Group and its franchise partners, Mother Spice Food Corporation, then made a generous donation as a part of an ongoing commitment to Miss Possibilities Foundation.
Mango Tree currently operates its flagship Mango Tree Restaurant in Bonifacio Global City (BGC), plus two Mango Tree Bistros, one in Trinoma, Quezon City and the other in Green Belt 5 in Makati.
As part of the brand’s expansion plans in Asia, COCA Restaurants will open in the Vietnamese capital with a chic new contemporary dining concept
Recognising Hanoians desire for quality and originality, COCA’s franchisee Ms. Nguyen Ngoc Diep, Director of Golden Key Trading Services and Restaurants Company Limited, has spared no expense decking out the new flagship restaurant. Stylish design elements inspired by traditional Indochinese architecture are infused with the renowned COCA ambience that has been developed over the restaurant’s 60 years of successful operation.
“The area has a lively dining scene which attracts business and residential audience looking for great taste and value-for-money,” says Trevor MacKenzie, Managing Director, COCA and Mango Tree Restaurants Worldwide. “The COCA brand will add an exciting new option for diners in Hanoi, our impressive reputation in the Asian dining and hospitality sector, which will certainly help us make an impact on the local food scene.”
With a strong focus on modern Asian-inspired design, Mr. MacKenzie believes the Indochinese interiors at COCA Hanoi will also appeal to people from within and beyond the immediate neighbourhood. COCA Hanoi will therefore attract a wide audience, including business clients, families and older Hanoians, all of whom are seeking restaurants they can trust to provide quality service and consistently good food.
COCA is already well known in Vietnam for its signature hotpot dishes and tom yum soup. The brand even developed a pork bone stock specifically to suit the local Vietnamese palate. But the brand is evolving fast to offer new menu items and fresh market concepts carefully designed to match the unique tastes of local diners in each specific location.
“Because we are a famous brand from Thailand, customers expect a few popular Thai dishes to set us apart from other restaurants that serve hotpot. The wok fried yellow curry with crab (phong karee) is a popular signature in most COCA Restaurants around the world, and we also offer a wide selection of home-made dumplings to choose from, as well as some unique COCA creations like our Deep Fried Tiger Prawn with Salty Egg Yolk and the Crispy Seafood and Durian Roll, already a bestseller in Vietnam,” adds Mr. MacKenzie. “COCA is more than just hotpot restaurants, all generations can dine at COCA, there’s something for everyone.”
Thai celebrity chef, Pitaya Phanphensophon has been the driving force behind the COCA Restaurant brand’s expansion across the region, and always remains true to his policy of only serving food he would feed to his own children. This stance underpins the restaurant’s dedication to fresh, locally sourced, flavourful ingredients.
“Our product has stood the test of time for 60 years, and we believe that is due to our ability to evolve and grow with our guests preferences, but also our dedication to service, fine tastes and great value for money,” says Chef Pitaya.