Sticky Mango, Tower Bridge


It was – unbelievably – as long ago as 1991 that Le Pont de la Tour opened in Shad Thames as part of Sir Terence Conran’s “Gastrodome” plan. This was just the start and over the last 30 years, the area around Tower Bridge’s South Bank has become a fine dining hub. The latest addition to this foodie haven is Sticky Mango.

Now, you may know the original Sticky Mango in Waterloo. This one opened in 2016 on the site of the former favourite RSJ. Since then, its Chef Patron, Peter Lloyd, has garnered plenty of kudos including Best Fusion (Gold Chopstick Awards) for his contemporary take on South-East Asian cuisine. Lloyd has been on a culinary voyage of discovery through Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam and Indonesia and while his dishes draw deeply on these cuisines he also brings his very individual flair to the party.

Speaking of parties, the new Sticky Mango looks like a good place to have one (there’s one long table for up to 38 people) but elsewhere there are rather more intimate settings. The interior is lusciously pink and turquoise with tropical flowers and humming birds on the walls, riotous blossom and trailing orchids throughout and glass raindrop chandeliers tinkling on the ceiling. There is also a lovely terrace overlooking the river and Tower Bridge though perhaps November is not the best time to enjoy it.

There was plenty to enjoy at the table, though. Cocktails had an oriental twist (mine was a delightful Hibiscus Bellini – such a pretty colour with a Maraschino cherry sitting at the bottom of the glass) and there’s a compact but excellent wine list. But on to the main menu where there are small plates that you could have as starters or mix up as Asian tapas.

There was a lovely Thai Spiced Scallop but allow me a moment to wax lyrical about the Tuna Tartare Spring Rolls. Now, I don’t know about you, but spring rolls often sound like a good idea and end up being disappointing – too much flabby wrapping, not enough content. These spring rolls were very different – a thin, light, crisp shell with the most delicious tuna inside. I loved them.

The main courses were equally excellent. My friend Gem had a rather magnificent plate of Balinese Jumbo Squid and a side of Wok Fried Tenderstem Broccoli (there were water chestnuts, shitake mushrooms and an oyster sauce in the mix too). I went for the Indonesian Style Seabass. Cooked in a banana leaf to retain maximum tenderness, it was quite delicious, with just the right amount of spice to make it interesting. My side dish was Crispy Brussel Sprouts – a revelation and if I can get hold of the recipe that will be Christmas dinner sorted for ever.

It’s a wide-ranging menu – favourites include Malaysian Curry Puffs, Singapore Chilli Lobster and, of course, the Sticky Mango dessert (black sticky rice and mango sorbet). The presentation is tip top and there are a number of dishes that are prepared at the table (Thai Green Papaya Salad served in a traditional pestle and mortar, for instance, and Cha Ca La Vong, a Vietnamese fish dish cooked at the table).

The food is taken seriously here but the setting is relaxed, the ideal combo in my opinion. Lloyd has had his floor emblazoned with a quote from the late Anthony Bourdain that says it all: “Your body is not a temple, it’s an amusement park. Enjoy the ride!”

Sticky Mango, 36C Shad Thames, London, SE1 2Y1. For more information, including details of other destinations, and for bookings, please visit