(Michelle Zhiqing Yang / Sun Staff Photographer)

(Michelle Zhiqing Yang / Sun Staff Photographer)

February 27, 2020

Inside Mango Mango’s Tastiest and Smelliest Offerings

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The opening of Mango Mango, a specialty Asian dessert restaurant, has brought much excitement to the Ithacan food scene.


Mango Mochi

The mochi craze is still very much among us. As a dish that symbolizes fortune in many countries, Mochi has been one of the most popular Asian dessert items.Traditionally, Mochi is served hot in two ways. The first is a filled mochi, usually with sesame paste or sweetened red beans. The second is pieces of mochi which is dipped into cane sugar or Japanese molasses. With Mango Mango’s unique take on dish that had so much historical significance, I was interested in the dessert item once I took a look at the menu. I was glad to find large chunks of ripened mango, airy whipped cream all folded within a thin, doughy ricecake. Whist the mango provides a refreshing note, the dessert is decadent, rich and filling. In particular, Mango Mango has perfected the formula to the rice cake exterior. The Mochi is not only of appropriate consistency, it even achieves a slight bouncy texture, exemplifying the technique of MangoMango’s dessert chefs. As a dish that cannot be created at home, definitely try Mango Mochi and be amazed by its taste.  Rating: 5/5

— Dominic Law ’22

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Strawberry Mango Juice Sago & Lychee Jelly with Mango Ice Cream 

This dish was as visually appealing as it was delicious. The contrast between the bright red strawberry juice and the lively orange mango pleased eyes just as much as the sweetness of the strawberries coupled with the tanginess of the mangos pleased my taste buds. The cool strawberry and mango juices gently coated the inside of my mouth further elevating the refreshingness of the dish. The butter-like smoothness of the Mango Ice cream contrasted with the chewiness of the jelly and sago created the perfect balance in texture. The flavor of the mango ice cream seemed to bleed into the juice giving a sort of homogenous, yet fresh and lively taste to the dish. This was a treat to have in the winter and I can only imagine how good it would feel to have amidst the heat of the summer.       Rating: 5/5

Isha Vaish ’22

Mango Pancake

As my teeth pulled away at the stretchy thin outer crepe layer, tearing a hole into the pancake, my taste buds were infiltrated with sweet undertones of the fluffy white creme filling followed by the tartness of mango. The creme was just the right amount of sweet allowing for the mango’s flavor to shine through and not be overshadowed. 

The texture of the dish was almost heavenly as the creme was soft and light, melting on my tongue. This is what it must feel like when biting into a cloud. My only complaint about the dish was that the mango to cream ratio was a little too skewed in favor of the creme and it would have been nicer if the mango played a more central role in the dish. Rating: 4.5/5

Isha Vaish ’22

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Snow White Juice with Mango and Black Rice 

The name “Snow White Juice” threw me off initially from this section of dishes on the menu — what will a dessert with that kind name even taste like? Turns out, any dessert named after Snow White here is delicious. The juice (which, actually, I still don’t know what it’s made of) is smooth with a nice creamy base that complements everything else around it. In this case, with the mango and black rice, the juice served to “neutralize” the tangy and refreshing mango and the chewiness of the black rice. For those that haven’t had black rice before this dessert combination might sound strange, but black rice is a common ingredient in Asian desserts. It’s not overly sweet (which is why all the grandparents like it) but still has a nice flavor that blends well with fruit. I’d love to try the other Snow White Juice desserts they have in the future!   Rating: 4.5/5 

Katie Zhang ’21

Mango Mille Cake

A classic! I knew I had to order this as soon as I saw it on the menu — not only is it exactly the kind of aesthetic dish that gets posted to Instagram and Snapchat stories as soon as it arrives on the table (camera’s gotta eat first!), it was colorful and fun and what I think Mango Mango can be described as on a platter. Fun, fresh and exciting, especially in our humble little Ithaca Collegetown! I’ve never had a crepe cake before so I didn’t know what to expect, but the actual cake itself wasn’t what made the dish. On its own the crepe cake was pretty basic, but combined with the mango sauce drizzled on top and the chunks of mango on the side, it was a great dessert to end with. The bursts of fruity flavor and tangy sauce complemented the smooth cake well, which was firm enough to hold its shape but still soft and easy to dig into. Visually appealing and a great go-to dish, I would definitely recommend this to those who haven’t had this at Mango Mango yet!   Rating: 5/5 

Katie Zhang ’21

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Snow White Juice with Durian and Black Rice

This is perhaps one of the most controversial desserts on the menu. If you ask me where durian comes from I would say the devil’s garden. One bite of the durian ice cream and I felt like I took a shot of petroleum. The acrid taste of the durian shot right up to my nose, burning my nostril hairs, after completely KO-ing my taste buds. I could barely discern the taste of the rest of the dish. I couldn’t even enjoy the snow white juice as it was flooded by the strong garlicky taste of durian. To be honest durian would do a better job of warding off vampires than garlic. Here are some interesting quotes from a durian lover and two no-longer durian virgins who also tried the dish:   

“The ice cream was good and flavorful. The dessert overall was pretty nice. It would have been nicer to use fresh fruit, but it was still good.” — Natalie K. ’22  

“Creamy with a slight overtone of gasoline but the dish resolves itself in the end.” — Anna M. ’22 

“Dude I’ve been burping durian ever since I left the dessert place.” — Amanda P. ’21  

So I guess if you like durian this may be the dish for you, but after also burping up durian which made it feel like i was gagging on gasoline for almost a whole hour. Rating: 0/5 

Isha Vaish ’22

  Taro Ball with Herbal Jelly

 While the idea of this dish sounded good on the page and in our heads, this dessert was not a winner. I wanted to try something that wasn’t a typical dessert dish, and the idea of taro balls and jelly together seemed interesting. However, the result didn’t pan out as well as I’d hoped. I’m not exactly sure what I was expecting, but it wasn’t what my friend and I got — a conglomeration of various types of curiously shaped jellies and balls, none of which went together whatsoever. There were taro balls, red beans, a mystery brown jelly/ball concoction and two types of jelly at the bottom, all combined in a bowl with a white liquid — maybe coconut milk? Looking back at the description I just wrote, this dish doesn’t sound appetizing at all. To be fair, the red beans were delicious on their own; each element worked if tasted apart. But together, the whole thing didn’t make any sense; the denseness of the taro balls made it hard to eat with the jelly (and isn’t that the whole point?) and the overall flavors and textures did not mix well. It’s an interesting idea and attempt, but sadly, poorly executed.  Rating: 2/5

Katie Zhang ’21