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Mango King

Rating: 1.8. From 51 votes.
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6 Reviews
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Al Matar Street off Bayah Roudabout

Inspired by a recent article in Destination Jeddah (a great free monthly magazine), I decided to check out the food street in Ammariyah district. Ever since, I have returned at least twice a week  its an official addiction. And without out a doubt, the highlight of this street is Mango King.

First, some background. The food street is actually a block close to Al Balad where there are close to 15 different restaurants offering inexpensive, fast, tasty food. From Bayah roundabout, if you take Al Matar Street exit, and proceed through one stop light, the eateries will be lining the street to your left. Most specialize in only one or two items, so their food benefits from the power of focus. Shwarma stands are the most numerous. You will also find a mebshor sandwich shop, a koshari shop, and even ice cream and sweets shops.

But what makes it stand apart from the hundred other places in town where one can get the same fare? I will tell you what . . . The Mango King.

Lets begin with their chicken shwarma. In our fast-paced world, where the concept of true craftsmanship is all but dead, the Turkish chef serving the chicken shwarma at Mango King is a throwback to an earlier age. Although he makes thousands of shwarmas per week, he treats each one with the care befitting a work of art. Each individual pita bread is opened by hand to tuck the moist, tender meat inside before wrapping, preventing the toughness you encounter when biting through double layers of bread. He also provides a healthy layer of garlic sauce and a few leaves of mint which are a delight to find halfway through eating.

While the chicken is good, step over to the beef schwarma section to find the real star of this show. Mango King, like the other Ammariyah eateries, serves their beef schwarma not on pita bread but on a sub roll. This makes a more filling sandwich, but more importantly, acts as a sponge for the amazing sauce. Oh the sauce! Mango King covers their beef in a sauce with a baharat mix base, heavy on coriander, with added chilis for extra spiciness. The result is pure bliss, and superior to its neighbors which are less spicy and flavorful (though some may prefer the tahina-based sauce two door down).

The juices are also fantastic, and the strawberry-banana is thick and tasty. But this isnt the Strawberry-Banana King, this is the Mango King! Their mango juice is served with an extra-thick straw. What a joke! No straw can handle this juice. Take a sip and youll see. You will find enormous pieces of ripe, juicy mango in each sip. It is a flavor explosion with natural sweetness not that artificial syrupy sweetness that is the obvious sign of substituting sugar for sub-par fruit.

Mango King and its neighbors do an almost strictly takeaway business, but eating in before Magrib prayer allows a glimpse backstage as the players prepare for their nightly performance. Prices are mind-blowing: 3 SR for beef schwarma, 4 SR for chicken, SR 3/5 for a small/large juice. All hail the Mango King! May his reign be long and tasty!

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