QUINCY − The thriving foodies heaven developing around Hancock and Beale streets at Wollaston Station got a new addition in late May, when Mango Mango Dessert opened its second Massachusetts location.
Starting out in New York City’s Chinatown, the national chain now has locations in 14 states. They serve a mix of traditional Hong Kong sweet soups (hot and cold) as well as modern confections, including cakes, crepes and waffles with fruit and ice cream.
The small café at 13 Beale St. has a sleek, modern interior with bright lighting and colorful flair. Manager Yasmine Chen said that while the basic design is common to all locations, local branches add their own unique stamp. In Quincy, illuminated butterflies hang from the ceiling and adorn a side wall of the waiting area. Artificial orchids and cherry blossoms adorn the periphery.
A bank of tables-for-two line a wall; a round table for larger parties stands in front of the counter. In all, there’s space for about 15 to 20 sit-in diners. Chen said that demand peaks about 7 p.m. Diners are seated first come, first served, and there’s takeout service as well.
Chen said one of the most popular items on the menu is Mango Mango’s signature sweet soup, which contains mango juice, pomelo, sago and a mango ice cream. Sago is an edible starch made from the pith of tropical palm trees, served in the form of small pearls somewhat like tapioca.
The thinly layered crepe cakes, with flavors including crème brûlée, green tree and durian, are also favorites, Chen said. Durian is known for its pungent smell and strong taste, which some people love, while others − well, not so much.
“My dad hates it, and my mom loves it,” Chen said. “They always argue about durian.”
In addition to the sweet soups and cakes, Mango Mango serves build-your-own waffles and crepes, which are served with fresh fruit and a generous scoop of ice cream. There are also smoothies and teas in a wide variety of flavors including coconut, strawberry, watermelon, grapefruit and (of course) the ubiquitous mango.
Chen said a lot of time and planning went into opening the franchise. The kitchen staff and management team spent more than a month in New York City at a corporate facility learning how to make the dishes just right. After a little more than a month in business, the effort seems to be paying off. A steady line of customers can be seen filtering in from Beale Street on a nightly basis.
Mango Mango is at 13 Beale St. in Quincy. It’s open noon to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and from noon to 10:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday.
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Reach Peter Blandino at firstname.lastname@example.org
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