Reading The Coconut Tree Opening Date Announced
Pioneering Sri Lankan street food restaurant group The Coconut Tree has confirmed it will open its brand new site in Reading town centre at 5pm on Thursday 26th August, and as an introductory offer, will offer 50% all food for the first ten days.
Sri Lankan Cuisine
The independent boutique operators are front-runners in bringing fresh Sri Lankan cuisine to the UK. The eighth restaurant in their portfolio – which follows hot on the heels of their Bath opening in May of this year – will branches in Cardiff, Bristol (x2), Oxford, Cheltenham and Bournemouth.
Bookings are now live at: https://www.thecoconut-tree.com/reading.
Following an extensive refurbishment, the new restaurant, based on Kings Road in Reading town centre, will boast bifold doors set 1m back from the pavement to provide an ‘indoor outdoor’ dining experience for warm summer days.
Huge windows at the back of the restaurant overlook trees on the riverbank, and will flood the restaurant – which can hold 150 covers in total – with natural light.
A new dining area for private bookings of up to 60 covers is being created downstairs and will be available for parties, screenings, and celebrations.
The Coconut Tree team will also be installing one of their signature penny bars as a focal point of the refurb (see pic attached), and for the first time, they have designed a new casual seating area where customers can wait for a table, or pop in to enjoy one of The Coconut Tree’s signature sweet and fiery ‘cocotails’. The furniture itself has been handmade in Sri Lanka, and will be shipped to the UK for installation.
Despite the massive challenges facing hospitality over the last 18 months – The Coconut Tree team is holding fast to their ambitions to put Sri Lankan street food firmly on the UK culinary map, and will offer 50% off for all eat-in customers from Monday to Wednesday until the end of January 2022.
Brand Director Anna Garrod said, “We are excited to introduce even more people to our unique dishes, stripped-back style and relaxed, island vibe – so we will offer 50% off all food Monday – Wednesday.
Sri Lankan food hasn’t yet been taken to the heart of British culture in the same way Indian food has, and we really want to be the ones to change that, we want to hear people in Reading say – ‘let’s go for a Sri Lankan tonight!’
What’s on the menu at The Coconut Tree?
In recent years, Sri Lankan food has been having a moment, with The Times identifying it as a key food trend, and BBC Food attributing its popularity to “most of the food world looking towards exciting new cuisines.”
The Coconut Tree’s take on the cuisine is made up of smaller tapas-style dishes embracing plants, fish and meat – it’s an abundant menu that naturally offers something for everyone.
The menu at The Coconut Tree is made up of smaller tapas-style plates including ‘Hot Battered Spicy Cuttlefish’; ‘Hoppers’ – bowl shaped coconut pancakes served with sambal & Sri Lankan Salsa, ‘Cashew Nuts’ and green peas soaked and cooked in coconut cream; and ‘Cheesy Colombo’ – cheese cubes fried and mixed Colombo style. ‘Jaffna Goat Curry with potato’ is also a firm favourite, as is the ‘Black Pork’ which consists of diced pork belly cooked in 30 roasted spices.
Larger sharing dishes include their signature ‘Devilled Dishes’ – meat or fish cooked in spices, then stir fried with traditional banana peppers and finished off with crushed chillies (their own secret recipe!). Finally, their ‘Kotthu’ is a fine example of a local hybrid and served all over the country as a luxurious street food. It’s made with finely chopped rotti and cooked with egg, vegetables and / or meat.
The Coconut Tree History
The Coconut Tree was originally founded by Five Sri Lankan friends living in Cheltenham. Praveen Thanginah, Dan Fernando and Shamil Fernando are the Head Chefs and oversee the food side of things; whilst the Board of Directors is made up of Mithra Fernando (Financial Director), and Rodrigo Rashinthe (Operations Director). They are joined by Anna Garrod (Brand Director).