The Coconut Tree Bournemouth Review*

19 January 2020

* Complimentary meal but all opinions are my own* 

A new Sri-Lankan street food restaurant has recently opened in town, and myself and a few other Bournemouth Bloggers were recently invited down to try out their menu and have a look around the place. The restaurant in question is The Coconut Tree which can be found at 185-187 Old Christchurch Road, BH1 1JU. 

The Coconut Tree is actually a chain (I'd never heard of it before) and can be found in four other cities; Bristol, Cardiff, Cheltenham, and Oxford. The idea is pretty straight forward: 'the best Sri Lankan street food, sweet and fiery Cocotails served with warm hospitality, in a stripped-back ‘street style’ interior with great tunes.' I don't know about you but that sounds right up my street... 

The Coconut Tree Bournemouth Review - my thoughts on the new Sri Lankan street food restaurant in town.
The Coconut Tree Bournemouth Review - my thoughts on the new Sri Lankan street food restaurant in town.

THE MENU

Prior to visiting The Coconut Tree I'd never actually eaten any Sri Lankan food and wasn't even aware of what their signature dish is, yep, I know how awful that sounds... After browsing the menu it became apparent that their food is all packed full of flavour and fresh ingredients, with meat, fish, vegan and veggie options all plentiful. 

On the menu is also the option to have a number of dishes selected for you at £20pp which is perfect if, like me, you're new to the cuisine and have no idea where to start with the menu. I mean, there are over 20 dishes to choose from, how is one meant to decide?!

One thing I did notice was the sheer number of Vegan and Gluten-Free options there were available. Yes, restaurants generally are becoming more accommodating but The Coconut Tree have a HUGE variety of dishes suitable for anyone eating a plant-based diet, hooray! 

THE DECOR

The Coconut Tree has a very industrial feel with long wooden tables with benches underneath, dangling pendant lights and exposed bricks. There's also a touch of personality to the decor, with large colourful pieces of art on the walls and a huge bar at the centre of the restaurant where their signature 'cocotails' are shaken. 

The Coconut Tree Bournemouth Review - my thoughts on the new Sri Lankan street food restaurant in town.
The Coconut Tree Bournemouth Review - my thoughts on the new Sri Lankan street food restaurant in town.

THE FOOD

Our server recommended that guests order 3 or 4 dishes as the menu is very much tapas-style. These are the dishes that I ended up trying: 

Hot Battered Spicy Mushrooms - £5.00

'Polenta battered button mushrooms with caramelised onions' 

Pineapple Curry - £4.00

'Pineapple cooked in coconut milk' 

Sri Lankan Mixed Fried Rice - £8.00

'With chicken, egg and veg'

Egg Hopper - £3.50

'Hoppers are a bowl shaped coconut milk pancake served with coconut sambal, seeni sambal (caramelised onions with a hint of cinammon) and Lunu Miris (Sri Lankan salsa)' 

Cheesy Colombo - £6.00

'Colombo style fried cheese with sticky sauce (a typical street food no but a family fav that's hit it off UK side) 

Of the dishes I tried, the Cheesy Colombo, Pineapple Curry and the Mushrooms were by far my favourites, they were incredible and I'd definitely eat them again. I wasn't so sure on the Hopper, which is hailed as a must-have for any first-timers but I just wasn't massively keen on the flavours nor the texture. The Fried Rice was tasty but I'd definitely recommend getting one for the table and sharing. The portion size is huge and with all the delicious other options available, it seems a shame to fill up on rice! 

If I could only recommend one dish it would have to be the Pineapple Curry, it was just SO tasty. I'm a real sucker for anything pineapple flavoured and the spices etc in this dish were just delish. 


The Coconut Tree Bournemouth Review - my thoughts on the new Sri Lankan street food restaurant in town.

EVERYTHING ELSE 

To drink I had a Sriki-Tiki (£7.50) which a) comes in this really cool vessel/glass/whatever the official name for this is AND b) is set alight making it definitely one for posting on the 'gram. It contains rum, coconut rum, pineapple, guava, lime and raspberry, and honestly, it tasted just like a delicious fruit punch which we all know is the sign of a fantastic cocktail. 

Price-wise, a meal with a large group is certainly going to set you back a fair amount of money but if you're looking for tasty food, a chilled environment and delicious cocktails then this is definitely the place to be. We were at our table for hours, just chatting away, and the atmosphere was great. 


As you can probably tell, I had a really fab evening and would definitely recommend The Coconut Tree, the whole experience was brilliant! 



Have you ever tried Sri Lankan food?

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