I first heard about The Coconut Tree from a friend who lived on the doorstep of the original Cheltenham establishment, from her Instagram feed I could tell she went probably far more often than she cared to admit. I’m a bit hopeless and have yet to visit the Cheltenham one but have since checked out the Bristol one on Gloucester Road. I was told by someone at work, who also raved about it, that I’d need to book ahead so I got us a table for one evening after work. This place is obviously doing something right if a lot of it’s growth is based on word-of-mouth.
The food is inspired by sri-lankan street food, along with the interior. It’s dimly lit, with high stools and long tables, so perfect for groups (one of their mantras is ‘Everyone is welcome to the table’) and also some smaller tables for a more intimate setting. Some of the tables reminded us of our homemade bar at our wedding, made up of a couple of old pallets.
We perched up on a high table and order up a couple of cocktails – there are plenty to choose from you’ll probably have ordered a selection by the end of the meal.
The menu has a full range of dishes all at amazing prices so we went a little crazy and ordered everything we liked the sound of.
The food was drip-fed out of the kitchen but soon enough our table was crammed full of goodies; almost like our own personal buffet. Some of our highlights included the chickpeas (deliciously garlicky), the cheesy columbo (so sweet and tangy), the cashew curry (naturally creamy) and the veggie rolls. All so flavoursome and authentically spiced.
The bread was great for mopping up any leftover sauces too. We also had the goat curry and fish cutlets, which were filled with mackerel that I usually love but they were a bit too fishy for me and the goat meat was slightly too fatty.
We enjoyed a few more rounds of cocktails and couldn’t believe it when the bill arrived – such a good value and a huge difference to what we usually end up spending on a meal and cocktails. By the time we were leaving the place was heaving and I can imagine that’s the case for all locations.
Hopefully, one day, we’ll all have a Coconut Tree on our doorstep – but for now they have two restaurants in Bristol, one in Cardiff, Oxford and Cheltenham. Go check them out and don’t forget to book!