Entering The Coconut Tree, my boyfriend and I were met enthusiastically by the waiting staff. While we are self-professed foodies, we had not tried Sri Lankan street food before and so the thorough menu was initially daunting, despite its long lists of delicious-sounding dishes. Our friendly waitor was happy to talk us through the best way of deciding how many of the shareable, tapas-style dishes to have between the two of us, and the best combinations. That said, I reckon it would be best to visit the restaurant with a big group of friends so you can all mix and match as many of the yummy dishes as possible.
My boyfriend and I ordered egg hoppers to start - crispy crepe-like hand food, filled with relish and egg. Honestly, I could have happily eaten a mountain of these alone. Following this, we indulged in cashews in coconut milk, chickpeas, black pork, red rice, beef kotthu and devilled chicken wings - yes, it was as much an indulgent feast as it sounds. I was particularly fond of mixing the yummy cashew dish, with its creamy sauce, into the spicier and drier dishes. Although, beware - my boyfriend and I enjoy hot food, but even ordering the medium level heat on the devilled wings had more than a healthy kick of heat (the ‘Sri Lankan hot’ option must be only for the most seasoned diners!)
Full of nourishing comfort food (and unable to face the walk home so early), we then indulged in the exciting cocktail menu - it’s worth coming just for this. The ‘Drunken Sri Lankan’ is served in a ceramic elephant cup - which may or may not be what attracted me to it... but was very refreshing, with ginger beer, Arrack, and Cointreau: not too sweet but cleansing. My boyfriend’s old fashioned was also innovative, with a large coconut ice cube and a subtle chocolatey flavour. The holistic experience was wonderful - the staff who clearly enjoy the food they serve, the
large choice of varied and flavourful dishes, and the creative and tasty cocktails. Now I just need
to return to try the numerous other items on the menu!