The Coconut Tree to make Midlands debut

By Joe Lutrario

- Last updated on GMT

Sri Lankan restaurant The Coconut Tree to open in Birmingham

Related tags the coconut tree Sri lanka Chefs

Rapidly expanding Sri Lankan restaurant group The Coconut Tree will make its Midlands debut early next year following the acquisition of a site on Birmingham’s Gas Street.

Part of a listed building, 1,600 sq ft two storey restaurant will be the brand’s eighth site joining restaurants in Cardiff, Bristol, Oxford, Cheltenham and Bournemouth.

The Coconut Tree was founded by five Sri Lankan friends living in Cheltenham.​ Praveen Thanginah, Dan Fernando and Shamil Fernando oversee the food while the board of directors is made up of Mithra Fernando, Rodrigo Rashinthe and Anna Garrod. 

The latter joined the quintet as brand director shortly after they launched their inaugural restaurant in Cheltenham in 2016. 

The Coconut Tree’s affordable take on Sri Lankan cuisine is made up of smaller tapas-style dishes ‘embracing plants, fish and meat’. 

Dishes include hot-battered spicy cuttlefish; hoppers; cashew nuts and green peas soaked and cooked in coconut cream; and black pork curry, which consists of diced pork belly cooked in 30 different roasted spices.

Larger sharing dishes include devilled dishes and kotthu, a stir-fry of chopped rotti, egg, vegetables and/or meat.

“We can’t wait to bring a little piece of Sri Lankan hospitality and our warm island vibes to Gas Street, the heart of Birmingham’s entertainment and leisure district," says Garrod. "We’ve had our eyes on the city for a really long time and couldn’t be more excited to take on this beautiful building.”

“In the UK, Sri Lankan food is not as widely available or understood as say, Indian or Chinese cuisine, and we want to help change that. We want to be the ones to make it mainstream," says Rodrigo. 

"We are excited to hear Birmingham say, ‘let’s go for a Sri Lankan tonight'".

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