A pioneering Sri Lankan street food restaurant has chosen Cardiff as the location for its next site this summer.
The Coconut Tree, which will open on Mill Lane, next to Cote Brasserie in June, will be the first of its kind in the city.
Situated over two floors, the new glass-fronted restaurant will not only provide Cardiffians with a fun and vibrant place to eat, it will also create a number of new jobs from front of house and cocktail bartenders and further exciting opportunities in the kitchen.
Commercial property agent Cooke & Arkwright acted on behalf of the former occupier to identify the new restaurateur for the premises.
The new opening follows the hugely successful launch of two new restaurants in Bristol at the end of 2018. The independent boutique operators are front-runners in bringing fresh Sri Lankan dishes to UK, the perfect cuisine for any occasion.
Brand Director Anna Garrod said:
“Cardiff seemed like the obvious location for our fifth restaurant and we’re really excited to be joining the already vibrant and growing food scene in the city. As the first Sri Lankan restaurant to open in Cardiff we’re hoping that our authentic Sri Lankan dishes, which cater for vegans, vegetarians and meat-lovers alike, will provide tropical tastes to suit everyone’s palette, without breaking the bank.”
“Our restaurants are a really fun and informal place to eat and drink where diners can expect hand-made Sri Lankan-made wooden tables among a characterful décor of exposed brickwork and graffiti street art. Although we pride ourselves on our traditional Sri Lankan cuisine, made up of small and large dishes, our legendary ‘Cocotails’ also make the perfect addition to any dish. No matter your personal preference, everyone is welcome to the table!”
The menu features a selection of small and large dishes from hot battered spicy cuttlefish and ‘Hoppers’ – a bowl shaped coconut pancake to Jaffna goat curt and stir-fried dishes finished off with your choice of meat, vegetables or fish.
All the dishes are brought out of the kitchen as soon as they are ready and can be shared in typical Sri Lankan fashion.
The menu boasts over 16 vegan dishes packed full of modern Sri Lankan flavour and the use of polenta flour and coconut oil means that 70% of the menu is gluten free.
Huw Thomas, director at Cooke & Arkwright, who marketed the premises and identified The Coconut Tree said:
“We’re pleased to be introducing such an exciting new restaurant group and helping to set them up in their new Cardiff home. Mill Lane is Cardiff’s prime restaurant location, so it’s a fantastic spot to be introducing a genuinely unique restaurant like The Coconut Tree to the growing Cardiff food scene. It really does provide a range of exciting tastes and flavours for all generations and we wish them the best of luck in Cardiff.”
Runners-up in the Best Cheap Eats category of The Observer Food Monthly, the award-winning restaurant group 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), Rodrigo Rashinthe (Operations Director) and Anna Garrod (Brand Director). Anna joined the group five months after they opened their first site from The Lucky Onion Group. Prior to that, Anna helped to expand Po Na Na to 65 sites leaving as Managing Director.