Opening of the first Sri Lankan street food restaurant in Brum – with island cocktails and tapas plates

Birmingham’s diverse food scene just got even better thanks to the city’s latest upcoming opening.

The city center will soon host its first restaurant dedicated to Sri Lanka.

The Coconut Tree is opening its last restaurant on Gas Street in early 2022, bringing “fresh Sri Lankan dishes” to the Brummies.

Read more: 30 restaurants to try in Birmingham city center

It will replace the short-lived Craeft restaurant which closed permanently last year.

The 1,600 square foot two-store listed building next to the former ITV Central Studios was previously home to The Pickled Piglet, which the owners renamed and reopened as Craeft in 2019.

Coconut Tree’ has further branches in Bristol, Oxford, Cheltenham, Bournemouth and Cardiff.

The Birmingham location will be the brand’s first outside the South West of the country and is part of expansion plans to put “Sri Lankan street food firmly on the British culinary map”.

Coconut Vegan Dishes

The menu at The Coconut Tree is made up of tapas-style small plates, including “spicy cuttlefish with hot batter”; “Hoppers” – bowl-shaped coconut pancakes served with sambal and Sri Lankan salsa; “Cheesy Colombo” – fried and mixed Colombo-style cheese cubes; and ‘Black Pork’ which consists of diced pork belly cooked in 30 roasted spices.

Larger sharing dishes include their signature “Devilled Dishes” – meat or fish cooked in spices, then sautéed with traditional banana peppers and finished with crushed peppers (their own secret recipe!).

Coconut Tree opens in Birmingham L - R Anna Garrod (Director of Brand) Mithra Fernando (Chief Financial Officer), Rodrigo Rashinthe (Director of Operations).
Coconut Tree opens in Birmingham L – R Anna Garrod (Director of Brand) Mithra Fernando (Chief Financial Officer), Rodrigo Rashinthe (Director of Operations).

You can also enjoy kottu served all over Sri Lanka as luxurious street food. It consists of finely chopped rotti cooked with eggs, vegetables and meat.

Director of Operations, Rashinthe Rodrigo, explained: “In the UK, Sri Lankan food is not as widely available or understood as Indian or Chinese cuisine, and we want to help change that; we want to be the ones to generalize it. We’re delighted to hear Birmingham say, “Let’s go for a Sri Lankan tonight!”

BrumWish 2021 aims to provide thousands of Christmas gifts to young children in need in our city – the homeless, the vulnerable, children in care and children who have little.

This year’s appeal is bigger and better than ever – because we’ve teamed up with our partners at #Toys4Birmingham, including Thrive Together Birmingham, Birmingham Playcare Network, Edgbaston Foundation and Birmingham Forward Steps.

are also involved Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust, Barnardo’s, Spurgeon’s Children’s Charity, The Springfield Project in Sparkhill, St Paul’s Community Development Trust and Your Local Pantry, which runs food centers in 12 locations in Birmingham and the Black Country.

Three Giving Days, held in Edgbaston to collect new and nearly new gift and book donations, are now over.

You can buy a gift from #Brumwish Amazon wishlist here.

You can also make a cash donation, which will go into a fund held by a charity partner to fill gaps or buy specialist toys for children with additional needs. Here is the link to donate.

On the drinks side, the Coconut Tree is known for its equally enticing cocktail list which earned its Bristol location to be named Best Bar of the Year at the 2021 Bristol Life Awards.

There are 18 ‘Cocotails’ on offer including Beach Boy – Mahiki coconut rum, coconut flavour, pineapple soda, now or never negroni – Colombo gin n°7, Suze and Balsazar white vermouth.

Other new restaurants slated to open in 2022 include Vinoteca in Chamberlain Square and the highly anticipated chic new restaurant at the top of the 103 Colmore Row building.

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