“ Thai / Address: The Coconut Kitchen / Lon Pont Morgan / Abersoch / Pwllheli / Gwyned LL53 7AN „
Coconut Kitchen is a popular Thai restaurant in Abersoch, North Wales. My mum absolutely loves it and books us in every time we go to Abersoch and last week we visited as a family. The restaurant opened in 2007 and is owned by a couple who started by selling Thai food from a van on a camp site. Since then the restaurant has gone from strength to strength, expanded their menu and relocated to a small restaurant on the edge of Abersoch village and have since opened another restaurant in Bangor just under an hour away. Spending as little time in Abersoch as I do these days, I still think of Coconut Kitchen as quite a new restaurant but it has been going strong for four years and always seems to be busy.
=== The restaurant ===
Located in Abersoch, a small village in North Wales, the Coconut Kitchen overlooks the harbour and is less than a minute from the beach. It has become a popular place for dining for a range of customers from young couples and groups of teenagers to families. The restaurant itself is fairly small, with just one room which is decorated with dark wooden furniture and oriental laps and designs. It is all quite modern which is unsurprising given that it is still quite new. The tables and space are versatile and the staff are happy to arrange them depending on the size of the party. We booked in advance for our table of eight as it would be difficult to fit us in on the night and it is advisable to do this during the summer holidays or at the weekend. There are a few stools at the bar where patrons can sit and have a drink and when the weather is nice they put a few tables outside for customers. The location opposite the beach and on the way into the village is ideal for those who are wanting to sit outside with a drink on a sunny day.
=== On the menu ===
As soon as we were given the menus we were salivating at the wonderful sounding food. After five minutes of discussing starters and who fancied what, mum took the decision to order two of the sharing starters between the eight of us. The platters contained 10 items which included spare ribs, pork prawn toast, dim sum, vegetable spring rolls and chicken satay. The platters were £17.50 which we thought was good value as individual starters were around £6-7 each. We also ordered two large portions of prawn crackers with sweet Thai chilli sauce. The menu recommended one sharing starter between two people but we had one between four and that was plenty along with all the prawn crackers!
I ordered the Kha Ped Grob for my main course; a ginger, cinnamon and garlic confit duck leg, pan fried for a crisp finish. It was served with a delicious soy & star anise sauce and was supposed to come with egg noodles which I don't like but they were happy to replace it with another side. Instead I asked for the sweet potato chips which looked like flat round discs and tasted delicious! I did notice that the portion was significantly smaller than the one that came with my dad's meal but I was very happy and even though £15.50 is quite expensive, it was worth every penny. I noticed that the menu was the same as it was back in April when I had the Pork Belly served with crackling. It was a great meal at the same price but was only served with vegetables and no rice or accompaniment on the side. Even though the menu hadn't changed, the prices had with all meals rising 50 pence in price!
Three members of our group had the Chicken Pad Thai which the waitress mentioned was by far the most popular thing on the menu. At £11.90 it was great value as the portion was huge and contained rice noodles, bean sprouts, spring onion, egg, vegetables and ground peanuts stir fried in a tamarind sauce. My cousins Sam and Gaby had the King Prawn Pad Thai for their main and agreed that it was delicious, although Gaby had to leave half of it because she wasn't feeling well after a day out in the scorching sun!
My partner Alex had the Thai green curry with chicken which again went down well. It was one of the cheapest things on the menu at £9.95 and dish was made of sliced chicken breast and fresh vegetables cooked with lemongrass, lime leaves, green chilli paste and coconut milk and garnished with Thai sweet basil and red chilli. He thought that the meal was excellent but was slightly disappointed that it was not as spicy as he would have liked considering the menu stated that it was medium-hot.
Being the boring eater he is, dad opted for his favourite meal of sirloin steak which at Coconut Kitchen was served with a chilli, garlic & sweet basil sauce, mixed vegetables and crispy sweet potato chips. At £18.50 it was the most expensive item on the menu but the size of the steak and sides of vegetable and sweet potato chips made it worth it. The steak came with lots of sauce which dad doesn't usually like but in this case thought it was excellent. It was served medium as requested and was tasty and tender.
=== Staff at Coconut Kitchen ===
We walked into the restaurant and told the bar tender the name we had booked under. Coconut Kitchen is such a small restaurant that there was no need to be shown to our table, the bar tender just pointed to it! There were three waitresses who also tended the bar and that was more than enough for the nine tables in the restaurant. It was always easy to get the attention of the waitresses as there was always someone near enough to us. We ordered drinks early on and the service was quick but as a group of eight we took a while to decide on our food which the staff didn't seem to mind. I asked if I could change the side dish with my meal which they were fine with and they were happy to bring over drinks as and when we ordered them which was never quite at the same time! It was boiling hot outside and they brought over jugs of ice water without asking which was much appreciated, especially by the sickly cousin! The owner came out towards the end to take away our plates and ask how the meal was which I thought was a nice touch.
=== Other information ===
With the restaurant itself being so small it made sense that there was only one male and one female toilet. I can only vouch for the female toilet which was large and clean and just very pleasant. The picture on the wall was a nice addition and made it quite homely.
The restaurant is at street level and is fully accessible for wheelchairs and those with mobility issues.
Lon Pont Morgan, Abersoch, Gwynedd. LL53 7AN.
Tel: 01758 712250
The Coconut Kitchen also provides a food take away service and they also sell sauces, marinades and recipes to take home.
There are a few car parking spaces outside the restaurant although the location on the edge of the village encourages the locals to walk.
=== Overall ===
Coconut Kitchen is one of the most popular places to dine in Abersoch and rightly so. It consistently serves good food and is so different from the pub meals and Italians that I normally visit when I'm there. We have had numerous great meals at Coconut Kitchen as a family and it's somewhere my mum always takes her friends and it has become her favourite place it eat. Even though there are only nine tables it could easily move to larger premises in the village and still attract a full crowd. One of the best things about the restaurant is the relaxed atmosphere. It is suitable for a nice evening meal but its location opposite the beach and the casual setting means that people can stroll in after a day sunbathing, although this type of atmosphere is typical throughout Abersoch. One of the best things about Coconut Kitchen is definitely the staff who are always pleasant and attentive without lurking around the table making the guests feel uncomfortable which is a pet hate of mine!
I've heard a few people say that the restaurant lacks someone on front of house to welcome guests but with such a small restaurant it really wouldn't be worth it. It really is a lovely place to eat and I would recommend it for any visitors to Abersoch. There really isn't anything negative to say about Coconut Kitchen but it isn't quite special and flawless enough for the 5 star rating. I will give it 4 stars but a full recommendation!