As Sri Lankan restaurant The Coconut Tree prepares to open its doors, we hear the story from one of its founders, Rodrigo Rashinthe

TAKE five Sri Lankan boys enjoying London living, relocate to Cheltenham – then bring them top Oxford.

What simply started as finding a place to call home, above a pub, became a way of life for us.

We found the funds to rent the pub and got to work each night after finishing jobs elsewhere to build and shape what became The Coconut Tree.

All hospitality enthusiasts, we pulled together, and calls were made back home to mums in Ceylon for secret recipes. Mums in Sri Lanka always cook for the masses, so it’s helpful for multiplying recipes in a restaurants. The dads also got busy, loading ships with furniture they made by hand.

The Coconut Tree reflects warmth. We were born making food an occasion; it’s always big. There is a saying back home: "lay an extra place at the table" because we always have room for an unexpected guest.

We serve street food, because this way everyone can try all of our food. People can enjoy small dishes and mains and mix and match. We want eating to be a delicious affair but not hurt your wallet, so that everyone feels welcome at the table. That is our mission.

Bringing you an explosion of flavours in our dishes, meats and fish, we’ll introduce people to our amazing Hoppers, Kotthu and devilled dishes. And with food dishes from £2.50 we’re all about affordability.

We know luxury too, however. We’ve seen a little of what the world's cities have to offer, so we aim to bring this too. Everyone deserves a little spoiling at times so we’ve got Dom Perignon if you fancy, fine wines, artisan cocktails and can introduce you to some new flavours.

Ceylon Arrack, an exquisite spirit made from coconut flowers. We blend sweet and fiery flavours from turmeric to coffee in our cocktails.

And it's worth knowing, we like to party. Music is in our soul, and playlists and late nights are a staple.

So come and join us, in making The Coconut Tree what you want it to be.

Celebrate with a big birthday party or simply come for a mid-week supper for two. Some have even brought their own candelabras, it’s all going on.

We’ll show you round our menu and we hope you enjoy every minute of our hospitality.

Don’t expect a napkin, though, it’s a roll of paper towels, but do expect a candle in a half coconut.

Don’t expect a massive food bill, but do expect to spoil yourself with drinks

Do expect meats, vegetables and fish, relaxation and kindness –and don’t expect the volume to stay down past midnight!

The Coconut Tree opens on Saturday at 76 Saint Clement’s, Oxford. OX4 1AH.

Opening Times: Monday-Sunday noon 'til late