Coconut Bar & Kitchen Restaurant Review

For my big, scary quarter of a century birthday Will took me to a fairly new restaurant in Reading: Coconut Bar & Kitchen

Before coming to eat I had been here for cocktails for a friend’s birthday a couple of weeks before. This restaurant has a great atmosphere with good background music, and even for a busy Friday night I was served quickly and soon found myself sipping on a ‘Passionate Peach’ – with vodka, peach liqueur, passion fruit purée, pineapple, fresh lime and vanilla, you can see why it’s their best seller!

When I came back for my birthday dins it was a lot quieter, being a Tuesday evening, however the relaxed yet fun atmosphere remained and the food was fresh, well presented and delicious.

With a range of Yakitori starters and South Eastern Asian main dishes it was a hard choice! But after some amazing Yakitori dumplings, for our mains I went for an Indonesian satay pork chop stir fry, and Will went for beef steak doldot bibimbap.

Yakitori Starters!

Yakitori Starters!

My stir fry, including red peppers, red onions and pineapple along with the tender pork, was in a sea of deliciously thick satay sauce. As a big fan of stay sauce, this was one of the best I have tasted! Unlike shop bought or what you are sometimes given in other restaurants, this was 100% home made and I enjoyed every bite!

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Will’s Bibimbap was something I have never seen before, arriving in a hot stone pot he had a bowl of coconut rice, steak and sautéed vegetables topped with an egg. The combination of everything together in the bowl was really good, especially as it continued to sizzle and develop amazing crunchy bits throughout our meal. To top it all off this dish was served with Kimchi sauce (I had never heard of this before but Will LOVES it!) which was the perfect partner to the meal.

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As well as good service and fresh tasty food, it is also very reasonably priced. I would highly recommend you pay a visit if you fancy some South Eastern Asian food, I will definitely be back!

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Home-made Ravioli

We both absolutely love pasta, especially when its home-made and fresh!

One evening we decided to use Will’s new pasta machine he got for his birthday and make some ravioli for our dinner 🙂

Ingredients:

Pasta:

  • 200g OO pasta flour
  • 2 eggs

Filling:

  • about 50g chorizo
  • 1 large red sweet pointed pepper OR a couple Karyatis roasted red peppers
  • 1/2 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp Tabasco
  • 1 tsp chipotle
  • squirt of tomato paste

Method:

First of all make the pasta, put the flour on a clean surface, making a well in the middle. Crack the eggs into the well, then work around slowly with your fingers to incorporate the flour bit by bit until you have a firm ball of dough. Wrap in cling film and leave to cool in the fridge for at least 30 mins.

Whilst your dough is in the fridge, chop up all the ingredients for the filling into small pieces. Add to a saucepan over a medium heat, reducing to a thick sauce. Once ready, take off the heat and leave to cool a little while you roll the pasta.

When the dough has been in the fridge for 30 minutes, split into two even sections, and when your pasta machine is ready, roll out the first dough ball a little and start feeding  through the machine on the highest setting, lowering the setting and folding the dough over until you have a long, thin strip. (It’s best to have pasta as thin as possible without breaking when making ravioli). Once completed, do the same with the second dough ball until you have two similar size long sheets of pasta.

Lay one pasta sheet on top of a surface (sprinkled with flour so it doesn’t stick!) and cut off any uneven edges, then add small spoonfuls of your filling along the sheet, making sure you leave a decent gap between each spoonful:

Will in deep concentration...

Will in deep concentration…

Once complete, circle each spoonful of filling with a little water (and by little, I mean stick one finger in a glass of water – that will be enough per couple of spoonfuls) and then place your second sheet carefully on top.

This is where it’s handy if there are two of you – as one can hold the top sheet whilst the other presses down around each spoonful of filling to make sure there are no air bubbles, and make sure the two sheets are stuck together properly.

When happy with this, carefully cut out your desired shapes! You can either use a cake/pastry cutter for this, or create your own shapes with a knife, we decided to make both squares and circles 😛

Ready to cook!

Ready to cook!

If any edges seem to be parting, you can secure with a little more water and press together. Bring a pan of water to the boil (with a little salt in) and carefully (ideally using a slotted spoon) place the ravioli pieces into the boiling water. They only need a couple of minutes, fresh pasta cooks very quickly! When the parcels rise to the surface and look soft they will be ready – this should be within 2-3 minutes.

Take your parcels out (again carefully with a slotted spoon to avoid any of them splitting) and divide between two bowls, drizzle a little olive oil over, season with salt and pepper and enjoy!

Yummy :)

Yummy 🙂

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