First Look

First Look: Coconut Paradise, It's an Urgent Thing

Coconut Paradise serves up a lovely Asian delicacy inside a fresh coconut
Coconut Paradise serves up a lovely Asian delicacy inside a fresh coconut Hank Vaughn
Coconut Paradise, inside the 99 Ranch Market at the George Bush Tollway and Old Denton in Carrollton, opened around Easter and is still in its extended soft opening stage. They serve up some flavorful sweetness in the form of coconut jelly, and word of mouth and various Facebook pages have created enough of buzz that it’s extremely busy. In fact, there is a help wanted sign near the counter that states “Urgent Hiring: full/part time.” Not just hiring, but urgent hiring, and the crowds that were there the Saturday we visited would attest to this.

Owner Hanyue Jiang was manning the register along with three or four other very diligent workers who were trying their best to serve everyone these heavenly Asian delicacies in a timely and efficient manner. There was a line to place the order, which was good in that it allowed us to peruse the menu and attempt to understand exactly what was being served. They have various drinks such as iced coconut milk with espresso, taro peach gum latte and coconut water with rose and tea, but we were there for the jelly.
click to enlarge Fresh cut mango, Japanese matcha with handmade mochi, fresh coconut water - HANK VAUGHN
Fresh cut mango, Japanese matcha with handmade mochi, fresh coconut water
Hank Vaughn
The jelly is a coconut-flavored gelatin, opaque and jiggly, but definitely not your great aunt’s Jell-O dessert. It’s served either in a jar that is about a cup in size ($8-12) or in a whole coconut ($10-12). Both can then have fruits and sweets added.

In the jar such selections include fresh-cut mango coconut jelly, papaya coconut jelly, dark chocolate and Oreo coconut jelly, and toasted caramel durian coconut jelly. If you decide to get it served in a whole coconut, your choices include the whole coconut jelly trio (coconut pudding, coconut meat and toasted coconut flakes), coconut jelly with Oreo and mochi ball and coconut jelly with purple sticky rice, mango and rice ball.
click to enlarge Freshly made coconut jellies in a jar - HANK VAUGHN
Freshly made coconut jellies in a jar
Hank Vaughn
We wanted to try both types, so we opted for fresh-cut strawberry coconut jelly in a jar and the coconut trio in a whole coconut. We waited about 15 minutes for them to be prepared, and when they were ready Jiang apologized for the wait.

First of all, the glass jars are cute and have the Coconut Paradise logo printed on them and come with a screw-top lid. This treat was visually pleasurable with colorful, firm and just ripe strawberries sitting atop the coconut jelly. Again, the coconut jelly is sort of a cross between gelatin and pudding and not too sweet. In fact, there was a sugar cane pump on the counter in case you wanted it sweeter, but we did not find this necessary. Bonus: you get to keep the jar.
click to enlarge Fresh cut strawberry coconut jelly with a jar you can keep - HANK VAUGHN
Fresh cut strawberry coconut jelly with a jar you can keep
Hank Vaughn
The coconut trio in the whole coconut was visually interesting. The jelly was creamy with just the right amount of sweetness, which was topped with a layer of lightly toasted coconut flakes. The coconut meat could be scraped off the sides and eaten separately or together with everything else in one complete power coconut scoop. Evidently, they will offer to scrape the meat out for you if you have trouble doing so.
click to enlarge The whole coconut jelly trio comes inside a coconut with coconut pudding, coconut meat, and toasted coconut flakes. - HANK VAUGHN
The whole coconut jelly trio comes inside a coconut with coconut pudding, coconut meat, and toasted coconut flakes.
Hank Vaughn
All in all, definitely worth any wait, and we're sure that will get shorter as they work some of the kinks out during this soft opening. We’d still like to try the bird’s nest drinks, and if we try enough of the jarred jellies, we might eventually have enough jars for a six-person place setting at home. Reminds me of the free glasses one would get with a fill-up of gas at Sinclair back in the day, but much tastier.

Coconut Paradise located inside 99 Ranch Market (Carrollton) 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. Sunday & Tuesday - Thursday  8 a.m. - 9 p.m. Friday & Saturday
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Hank Vaughn is a freelance writer who enjoys sharing and overthinking his food and drink experiences, both good and bad, from his culinary journeys with his wife across North Texas and beyond.
Contact: Hank Vaughn