In large shallow disk, whisk egg, coconut milk, and vanilla. Stir in shredded coconut.
In a single layer, arrange bread slices. Turn frequently, scooping the coconut so that each side is well coated. Allow to sit until bread is well saturated with mixture, as little as 15 minutes or as much as overnight in the refrigerator. Stale or bread with a crisp outer shell takes longer.
Heat large griddle over medium low heat. Melt 2 tablespoons butter.
Arrange the saturated pieces on the griddle. The coconut pieces may not want to stick so spoon additional coconut onto each slice. Allow to cook until golden brown, about 10 minutes, then turn once to brown other side. Low and slow is best with this recipe as the coconut may burn with higher heat.
Top with syrup, powdered sugar, berries, or all of the above.