Turtle Bay…why aren’t you in Central London?

Last weekend whilst visiting one of my best friends from University, Char, we went out for a big lunch/dinner at Turtle Bay in Bristol. Char had been to the branch in Bath a few times and being one of her favourite restaurants and knowing how much I LOVE caribbean food (My bf’s half Bajan, half nigerian) recommended it for our feast.

It was about 2.30pm when we turned up, having spent the morning attempting to go to the spa (it was full – seems everyone had the same idea for a saturday morning), getting ready and catching up – yes we had so much to talk about it seemed to slow everything down!

The restaurant was still busy even though it was just after lunchtime. We were greeted by a friendly face who took us to our seats and explained that our waitress Kaylee would be along shortly to take our order.

We started looking at the menus, drinks first as we knew I would be overwhelmed by food, and chose a caribbean pimms each (cocktails are 2-for-1, 12-7pm everyday and after 10pm! Such a good deal).

We then turned our menus over and starting looking over our options for food. WOW! I wanted everything!

Turtle Bay - Menu

Our waitress,Kaylee came over to introduce herself and ask if we were ready to order before giving us a couple extra minutes. She was super friendly!

I was seriously stuck between a few options and finally settled for the Curry Shrimp & Mango one pot, which comes with rice and beans and roti bread. Char went for the Jerk Salmon with sweet potato fries. As Char found it difficult to choose between chicken and salmon we also chose the jerk chicken wings to start – sharing of course.

Kaylee came back over to take our order and we then sat back and continued to blabber on about everything which had been happening the past couple months since we’d seen each other.

The starter didn’t take long at all to arrive, and the drinks came just after (the bar was extremely busy with everyone jumping on the 2-for-1 offer so this was to be slightly expected – Kaylee kindly kept us in the loop on this too).

We did ask the waitress who delivered our starter for two extra dishes for us to share our starter which were delivered pretty promptly so we could dig in.

Our chicken wings were amazing! Chargrilled but still tender – they came off the bone really easily – and so flavoursome. They were topped with Turtle Bay’s sour orange chutney which contained sultanas too, giving them a sweet sticky saucy covering. I’d never had jerk chicken like it. It tasted so good!

Turtle Bay - Jerk Chicken WingsI did get too tempted before snapping a photo so this image is missing two chicken wings…sorry guys. Too good to resist even for 30 seconds!

Our cocktails were also really good. The ginger, which is what made it a caribbean pimms, wasn’t too strong either which was great as not to overrule the other flavours. It was nice and light compared to other juice cocktails I was tempted by and very refreshing. I would go for this again.

Turtle Bay - Caribbean PimmsYes I did even eat the strawberry….Nice and fresh!

 Our waitress Kaylee came and cleared our starter checking everything had been ok. Our mains didn’t take long to arrive and as I spotted the waiter bringing up our dishes the excitement was bubbling – when I’m trying something new which sounds fab I always get a little excited.

And this is how our dishes looked upon arrival (I actually waited just long enough before tucking in to take a photo this time).

Turtle Bay - Jerk Salmon and Sweet Potato FriesChar’s Jerk Salmon with Sweet Potato FriesTurtle Bay - Curry Shrimp and Mango

My Curry Shrimp and MangoTurtle Bay - Curry, Shrimp and Mango

Ok, so the head of the shrimp did freak me out a little. But I took this out to remove the shrimp meat from the shell and then I was all good to go!

Char’s salmon was chargrilled but tender underneath the crust. She said at first she wasn’t sure as she’s always had salmon with more bland/light sauces, but this was super tasty. The sweet potato fries were really good, soft on the inside, crispy on the out. She let me have one too, I am a fan of sweet potato fries and these were good!

My dish, the Curry, Shrimp and Mango also had sweet potatoes in it. It was absolutely delicious! There were plenty of shrimp and prawns and a perfect ratio of curry to rice. It was nice to have some roti bread to dip in too ( a bit like pitta!), but not too much – I always feel guilty eating Naan as it’s so big! It wasn’t too hot (spicy), although one mouthful did try make it’s way down my wind pipe and then it was a little too spicy for that part of my body to handle! It was slightly creamy and went really well with the lime juice and coconut shavings. I thoroughly enjoyed every part of this!

Although full on finishing our meals – yes my glass dish was left completely empty! – we still had a look at the dessert menu after our table was cleared. I always seem to have dessert when with Char! We also took another look at the soft drink menu.

After a short while Kaylee, our waitress, came back over. She stopped for a little chat and took our order – the banana loaf with frozen yoghurt for me and the Banana & Toffee Cheesecake for Char. The desserts were just too tempting and we didn’t even consider sharing – how naughty?! We also both had a Passionfruit cooler to finish off (a passionfruit juice with orange and ice).

Turtle Bay - Banana & Toffee CheesecakeChar’s Banana & Toffee Cheesecake

Turtle Bay - Banana Loaf

So I  know banana loaf isn’t healthy, but I can pretend as I don’t treat myself all the time, and frozen yoghurt is WAY better than ice cream!

The cheesecake was melt-in-your-mouth, divine. It was creamy and super tasty. The base wasn’t too soft but soft enough to cut through with your spoon easily. The rum caramel sauce was very sweet but the perfect addition!

The banana loaf was soft and moist with a nice strong banana flavour to it – You know some loafs or cakes can be a bit bland, well this wasn’t! The frozen yoghurt was a lovely change to every dessert being served with ice-cream and paired very well with the banana loaf. No food envy for me, this dessert was extremely good!

I did try to savour my dessert, making every mouthful last…but it was soon all gone!

Our passionfruit coolers were great to finish us off. Very refreshing! Kaylee then came back to clear the table and ask if we wanted anything else before delivering the bill as asked, along with a little feedback card where you can leave comments and also draw a picture of a turtle…which I obviously did 😛

Turtle Bay - Feedback card

Not quite a child – I just like doodling 😛

Kaylee came over with the card machine for us to pay, and we had a chat about when I waitressed and the new handheld systems, etc. She really was great – throughout our meal you could see her speaking to other tables too with such enthusiasm! We couldn’t have asked for a better waitress, and you definitely can’t say this about everywhere (In fact, this has been quite rare recently).

We had a fab meal, super tasty food, fantastic service, delicious beverages (both alcoholic and soft) and it left a great impression! I really do want to return – Why don’t they have a branch in Central London 🙁

Have you been to Turtle Bay? What’s your favourite meal?

Chloe xx