Last Friday, I was extremely lucky to be invited to Turtle Bay to try their festive menu. I absolutely love Turtle Bay. It’s somewhere we love to go as the food is always delicious and they do amazing cocktails! Since being pregnant, I’ve had to find alternatives to alcohol and I think the mocktails there are just as good as the cocktails as they don’t tend to be overloaded with acidic fruit juice like I have experience in other places. This year has been so tough for businesses up and down the country (other than Amazon it seems). Some people may think that ‘chain’ restaurants are safe but COVID has proved otherwise. Now certain restrictions have been lifted, it is important, if we can, to get back out there and support the places we love.
When we arrived, it was a bit of relief to see that the tables were all set out for good social distancing and every single table had a bottle of hand sanitiser on. One thing I want to mention straight off the bat is the service. Sometimes, we’re super unlucky with service and it is super frustrating, but I have to say, the guys and girls who looked after us on Friday were fantastic – especially with trying to keep on top of things and ensuring the customers were following the rules.
We were there to test out the new festive menu and I think it’s safe to say it exceeded our expectations. You can either get 3 courses (An appetiser, starter and main) for only £24 or 4 courses (An appetiser, a starter, a main and a dessert) for £28 – you can also make them bottomless for an extra £20! We had the 4 courses and they were all superb!
The appetiser is a great way to start the meal as it’s a sharing board with grilled halloumi, crispy chickpea chana, garlic flatbread and some fresh watermelon. The watermelon was a brilliant addition as it really cleansed the palate before the next course. When we usually go to Turtle Bay, we tend to get a sharing platter for our starter as we like a bit of everything, so we chose two starters we’d both like so we could share. We ended up ordering the crispy squid and the sweetcorn fritters (which are vegan). They did not disappoint. I was worried we would be full by the time it got to the mains, but the portion sizes are just right.
For our mains, we got our own thing as we didn’t want to share those! I went for the jerk salmon and Tom got the half jerk chicken. The salmon was so tasty and was made better by the crispy skin, succulent gravy and refreshing slaw on the side. The salmon was cooked so well as it hadn’t dried out and was still nice and flaky. Tom demolished his chicken so I know that was a huge hit! He said it was moist and had the right amount of spice on it.
Finally, we decided to go for a dessert each and again, share them so we could both try a bit. I ordered the banana, toffee and rum cheesecake and Tom went for the chilli chocolate brownie (which is vegan, as well as the coconut ice cream it was served with). The brownie was too hot for me personally, and I think I’m too stuck in my ways as I just like a plain, ordinary brownie! But the cheesecake was to die for. It was so light and the flavours all went so well together, they didn’t clash or over-power the others.
Overall we thought the menu was varied and excellent value for money. We were also surprised at how many vegan options there are. It’s nice to see somewhere catering for all dietary needs. If you do get a chance to go out for lunch or dinner before Christmas is over, I highly recommend paying Turtle Bay a visit.
*This visit was gifted, but we did pay for drinks ourselves. We visited our local branch in Colchester, Essex.