Hi Guys, sorry I haven’t put up a post in a while, I have had problems with my back and haven’t really done anything worth writing about. However I have managed to try the new Turtle Bay Restaurant on two separate occasions for friends’ birthdays’. Now as some of you will already know I am mixed-race, my Mum is from Jamaica and my Dad is from England. I have been to Jamaica 4 times and my Mum and Nan have cooked traditional Jamaican food for me. With this in my mind I kind of had high expectations going into this restaurant. Grab your self a dink ( how about a cocktail) as this is a long post.
Turtle Bay is advertised as a Caribbean restaurant ( by the way I have also been to Dominican Republic so believe I have a good idea of what the Caribbean is like) with a vast range of dishes and drinks. When you walk into Turtle Bay there is definitely a Caribbean feel about the restaurant with the bright decor and upbeat music playing. I was really impressed with the bar area which allows you to sit down and get a drink whilst waiting for your table, you can also book a table just to have drinks.
First Visit to Turtle Bay Peterborough
The first time we arrived early so headed to the bar for a drink, I had already eyed up the menu before hand and knew they had an amazing range of drinks and cocktails. However we had arrive after Happy Hour and with the cocktails being a bit pricey when not on two for one I decided to go for a mock-tail ( I also had just taken some pain killers for my back) which was pretty yummy considering there was no alcohol in it. Once everyone arrived we were seated at our table, there were 8 of us in total one person arrived late due to work. We advised our waiter that we were waiting on one person and that we would order once they arrived. However we started to get hungry so ordered our starters just as the last person arrived.
Starters- First Visit to Turtle Bay Peterborough
We were a table of eight and I was a bit dissapointed that they didn’t bring all our starters out together. My friend ordered a portion of Plantain to come out with the starters however this was forgot about which was disappointing.
I choose the Jerk platter for starters which I shared with my boyfriend as we couldn’t decide what to have. The Jerk Platter included according to the menu: Marinated jerk wings, glazed pork ribs, jerk beef riblets, Jamaican beef patty, sweet corn fritters, spiced popcorn, herb mayo & super green salad Like I said I am aware of some of the flavours of traditional Caribbean food and my boyfriend has tried mine and my mum’s cooking. I have to be honest I was a little disappointed, especially in regard to portion size, I was disappointed in the slither of patty that I got which actually wasn’t that traditional in taste anyway. My favourite dish from the platter was the sweetcorn fritter that came with a hot dipping sauce which some people may find a bit too hot but I thought it was just right. The ribs were also really nice as they were tender and the meat fell of the bone. If I am honest I probably would not order this again and would instead just choose an individual starter most likely the sweet corn fritters. The other thing I spotted after reading the menu again is that one item was missing which was the glazed pork ribs, I only spotted this when I got home and re-read the menu.
Mains- First Visit to Turtle Bay Peterborough
Again like the starters the mains did not all come out at the same time. Also another person asked for avocado with her salad which was forgotten, the waitor did apologise and quickly went and got this for her.
For mains I went for one of my favourite Jamaican dishes which is Curry Goat with rice and peas. This is a dish that I have had many times in Jamaica as well as in England by either my mum or family. I choose this dish because I wanted to compare its authenticity, unfortunately it was a bit of a let down. Although the curry did have flavour and a nice kick to it, something was missing which I couldn’t put my finger on. In regards to the rice and peas I have to be honest, I can cook better, again something was missing. I understand it’s harder cooking things for commercial purposes as it’s on a larger scale however I have been to weddings and funerals were the same dishes have been cooked for a large number of people but the flavour has remained traditional. The dish also came with two festivals which are similar to dumplings but sweet, these were skinnier than I am use to and were nothing amazing.
Drinks-Second Visit to Turtle Bay
After my first visit I was more prepared this time with lowered expectations. My aim this time was try stuff I had never had before so that I had nothing to compare it to. We booked a table for 6pm so we could take advantage of the happy hour as me and my friend were celebrating her birthday. As well as being a big fan of Caribbean food, I am also a big fan of Rum and was very intrigued by their rum selection as well as range of cocktails. The only stipulation with happy hour is that you have to order the same drink and you get one free, so me and my friend ordered something different and swapped. I ordered the Reggae Rum Punch which consisted off : Uncle Wray overproof rum, bitters, strawberry liqueur, pomegranate, fresh lime, orange & pineapple. I had already had a sip of this on my first visit as my friend had ordered it so knew I was going to like it. My friend ordered the Passion Rum Punch which consisted off: Dark rum, Passoa, fresh passion fruit, orange juice, lemon & bitters. This was one was also nice however you couldn’t taste the alcohol and was just like drinking passion fruit juice. Out of the two I definitely preferred the Reggae Rum Punch as it had a nice kick from the Uncle Wray overproof rum.
Mains- Second Visit to Turtle Bay Peterborough
This time the service was a lot quicker and both meals were brought at the same time which seemed strange to me as they were a lot busier. This time I skipped starter in favour of trying out their desserts and order the shrimp and prawn curry for my main. Within ten minutes our food arrived and I was very surprised. The first thing I did was dip the roti bread in the sauce and I was pleasantly surprised it had a nice little kick to it. My only criticism about this dish was that my prawns were slightly overcooked which meant they were a tad rubbery. However the overall taste was lovely. As you can see from the picture it came with one big shrimp still in its shell which I was not expecting. I left this till last and used my knife and fork to break away the shell, as the saying goes I left the best till last. My friend order the jerk chicken with rice and peas which she enjoyed. I tried a small piece of the chicken which was better than I thought it would be the skin had a nice smoky taste that you would expect from traditional jerk chicken.
Dessert- Second Visit to Turtle Bay Peterborough
As mentioned previously we decided to skip starters on this occasion and give the desserts a try. My friend has been to a branch of Turtle Bay and had enjoyed her dessert. I went for the grilled pineapple and asked for vanilla ice-cream instead of coconut. I have to be honest I was a bit disappointed, I expected the pineapple to be still slightly warm which it wasnt and I couldn’t taste the rum in the caramel sauce. However my friend ordered the rum upside down cake which she enjoyed, so much so I didn’t even get a chance to try it.
Final Thoughts on Turtle Bay Peterborough
After my second visit I would definitely go back again to Turtle Bay. The menu appears to be a bit hit and miss but I will definitely be trying the jerk chicken the next time I go. I love the interior of Turtle Bay and the music makes me feel like I am on holiday. For people who have never tried Caribbean food I think this is a great way to get a feel for what it is like until you can try the real deal whether it be in the Caribbean or home cooked Caribbean food.