It’s that time of year – Christmas feels like years ago, and a dissertation/essay free summer is far off into the distant future. With wishing the endless slog would cut you some slack, you’d be forgiven for thinking a night’s break in paradise is the stuff daydreams are made of. Yet with its welcoming party Caribbean atmosphere, and just as much exotic flare in both their food and cocktails, Turtle Bay is the perfect place to escape from where to put the italics in a reference for the night.
Leaving a dull rainy night in Nottingham behind us, we were greeted by a rare phenomenon in the restaurant industry mid-week; a full house. With every table taken and those without a reservation being given an hour and a half wait, (which people were happily taking), you couldn’t help but wonder what was Turtle Bay’s secret ingredient?
Our first point of call was the truly tropical styled bar for 2-4-1 cocktails (served every day until 7pm and then 10pm-close). With each one of us trying something different, we were sure we’d find one amongst the six of us that wasn’t our ‘thing’. Yet whether a Passion Rum Punch or a Raspberry Reggae each cocktail was as sufficiently boozy and delightfully refreshing as the next.
Good things come to those who wait, but apparently outstanding things can come in under twenty-five minutes as we found with our orders. Whilst we skipped the starters, a decision we were all unanimous in regretting, our main courses were simply to die for. Opting for the ¼ Jerk Chicken with Rice and Peas from the light supper menu (£6 per meal), as well as a side of Cheesy Jerk Fries (£2.25), I was simply blown away. With every element of the meal as flavoursome and downright delicious as the next, it was very clear what the secret ingredient was to getting a full house on a Wednesday night. As we argued over whose meal was best, Turtle Bay couldn’ t be faulted for being a one trick pony. Mo’Bay chicken, (perfect for the fan of less spice), Trini Fish Curry or Dipped Pork Steak, (all these main dishes from the Jerk Pit BBQ priced £9.50-£9.75), every meal had us all vowing we’d return.
With the music setting a perfect ‘kick back and relax’ atmosphere and the staff mastering the ‘just enough’ approach, it’s not just the cocktails that are delightfully refreshing, but the whole restaurant. As Turtle Bay demonstrates you can get first class food and a friendly warm welcome, they have certainly defied the restaurant chain stereotype, and while a week in the Caribbean isn’t on the horizon for everyone, a night in Turtle Bay should be.
Stephanie Jade Sleaford