I’ve always been a big fan of Turtle Bay. As soon as one opened close to us, it became a favourite go-to place for cocktails with the girls. The decor and ambience are always spot on and the cocktails are always delicious. One thing I’d not ever really tried at Turtle Bay was the food, so I was delighted when we were invited to try out their new menu at the Winchester branch. I knew that if it lived up to the standard of everything else that I know and love about Turtle Bay then I wouldn’t be disappointed. It was also the perfect excuse for Dan and I to have some toddler free time together, to enjoy some adult conversation and hot food while Ernie napped in his pram and Darcie went to the aquarium with her Granny.
When we arrived at Turtle Bay in Winchester, the staff couldn’t have been more welcoming. We had Ernie with us in our quite bulky pram and they were totally accommodating in seating us at a table with plenty of space around us. They also mentioned to us that they were short-staffed that day and apologised in advance that there may be a delay in service but we honestly wouldn’t have noticed if they hadn’t said anything. The service was quick and all the wait staff were so friendly and polite.
When we were handed our menus I was immediately struck by just how much choice there was. Whether you’re a vegetarian, meat lover or seafood, you’ll be spoilt for choice. As it is Caribbean food, most dishes are semi spicy but lots of them have the option to be served plain too. I’m a total wimp when it comes to spice but everything I ate was the perfect level of spice for me.
Dan chose the Crispy Squid while I went for the Beef Patty. Both dishes were absolutely delicious and we both agreed that Dan’s squid was the best squid we had ever tried (and he ALWAYS orders the squid when we eat out!). Next time I would certainly order the Crispy Squid but the Beef Patty was tasty in its own right too and came with a refreshing salad on the side. The Jerk Mayo that was on both of our starters was really the perfect finishing touch. They also had offers on their starters so if you were with a big group of people you could save money by taking advantage of these.
For our main course Dan chose the Jerk Sirloin Steak from the Jerk It section of the menu. All of the meats on this part of the menu had been marinated for 24 hours in Turtle Bay’s signature Jerk mix and then cooked on open flames. The kitchen is visible from the restaurant and so we could see them cooking it too. The flavours in the steak were gorgeous but you also have the option to order it plain if you’d prefer. I ordered the Trini Curry Chicken with coconut rice and it was so tasty! The rice was stunning and I’m determined to learn how to make that at home, although I’m certain that it won’t be as good. This curry was on the spicy side but not too much for me to handle, and like I said – I am a spice wimp.
For dessert we chose the Sugar Dumplings and the Salted Caramel Brownie. I have to say that desert was probably my least favourite course but they did have a lot to live up to from how amazing the previous courses had been! The brownie was very chewy which may be to some people’s taste but I personally prefer a softer brownie. Just something to bear in mind if you order the same! Sugar Dumplings was a dish that neither of us had ever tried before and they were tasty but relatively plain. There are a lot of other dishes on the desert menu that would have a lot more flavour though so I’ll definitely be going back to try some of those too!
As I mentioned before, I have always been a big fan of the cocktails at Turtle Bay. Pre children I would have enjoyed working my way through the menu and would have been able to give you my opinions on more of the different options. However after barely drinking for the past 3 years, my tolerance is very low so after two Raspberry Reggaes, it was time to go back onto the water. The Raspberry Reggaes were excellent however and I would highly recommend. They often have cocktails on ‘2 for 1’ so it’s definitely worth making the most of that deal!
It was lovely to get out and try something new. Caribbean food is so far from my usual go to meals at home that it was refreshing to taste so many different and delicious flavours. The atmosphere in Turtle Bay was so relaxing and friendly that we were able to have a really enjoyable time and make the most of a rare toddler free afternoon.
*our food and drinks were complimentary in exchange for this review, as always all opinions are my own.