A few weeks ago I joined some friends for a slap up meal and couple of drinks at Turtle Bay in Birmingham We all live in varying bits of Birmingham, so our meet ups move around to reflect this, so this month we were trying Turtle bay for our bi-monthly meet up – almost slap bang below our friend Kates flat in Brum City Centre. So convenient for her infact that she’s already tried it a few times so had the head start on us in knowing what to order!
Now I don’t do loads of reviews of ‘chain’ restaurants on the blog – mainly because I don’t eat at them that much as there’s always somewhere different to try, but Turtle Bay is one that has caught my eye. It seems to have a bit of a vibe about it, and judging on how packed it was at 7pm on a weekday it seems a lot of others have caught on to this vibe too. I’d heard pretty mixed things – usually the case with chains as the chefs and service vary so much from site to site, and night to night, but not one to pre judge I always like to find out for myself.
To drink I tried one of their list of inviting sounding cocktails – the Vanilla & Passion Fruit Mojito, which was delicious and Oh so drinkable.
There was a lot of choice on the menu, and the majority of the dishes sounded very inviting – although the word ‘jerk’ did feature rather a few times, I don’t think there was much that you couldn’t have found on the menu that wasn’t flavoured with jerk – chicken, ribs, pork, burgers, steak, prawns, salmon, lamb…. you get where I’m coming from. So if you don’t like jerk flavour, you may have a little bit of a limited selection!
I decided to go for the (jerk free!) Chilli Fried squid – Crisp fried spiced coated squid, mango mole, fresh lime & coriander mayo. I was pleasantly surprised that the squid was tender, and the various dressings were really tasty, tangy and pretty spicy! I guess you could say they overpowered the squid itself, but to be honest it didn’t matter that much.
Other starters round the table were more squid as well as Duck rolls – Slow roasted shredded duck, onion, tamarind, soy sauce, chilli & sugarcane, sour orange chutney, and Sweetcorn Fritters – Fried sweetcorn fritters with hot sauce.
Mains wise I went for the Trinidad curry chicken – Chicken breast, mango & coconut, sweet onion chutney, rice ‘n’ peas, flatbread. Again I was pleasantly surprised by the dish – it had a lot of flavour, and the sweetness of mango and crunchy flakes of shaved coconut worked really well. I could have done with a bit more flatbread to mop up the sauce at the end.
Others tried the Mo’ bay chicken – Chicken breast, creamy jerk spiced sauce, onions, plantain, dressed salad and Jerk chicken – 12 spice & herb jerk marinated & grilled, sour orange chutney, Caribbean slaw, and general consensus was good!
I can’t say that Turtle Bay provided the best food I’ve ever eaten, and the service was a bit on the slow side, but it was flavoursome, cooked well and priced reasonably and made for an enjoyable meal with friends.
Disclosure: We paid in full for our meals.