Personally, in the past, Turtle Bay was just a place for good cocktail deals as the menu never enticed me to dine. Northern Quarter is jam packed with stunning little independent restaurants so I often overlooked this particular chain, even though I wouldn’t say aesthetically it looks out of place in the area.
I have to say, after trying out the new menu I will 100% come back for more. What a gem of a place! The interior doesn’t feel ‘chain’ like at all, the staff couldn’t be better and the food was packed full of flavor. There is a wonderful atmosphere in Turtle Bay, gorgeous Spotify playlist and a general ‘how can I make this a fab experience for you’ attitude from every member of staff.
The menu style was one of the only things that I would say I wasn’t a fan of although there was an array of tasty sounding choices and something for everyone including a good selection of vegetarian/vegan options.
To start I had garlic and chili pit prawns.These charred shell on beauties arrived in tasty garlic butter with a roti flatbread on the side. Fresh herbs and a squeeze of lime cut through the richness of the sauce to create a really light starter. My guest had the duck rolls, toasted flatbread wraps packed with duck and sweet onion. I think this dish would benefit from being in a spring roll type pastry casing for extra crunch, although the flatbread did soak up the juice from the duck nicely. The star of the dish was the sour orange chutney addition- more of this please! Perfect balance of sour and sweet, I could have had this on the side of all the dishes.
Staff attended to us just enough and kept us topped up with cocktails (2-4-1) which went down a treat and probably a little too quickly…
I had Pork Belly for my main, which came with coconut rice and a mouth watering pineapple chutney, which for me is what made the dish. The spiciness of the pork complimented the sharp pineapple. I could have had the spice a little more intense but the sauces on your table allows you to add this heat if you wanted to. Curry Goat was my guests main, chosen from the ‘One Pot’ section. When incorrectly cooked goat meat can be tough, yet this fell apart using only a spoon. Perfectly spiced and incredibly rich, my mouth is watering while I write this and reminisce! The sweet plantain and dumplings were a great addition, although the dumplings could do with a little work. A little doughy rather than oily but this is a minor complaint.
Six delicious cocktails in at this point and with two still to go, dessert decisions had to be made… Now the dessert section of the menu is not an area I am usually bothered with but the salted caramel brownie was recommended so I happily obliged.
Damn it was good.
This vegan (you wouldn’t know it) brownie was wonderful. Not too heavy, the right amount of gooey and a well balanced salt topping. I was so full and finished it anyway. My guest ordered banana and toffee cheesecake, which was too rich for me but she devoured it. Triple layered, crispy biscuit based creamy goodness – her exact description.
Turtle Bay most certainly ticked all the casual Sunday easy eating boxes and destroyed any preconceptions I had. Somewhere I could head for a night out with my friends, somewhere I could take a date, somewhere to ease my hangover…or without a reason entirely – Turtle Bay, i’ll be back soon for more of that pork belly! I left full of tasty food and wondering how I could incorporate a shipping container into my own interior design ideas…