Good Music? …….. Check
Good Food? …….. Check
Friendly Staff ……. Check
Cocktails & Mocktails ……. Check
Turtle Bay has recently opened up in Leamington Spa and no one can be as happy about it as the Gourmands are, we love Caribbean food and I particularly love Caribbean cocktails, I realise that this is implying I’ve maybe visited one of the Caribbean islands and experienced the gastronomic delights first hand but I haven’t, I do happen to own a couple of great cookbooks though and I’ve eaten my fair share of Carribbean street food and Jerk Chicken is one of my particular favourites.
The first thing that hits you on entering Turtle Bay is the music, it’s the sort of music that makes you want to get up and dance, thankfully I had Baby Gourmand with me so standing up and dancing with him didn’t look out of place, what I really wanted to do was dance around the bar (I hadn’t had an alcoholic drink at this point).
The open kitchen just adds to the outdoors feel that you get from Turtle Bay, you can smell the delicious food cooking and if you close your eyes you can visualise yourself sitting on a sunny beach, sand on your feet sipping from a coconut instead of in Leamington Spa.
It was Cocktail Happy Hour during our visit at Turtle Bay which entitled you to 2 for 1 cocktails so I ordered a Marley Mojito which was Appleton Special rum, midori, fresh mint & watermelon, home-made ginger beer, I shared my free cocktail with Mr Gourmand although I was wishing I hadn’t as it was so delicious, the kick from the ginger beer was amazing.
I love the menus used at Turtle Bay which are basically printed sheets of recyclable brown paper hung up around the bar, it really added to the beach cafe feel of the restaurant. While we were waiting for our food we discussed which of the condiments we would be having with our meal. I liked the look of the BBQ Jerk Sauce.
We shared the Beach Food Platter (£12.95) as a starter which contained Spicy jerk chicken wings, pepper roti, sweet corn fritters and garlic ‘n’ herb flatbread. The Jerk chicken wings were very spicy but extremely tasty and I loved the sour orange chutney drizzled over them. The Hand-made, stone baked flatbread with herb, chilli & garlic butter was a favourite of everyone including Baby Gourmand who didn’t look please when there was none left. The spicy pepper roti was like nothing I’d ever eaten before, it was very hot due to the scotch bonnet chilli but the potatoes, carrots, peppers and cheese added a sweetness to the roti which made you want more and more. Mini Gourmand is a Vegetarian at the moment so we let her have the majority of the Sweetcorn fritters which she said were scrumptious.
Baby Gourmand’s first experience at Turtle Bay was a very pleasant one and he even managed to stay in his highchair during the whole meal which says something!
Mini Gourmand ordered the Trini Chickpea & Rice (£6.95) for her main course, it was delicious, a little spicy for Mini Gourmand so she had to take some of Baby Gourmands yoghurt to cool it down. The flavours were amazing and I particularly liked the rice and peas the curry was served with.
I was torn between the Pulled Chicken Bun (£6.85) or the 1/4 Jerk Chicken but went for the bun on this occasion. The Jerk glazed chicken was so moist and I was surprised that it wasn’t spicy but I made use of some pepper sauce to give it a bit of a kick. I loved the Caribbean slaw which was crunchy, tangy and sweet all at the same time & the fries were so yummy especially when dipped into some BBQ Jerk sauce.
Mr Gourmand went for the Street Burger (£6.85) which was a Seasoned beef burger with jerk glaze, pulled pork, baby gem, tomato, onion, Caribbean slaw & fries. It takes a lot to impress Mr Gourmand when it comes to burgers and this burger impressed. He loved the sweetness and delicate spice of the burger and was actually so full he even shared some of his fries with Mini Gourmand which never happens!
If you’re in Leamington Spa and you fancy some great Caribbean food at a reasonable price you can find Turtle Bay at Regents Court which is a short walk from The Parade.