having been to the fantastic, fun and fiery launch night of the newest caribbean restaurant in leicester, turtle bay, i was keen to return and try out their dinner menu. the launch night atmosphere was absolutely buzzing; everyone chatting, laughing, dancing to a live band and helping themselves to platters packed with caribbean tasters. a really relaxed, party ambiance which reflected the character of the restaurant.
on the other hand, this party feel meant that i didn't really try much food or take any pictures. who wants a foodie blogger muscling in on a plate of tasty looking nibbles and saying "sorry, stop can i take a photo please?" i must say i did sample some delicious sweetcorn fritters and curried goat for the first time which were both divine, crunchy and fresh tasting. but how did they do for an evening meal?
i began with a refreshing and tangy rum punch made with orange with passionfruit juice. after much deliberation - largely based on the fact i'm terrible for having seafood for starter and main - i went for chilli fried calamari followed by mo' bay chicken with rice 'n' peas. my other half chose a lamb patty and double dipped steak also with rice 'n' peas. the starters are actually called cutters which can be shared like nibbles with cocktails or had as a starter - a little like street food.
i thought this spicy calamari was a really generous starter at £4.95. the chilli kick was complemented by a mango mole and lime and coriander mayo. for me, lime and coriander is the perfect marriage.
the patty, also at £4.95, came with a choice of either lamb or saltfish. they were like a spicy turmeric pasty packed with lamb and scotch bonnet and drizzled with a herby mayo. so yeah, a bit spicy for me. i loved how they came in a sort of parcel which continued the street food vibe.
this main couldn't have been more perfect for me. i love complex spicy flavours but i can't deal with the heat, so on the waitress's recommendation i went for mo' bay chicken. for £9.95 this was a chicken breast, creamy jerk sauce, plantain, salad and a choice between rice and peas or sweet potato mash. i actually expected white rice and green garden style peas - so this wholesome brown rice and kidney bean medley was a welcome surprise.
the double dipped steak with a caribbean slaw looked lovely! i didn't even get a look in and this was about the best picture i could quickly snap ;) we also shared dumplings and jerk cheese chips - which actually worked. the dumplings were great for lapping up the creamy jerk sauce too.
rather than pudding we finished off with a couple of speciality rums, which come with ice and lime to tailor to your tastes.
check them out online at turtle bay or follow on twitter @turtlebayuk :)