Thursday, 18 May 2017

Turtle Bay Norwich - New Menu Review*

It’s been a while since I last went to Turtle Bay in Norwich so when I heard that they had launched a new menu I instantly knew that I wanted to try it out. When Turtle Bay opened we had just moved house so it has been a busy few months of having no money, hence why we hadn’t returned since! This is the first big menu enhancement that the restaurant has undertaken since it came to Norwich and includes 15 new dishes, 7 new drinks and some new gluten free, veggie and vegan options. I was kindly invited to head down for a review and was allowed to bring someone with me. James and I hadn’t had a nice meal out together for a long time due to all of the house renovations so I thought I’d bring him along and turn it into a little date night for the both of us. We were greeted by Tom who very kindly took us over to our table and we started off by ordering some cocktails which I will talk about in more detail below.

The menu has been inspired by the feedback from guests but still stems from the Caribbean culture that Turtle Bay is all about. The dishes continue to celebrate Turtle Bay’s signature flavours with some fresh new twists and offer more choice for those with allergies and dietary requirements. I noticed there was also some healthier options on the menu. The classic dishes such as the famous Jerk Chicken and Curried goat that I tried on my first visit to Turtle Bay are still on the menu which I was pleased to see. We were served by Evelyn, who was very friendly and happy and always available if we needed more drinks.

For starters, I decided to go for the Sweetcorn Fritters which I had tried when I last came. I was given a little basket with 4 fritters in which was just the right amount. They were crispy and delicious and not greasy at all. I really enjoyed them. James went for the Crispy chilli Squid which he really enjoyed too. He said they had a great kick to them.

For mains, we were spoiled for choice. A new burger menu has been added which I was instantly drawn to. I love burgers and couldn’t wait to try one out with a Caribbean twist to it. The menu features a Jammin’ Lamb Burger alongside a Two Way Chicken Burger, Mushroom and Goats Cheese burger as well as the favourite Jerk ‘n’ Pulled Pork Bun. The burgers are pit grilled and come with a Caribbean slaw and either spiced fries or salad and when I come back I am definitely going to try one of these out.

Other new menu items include Bajan Beef Cheeks which is six hour slow cooked beef cheeks marinated in a Caribbean spice, okra, potato, garlic, ginger, star anise, cinnamon, coriander and toasted coconut. This dish was recommended by Tom when we arrived and said it was really good if you are a meat eater! It comes served with steamed rice and a roti flatbread. James went for this for his main and he said it was really nice and tender. He said it was spicy but not so much that you couldn’t appreciate the flavours. Slow Braised Beef Rib also makes a new appearance on the menu and comes served with sweet potato fries and a watermelon salad. I was very intrigued by the sound of this dish! I love watermelon and wondered how well it would go with beef so I thought I would give it a try. My generous portion arrived and I couldn’t believe how tasty it was. I had a choice of 3 jerk glazes so went for the pineapple glaze which was fruity and not too hot. The meat fell off the bone and there was hardly any fat on my ribs. It was absolutely delicious. The sweet potato fries were amazing and the watermelon went surprisingly well with this dish.

Not forgetting there is now a range of new vegan and vegetarian dishes too including the Spiced Chickpea Ital Wrap, Vital Veggie Beach Platter and the Spinach, Aubergine & Sweet Potato Curry. Okra Ladies’ Fingers consist of spiced panko coated okra fingers with mango mole, fresh lime and coriander mayo and  are a new side order from the Caribbean – vegan friendly, and you won’t find them in any other restaurants in Norwich! The new Beach Salad range provides a lighter, fresher superfood option for a quick healthy bite. The salads come as three bases and you can add a choice of toppings such as avocado, mango, chicken or even squid to really make it your own. 

It’s not just the food menu that has some new additions, the Caribbean cocktail list has also been livened up. Some old favourite’s have made a return due to popular demand such as Goombay Smash and Roots Culture which join the new arrivals Rum Negroni and Rum Margarita. Speaking of cocktails, it is now possible to book a ‘Cocktail table’ at Turtle Bay and enjoy drinks and snacks anywhere in the restaurant and bar. Don’t forget Happy Hour, available until 7pm and from 9:30pm Sunday to Thursday and until 7pm and from 10pm Friday to Saturday where you can take advantage of 2-for-1. It would have been rude for me not to try one of the new cocktails so I went for the Roots Culture and the Goombay Smash, both rum based and both absolutely delicious. As designated driver, James went for a watermelon crush which he really enjoyed. Turtle Bay also continue to be the venue of choice for those not drinking with their fabulous range of Caribbean Softs. New mocktails include Elderflower Cooler and Pineappleade. 

For desserts, we both went for something we had previously tried a small piece of at the press event. James went for the Dark Chocolate Brownie which he must have enjoyed as he didn’t even let me try a piece! I went for the Banana and Toffee Cheesecake. Both dishes were fantastic and really finished the meal off. We were then offered the rum menu or a choice of teas and coffees but both of us were completely stuffed!

There are also some new sharing platters on the menu to really get a feel for the laid back ‘liming’ culture of the Caribbean. Overall we had an amazing meal at Turtle Bay. So much that we are going to book to go back soon and really make a night of it. After your meal you can move to another table and continue the night with some cocktails! I love the laid back atmosphere in the restaurant, service was amazing and everything we ate and drank was absolutely fantastic. Thank you to Turtle Bay, especially Tom and Evelyn for having us and making it a really great night.

You can find Turtle Bay on Facebook, I visited the Norwich branch.

Turtle Bay Norwich
8 Swan Ln,
Norwich NR2 1HZ

*I received this meal free of charge for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Pet Cleanliness in the Home feat. BISSELL*

Having previously never had my own house, I never really worried about cleanliness. This was something that was always left to my parents but since moving out and being a pet owner, I have really come to notice how much things really need cleaning. Biscuit is a fluffy cat so I am often left with his fluff and fur all over the carpets, as well as mud and whatever else he brings through his cat-flap. Luckily he does not go to the toilet indoors but he is a messy eater so there is always that to contend with too!

I first noticed what a difference Biscuit made when he moved in. We had gotten away with cleaning less often before he arrived but as soon as he moved in it was apparent that we needed to keep on top of the cleaning more. Some research has been done into the cleaning habits of pet owners and the importance of ensuring a deep clean to keep you and your family members safe. Dr Pixie Mckenna has teamed up with carpet cleaning experts BISSELL and I have been sent the following Q&A which outlines the importance of cleaning up after pets. I thought  it was really interesting and wanted to share it with you all. The Q&A dispels common myths and if you are a pet owner, I definitely recommend giving it a good read!

What germs, bacteria and other nasties do dogs and cats most commonly bring in to the home?
Not all germs carried by household pets can impact humans however, there are a number that do. These can be transmitted through a bite, scratch or more commonly though contact with a pet’s saliva, dander (dead skin cells) or waste. For instance, bacterial infections like Campylobacter can be spread through animal faeces and can cause stomach pain and upset, Toxoplasmosis a parasitic infection that is often hosted in cat litter and can cause symptoms from fevers to a sore throat and rash, or the fungal skin infection ringworm which manifests as a red, ring shaped rash.
It’s really shocking to hear that recent research by BISSELL* revealed that a fifth of pet owners don’t wash their carpets especially as 25% admitted to regularly having to clean up urine, vomit and faeces. We’re a nation of animals lovers and enjoy having our pets around the home, however it’s crucial that if our pets make a mess we clean it thoroughly to avoid making family members poorly, especially small children who use the floor as their playground.

How are these germs, bacteria and other nasties transferred to humans? Are these things harmful to humans and our furry friends? 
Just as it is with humans, any form of animal contact such as scratches, licks, kisses and even cuddles can result in the spread of infection. Whilst most such as ringworm are mild,  in both humans and pets they can prove very serious in certain circumstances. 
The parasite Toxocara, for example, is commonly found in the intestines of kittens and puppies and can be spread through animal faeces. Although symptoms such as stomach pain and upset tend to be mild, it can lead to pneumonia and liver problems with blindness occurring in very severe cases – something many of us are warned about when young.

What sort of bacteria and nasties can live in pet mess, saliva etc, and what sort of health issues can humans suffer from if they come in to contact with it/ingest it? 
There are numerous infections ranging from bacterial to fungal and parasitic infections. These include Campylobacter, Salmonella, Giardiasis, Cryptosporidium, Toxoplasmosis, Toxocariasis and Ringworm. Symptoms can include flu like symptoms, skin rashes, badly behaving bowels and general malaise.

How should the cleaning routine of pet owners vs non-pet owners differ, in terms of what is cleaned, how frequently and how deeply? 
You can never be too clean but pet owners need to go above and beyond to ensure that soft furnishings as well as the floors don’t just look clean but actually are. Recent research by BISSELL revealed that one in ten pet owning Brits* never wash their sofa covers whilst one fifth never wash their carpets. With these being two of the most popular places for pets and family to relax, it’s important they aren’t forgotten during the weekly clean as it will help to tackle unsightly stains, offensive smells and at worst, eliminate the chance of ill health.

How can pet owners ensure nothing nasty is left behind when cleaning up pet mess like urine, vomit and faeces? 
Although an area may look clean it doesn’t mean that nasty bacteria aren’t lurking beneath the surface. It's not good enough to simply remove the sight and smell of a pet accident. To ensure bacteria and germs are removed you need to carry out a deep clean with a specialist product if you want to avoid the risk of you and your family becoming ill. If you have small children playing on the floor, parasites that live in pet faeces can come into contact with hands, mouths and eyes leading to nasty health implications for your little ones.

What sort of bacteria can lurk in the carpets/beds that pets regularly sleep on and what are the implications for humans if we come in to contact/ingest? 
We call the infections animals spread to humans Zoonosis. This may surprise you but bedding down with your four legged friend can cause infections as serious as the bubonic plague – but don’t panic, it's incredibly rare! MRSA, worms, bacteria which cause tummy bugs, viruses which can affect everything from your eye sight to your liver...the list is endless. So although you love your pet and want to spend time with them you really shouldn’t let them in your bed.

What has been your biggest ever pet disaster and what did you do?
My dog once weed all over a brand new pair of shoes whilst I was sat having lunch in a restaurant! I was absolutely mortified and had to sit through the rest of lunch with a pair of very soggy shoes!

How have your personal experiences of owning a dog affected the wellbeing of and the way that you look after your family? 
I caught a Gastro bug early on in my puppy career and since then I have become hugely mindful of safeguarding my family against cross infection. Our dog isn’t allowed upstairs and I am constantly on poo watch! I paid the price early on with contaminated sofas so she now has certain ‘no go’ zones in our home. I love my dog and she has a hugely positive influence on our family but I’m also aware that sometimes, they can carry infections which they can pass on to us so I take practical measures to safeguard my family against ill health.

What would you say to pet owners who might not think their pets could bring ‘nasties’ into their home or happily kiss and share their bed with them?
Pets shouldn’t be allowed in their owner’s bed and instead should have a comfy place of their own to sleep. Just as we humans carry germs, pets can too and inviting them to share your bed can put you at risk of anything from a bacteria or parasitic infection to a virus. If you suffer from allergies these too can be triggered or worsened by contact not just with pet hair but also with their saliva and waste. Of course as a nation of pet lovers many will happily share their bed and enjoy being greeted by a slobbery kiss. However, with that territory should come a realisation that pets are not sterile, and as cute as they are, they can be the potential source of ill health. So we should take as many precautions as necessary to maintain a deep and meaningful relationship with our pets without challenging our health.

If you suffer with pet allergies, how can you help reduce allergy symptoms? 
If you suffer from allergies it is essential to deep clean carpets, drapes, soft furnishings, and bedding unless you want to worsen your sneezing, wheezing or skin condition. This should be a regular household job. Pet hair, dust and dirt can all trigger reactions so it is essential to do this regularly. Remember, it's the stuff you can't see that gives rise to symptoms so looking clean just simply is not enough.
BISSELL are experts in floor care and have the products to solve your pet mess and stain disasters – small or large, smelly or unsightly, wet or dry. So, whether you need to clean up pet hair, a little accident or spilt food and drink, BISSELL has the answers. 

I hope you have found this Q&A as interesting as I did. If you can relate to any of the points outlined above, I would recommend checking out BISSELL for yourselves.

© UK Lifestyle and Beauty Blog. All rights reserved.