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.

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