You may have spotted the UK’s latest high street restaurant that seems to be popping up in every city – Turtle Bay. After a recent visit, Student Wire can vouch that Turtle Bay is probably unlike anything you’ve ever tasted before.
Even the decor of the Leeds branch is enough to draw you in. Situated on Headrow in The Light (it’s actually on Albion Street), the cool caribbean vibes and furnishings will transport you from Leeds to Barbados, quicker than your Jerk chicken can appear on the table.
As we were invited as part of a ‘special blogger preview evening’, we had the pleasure of being let in almost a week before the official opening, which was on Tuesday 15th of December. The evening started with cocktails (of course), we were offered a choice of rum based drinks – this is their speciality apparently. I was feeling pretty daring and tried the tropical Island Iced Tea. I have to admit, I’m normally terrified of rum and will stay as far away from it as possible, but I was tempted by the long list of other alcohols it included (this may have been because I was going out after and wanted to take advantage of the free pre’s, c’mon we’re all students here). After the Island Iced Tea mix of Rum, Tequila, Vodka, Gin, Triple Sec, fresh lemon and Cola, the alcohol didn’t stop there. The bar staff treated us to JUGS of Reggae Rum Punch, made of the even more lethal Wray & Nephew Rum, strawberry liqueur, fresh lime, orange and pineapple – it tasted like paradise. Luckily, for everyone else at the evening, the jugs were shared amongst the table and I couldn’t polish it all off myself (this would probably have resulted in me eating all the food in the restaurant at the time).
Anyway, enough about drinks (although they also brought out an amazing Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie that I cannot stop thinking about). I imagine you foody’s just wanna know if the chicken is as amazing as its reputation has you believe. For someone who’s palette accepts nothing more than the lemon and herb spice at Nando’s, I have to admit, although spicy the Jerk chicken was food heaven. The curry goat was also amazing and both delivered the spices, tastes and flavour of the Caribbean without blowing your head off. Served with rice and sweet potato fries, I had no complaints. The attentive staff ensured we were fully fed and wa
tered (pissed, or was that just me?) and are a credit to Turtle Bay.
We were educated on the origin and preparation of the dishes, safe to say I was more interested in eating the food, than cooking it. I could google a few facts and pretend I listened but all I really learnt is that the chef’s really do know what they’re on about, which pleased me much more than knowing the procedure myself.
If you’re not already sold on Turtle Bay, I must not have mentioned the fact they do a 2 4 1 Happy Hour on cocktails and wine EVERY DAY (available open until 7pm and from 10pm to 1:30am), which means even us poor, starving, sober students can join in the fun.