Turtle Bay is always one of those restaurants I've always steered away from simply because I'm not a fan of spicy food. I never thought I'd find something I'd eat and most importantly, enjoy.
When I was invited along to the Derby restaurant to give their food a whirl, I decided it was a great time to take the plunge and go for it.
If you're not aware already, Turtle Bay is a Caribbean restaurant and bar taking it's name from a cove in Jamaica. When you think of Jamaican cuisine, theres rice, spice, heat and meat. Then you have the tropical vibes too like your mango and your passionfruit. That's what Turtle Bay has to offer.
When we entered the restaurant, it felt like stepping into somewhere a lot further away than Derby that's for sure. The reggae tunes were on, all of the staff were cheerful plus it was great to see the bar so busy. Turns out they have happy hour until 7pm which is something to keep in mind. It went a lot quieter after this time.
We got some mens and ordered some drinks. I chose to have a Passionfruit Cooler Caribbean Soft from their mocktail style menu and Emily had a Reggae Rum Punch as suggested by our server. Both were deliciously refreshing and as I mentioned, it was happy hour, so Emily got two.
When it came to ordering food, I decided to stay safe. The 'lunch & lighter' section on the menu caught my eye with the Goats Cheese & Mango Flatbread which comes topped with Tomatoes, Sweet Onion Chutney and hot sauce. I love all of these toppings so even though thad hot sauce, I decided to try it.
I was pleasantly surprised. Although I personally would've liked more Goats Cheese (I really do love the stuff) it was a really great combination. The hot sauce had a kick but wasn't overpowering and with my side of sweet potato fries, went down a treat. Sweet potato fries aren't usually a side I'd chose but after having them recommended to me, it was a wise decision to go for these. They were actually crispy which is usually why I don'y like them so this was excellent.
One of Emily's favourites is Jerk Chicken. She's had it a few times when we've been out together but having never been to Turtle Bay before like myself, she was keen to give one from a Caribbean restaurant a try to see how it compares.
Opting for the half chicken, this is marinated for 24 hours before grilling to ensure all of those delicious flavours are soaked up. Along with a side of Spiced Fries which are seasoned for a different take on the usual, Emily told me she loved her main course.
Now, with me, there's always room for dessert. When I saw Warm Chocolate Brownie with Vanilla Ice-cream, I was sold straight away. I know it doesn't really keep with the theme of the restaurant but what the heck!? Oh it was good.
The Brownie was the perfect temperature to melt the ice-cream and the two together are just a match made in heaven for me. It was rich, but not at all bitter with that slight crunch on top, soft on the inside and just tasted amazing. A winner in my eyes. I could've eaten it twice.
My first Turtle Bay experience went down a lot better than I imagined. Although the food isn't really my thing, the atmosphere was welcoming, lively and the staff were all as helpful as can be.
If you love all things spicy, then this one is definitely for you. For me though, it won't be somewhere I rush back to but I wouldn't say no in the future.
Find out more about Turtle Bay Derby here.
Fancy trying Turtle Bay for yourself??
One lucky winner will get receive a three course meal for two plus a drink each at the Derby restaurant! Amazing right?
To win, just head over to my Twitter (@MonetBrooks) and check out my pinned tweet.
You just need to follow me and retweet by 6pm on Sunday 18th December to be in with a chance.