Turtle Bay, York

Last week, James and I finally made it to Turtle Bay, a restaurant which is relatively new in York. I had previously been to the one in Manchester, and James had been for a drink, but neither of us had been together and we were about due a date night!

We arrived just before 7 – perfect timing for happy hour! Cocktails and wine are available on 2 for 1 until 7pm and then again after 10pm. Due to the Caribbean nature of the food and drinks, if you like rum then this is the place to go. I’ve never been to a restaurant with a rum menu before! Even if you don’t like rum (I’m not a massive fan), you should find something that you enjoy and all the cocktails are quite varied… the one James had came with a spoon of apricot jam!

I’m not a lover of particularly spicy food, and James had never been before so we quizzed the waiter quite a lot before deciding on what to eat. He was very knowledgeable and helpful, assuring us he had tried everything on the menu and could recommend certain dishes and tell us more about them. We each decided to go for a One Pot, described as being “rich, slowly simmered & uniquely Caribbean, served with traditional rice ‘n’ peas”. James opted for the Goat Curry, which is the most popular dish that they serve. I went for Run Down which was a mix of butter beans, corn cob, carrots, sweet potato, coconut milk, herbs & spices. Both dishes came served with Caribbean dumplings.

The Goat Curry was spicier than the Run Down and more like a stew. The Run Down was quite sweet (more like a Korma), but still with a bit of a kick to it. They were both delicious and although filling, felt quite light. The Caribbean dumplings were interesting… think doughnuts without the jam or sugar! I don’t think they particularly added anything to the dish and wouldn’t be in a rush to have them again, but it was nice to sample something new.

Luckily we both had room for pudding, so James opted for the Banana and Toffee Cheesecake, whilst I chose the Zesty Lemon and Lime Tart (pictured below). There was a lot of toffee sauce on the cheesecake, but it was apparently delicious. I enjoyed the tart which was very refreshing and cleansed my palette after the curry. It also went very nicely with the passion-fruit sauce it was served with.

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I would thoroughly recommend Turtle Bay for an evening out, particularly on a weeknight when it’s slightly quieter and the staff have a bit more time to talk. The food was tasty, atmosphere welcoming, staff friendly, music chilled and decor very cool! It is a chain, so if you are coming to York for the first time then I would recommend a more independent restaurant instead (something you can’t find elsewhere!), but we had a great evening and will probably return.

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