May Bank Holiday Monday saw us going to The Enfield Pageant of Vintage where I took part in a fashion show for the lovely Tricia at Hotties Vintage.
We left the event around 3pm to make our merry way home and made very good time. Whilst in the car I suggested to Leslie that we could stop somewhere and have an early dinner. But where to stop?
Well I knew we had to go past Milton Keynes and so I suggested going there and seeing what took our fancy. I know there is a large selection of restaurants all concentrated in one area, with Cafe Rouge, Pizza Express, Las Iguanas, Brasserie Blanc, Loch Fyne, GBK and more.
Several of these chains we had tried before, but had never visited Turtle Bay which is a large vibrant Caribbean restaurant right on Mortimer Square.
We parked up the car and walked through to the restaurant quarter. Now it was Bank Holiday and we hadn’t pre-booked so were hoping that we would be lucky and get a table.
We were welcomed into the restaurant and asked if we had a reservation. The place was packed and had a really buzzing atmosphere. After having a bit of a shuffle around, he was able to fit us in and told us our server would be Rhiannon who would be over in a few minutes.
We had a good look at the menu; there were so many amazing items on there that I knew I was going to struggle to choose!
Talking with Les we decided to try a sharing platter first. He had decided to have Curry Goat without even looking at the menu. Typically he hadn’t brought his reading glasses out, so I read the menu out.
When I got to the One-Pot section and told him about the Bajan Beef Cheeks , he decided that was an even better option. I am a huge fan of Pork Belly so had planned to go with that.
The waitress came over and asked us if we would like drinks. We had only been waiting for around five minutes and had managed to decide on our whole meal!
Les opted for a bottle of Turtle Bay Cider and as I am a MASSIVE Wray and Nephew fan, I ordered a Roots Culture cocktail; a combination of Uncle Wray overproof rum, strawberry liqueur, raspberry, lime & lemonade. The cocktails are all priced at £7.15 and luckily it was Happy Hour 2-4-1!
We ordered the Just Jerk Platter – Marinated jerk wings, glazed pork ribs, jerk beef riblets, Jamaican beef patty, sweet corn fritters, spiced popcorn, herb mayo & super green salad priced at a great £13.95.
Rhiannon told us that unfortunately they were out of the beef patty, but could substitute it with duck rolls; Slow roasted shredded duck, with sweet onion, soy sauce & chilli, stuffed in toasted rolled flatbread, served with sour orange chutney. Well to be honest they sounded better than the patties!
Within 10 minutes I had two metal glasses full of the most amazing fruity red cocktail. It was pretty potent but went down SO well.
The starters arrived, and what can I say? What a gorgeous looking plate of food. All of it looked so good that we eagerly tucked in. I have to admit the sweet corn fritters were one thing I wasn’t bothered about trying as I am not a huge sweetcorn fan. However they were out of this World! And the duck rolls were definitely better than a beef patty!
We polished everything off, not leaving a single morsel behind. Such great food and the price was such good value for what we received.
We then had a wait of around 15 minutes before our main course arrived. This was actually quite good as I was a little full after eating all the starters.
Our main courses arrived and I was impressed with both the look of the plates and the portion size.
Les had the Bajan Beef Cheeks; Six hour slowly simmered beef cheeks marinated in Caribbean spice, okra, potato, garlic, ginger, star anise, cinnamon, coriander & toasted coconut. Served with steamed rice & roti flatbread all for £10.80
I had opted for the Jerk Pork Belly at £12.50. This was 24 hour marinated, jerk pork belly, slow braised & pit grilled. Served with pork rind, sweet onion chutney, fresh green seasoning & sweet potato mash, with a choice of jerk glaze Fruity, Spicy or creamy. I went with fruity and boy was it good!
Our table descended into silence as we ate. We let each other have a taste of each meal so we could experience different food. I have to say the Beef Cheeks were nearly as good as my pork!
We cleared both our plates and our mouths were zinging a bit. So very tasty yet fresh. The flavours were exciting yet not overpowering. I would gladly order this meal again, it was that good.
Sadly neither of us were able to manage a dessert although the rum and raisin bread pudding and the passion pie sounded amazing, we both knew we would never manage it.
Sadly it was almost time for us to leave, so we asked for the bill which came to just over £49. I think this is actually really good value, especially for the amount of food we actually ate.
I also have to say that Rhiannon was a fantastic server. Bright, bubbly and really engaging with us, she needs a big pat on the back from the bosses for being a great representative of the restaurant.
I highly recommend giving Turtle Bay a go if there is one near to you. The food is immense, the atmosphere friendly and relaxed and the drinks are divine.
I can certainly see us returning back to Turtle Bay, I just wish there was one in our town!