Turtle Bay – Nottingham
With their one allotted suitcase many Caribbean’s left the warm shores of their home islands and followed an advert across the Ocean to Nottingham. It promised work in post-war Britain, hospitals for the women and coal-mining for the men. But whatever the skills they brought with them, none compare to the culinary expertise that came locked in the recipe folders of their brains. Rice and peas, jerk chicken, mango and coconut salads; food which knocked the (beige) socks off the British plates of meat and two veg!
Of course, nowadays cultures and cuisines have merged, like a great big merging thing, especially in the foodie city of Nottingham. But few could have predicted the success of Turtle Bay on Trinity Square! Right from the minute they opened their doors a few years ago, bums have been on seats and a reservation is essential if you even want to get near the place on a weekend.
I have it as a personal challenge to one day conquer their glorious menu – Mr MLLH always sticks to the Jerk Chicken but my tastes are a little more eclectic and I could actually order anything from their selection. Taking their inspiration from the West Indian mamma’s kitchens, plus the beach shacks and street BBQ’s that feed the local Caribbean’s, Turtle Bay has come up with a menu that is varied and whole : something for everyone! I love how they fuse the sweet with the spice, confidently pairing mango and orange with Jerk or Curry spices. And their pudding list sings heavenly Jamaican sonnets to my sweet tooth, like a dreadlocked Romeo and his steel drum below Juliets balcony! Think I got carried away there in my analogy, but you catch my drift : oozy and boozy desserts all the way.
The open kitchen and central island cocktail bar are full of action, and along with the enthusiastic waiting staff and bright decor, it all moulds together for a vibrant dining experience. It’s a fun place and an experience you’ll want to keep coming back for.
“Rum is tropical Caribbean sunshine, bottled, & has been intricately woven into the rich history & culture of the islands for centuries, celebrated at Turtle Bay with over 40 rums sourced from across the Caribbean, perfect for sipping & cocktails”
You heard the man – 40 different rums!! I’ve had a few of them and let me tell you, they taste even better before 7pm and after 10pm on their Happy Hour deal of 2 for 1! Or you could grab yourself a bottle of Jamaican Red Stripe and hang like the Marley Brothers.
Have you been? Have you got any other Caribbean Restaurant suggestions for me?
Take a look at some of my other restaurant suggestions for the foodie city of Nottingham – there’s plenty of choice.