23 November 2016

Restaurant Review & Giveaway: Turtle Bay, Southampton

Turtle Bay Southampton review, food bloggers, UK food bloggers, Hampshire bloggers, places to eat Southampton
Turtle Bay Southampton review, food bloggers, UK food bloggers, Hampshire bloggers, places to eat Southampton
Turtle Bay Southampton review, food bloggers, UK food bloggers, Hampshire bloggers, places to eat Southampton, Caribbean food

I have always wanted to know more about Caribbean food - it has all the elements of what I like in meals: spice, flavour, colour, meat, fish and an array of delicious carbs. But funnily enough I haven't actually had a chance to experience much of Caribbean flavours other than when Liam cooks it at home! So when I was invited to review Turtle Bay in Southampton, I was really excited to get a taste of the Caribbean flavours and see what cocktails were on offer.
The atmosphere in Turtle Bay (even on a Monday night which is when we went) was buzzing - the venue was full, with music that just invited you to dance! From the beginning, staff were very welcoming and friendly - even though we arrived 30 minutes early because we somehow managed to beat all the traffic coming into Southampton!

Turtle Bay Southampton review, food bloggers, UK food bloggers, Hampshire bloggers, places to eat Southampton, Caribbean food
Turtle Bay Southampton review, food bloggers, UK food bloggers, Hampshire bloggers, places to eat Southampton, Caribbean food

We immediately dug into the mocktails - as a designated driver, I was on my best behaviour - so we thought we'll indulge in sugar over alcohol this evening. We started off with a Watermelon Crush which tasted just like holiday feels; and Coconut & Pineapple Punch which is like a pudding version of a Pina Colada; then indulged in Passionfruit Cooler and I had the mother of all non alcoholic cocktails - Peanut Butter & Banana Smoothie. Now this was pudding in a glass - it tasted like peanuts, with sweet condensed milk and banana. YUM. This gets major YUM points.

Turtle Bay Southampton review, food bloggers, UK food bloggers, Hampshire bloggers, places to eat Southampton, Caribbean food
Turtle Bay Southampton review, food bloggers, UK food bloggers, Hampshire bloggers, places to eat Southampton, Caribbean food
Turtle Bay Southampton review, food bloggers, UK food bloggers, Hampshire bloggers, places to eat Southampton, Caribbean food
Turtle Bay Southampton review, food bloggers, UK food bloggers, Hampshire bloggers, places to eat Southampton, Caribbean food

For starters we shared Chilli Squid with mango mole, fresh lime and coriander mayo; and Hot Hot Pepper Roti which is a trini-style oven baked roti stuffed with shredded cheese, carrots, potatoes and onion - served with scotch bonnet and herb mayo which adds an extra spice to the dish. 
The chilli squid was thin, crispy and soft to chew - delicious served with a zingy mayo and perfect as a starter. I had no idea what to expect when the roti came out but it was delicious - and as a person who doesn't really like (and by that I mean I hardly ever eat it) cooked carrot, this starter was delicious. The scotch bonnet mayo gave it a really nice and flavoursome kick that I was expecting - but if you like it hot then add some of Aunt May's Bajan Pepper Sauce - it's hot and tangy! And when the spice hits, make sure to have your milk or cream based cocktail near you.

Turtle Bay Southampton review, food bloggers, UK food bloggers, Hampshire bloggers, places to eat Southampton, Caribbean food
Turtle Bay Southampton review, food bloggers, UK food bloggers, Hampshire bloggers, places to eat Southampton, Caribbean food
Turtle Bay Southampton review, food bloggers, UK food bloggers, Hampshire bloggers, places to eat Southampton, Caribbean food
Turtle Bay Southampton review, food bloggers, UK food bloggers, Hampshire bloggers, places to eat Southampton, Caribbean food

We then indulged in our main courses: a Goat Burger which is combined with lamb, grilled and seasoned in jerk spices, served on a sweet bun with fresh green seasoning, sweet onion chutney and sweet plantain - accompanied by spiced fries; and Curry, Shrimp and Mango with sweet potatoes, tomato, garlic, ginger, Caribbean spices, green seasoning, sweet onion chutney and roti. I love a good Caribbean curry but I was also really intrigued by the burger - because when you find that special bun and meat combo, you know you're on to a winner. The goat meat is quite tough which is something I didn't really think about when ordering the burger - so even though it was cooked really nicely (just under being well done), it was quite tough. The taste though was delicious - it's like herby lamb, with a stronger flavour. I really like goat meat, other than the burger I've only ever had it in stews and currys! The spiced fries were yummy - I had them with mayo and Aunt May's Bajan Pepper Sauce.

Now on to the prawn and mango curry with rice 'n' peas - wow. Well that was absolutely incredible for taste and texture - there was so much flavour in the dish from the prawns which were succulent and meaty; to the sweet taste of the mango coming through; all topped off with a slight kick of spice - mix this all with rice and kidney beans and you're on to a winner! I couldn't fault the dish - it was exactly what I expected from Caribbean cuisine. Squeeze out the lime juice served with the curry for a little zest, and add in some hot sauce to make it really spicy - now you're talking! If you're not sure what to go for on the menu I highly recommend the One Pot dishes because they are so flavoursome and saucy!

All in all, I was really happy with the quality of the food; the speed of when we got our meals and also the taste - I couldn't pick out faults in the taste or ingredients of the meals. Turtle Bay most definitely encouraged me to try more Caribbean foods - which means I will no doubt be back at Turtle Bay Southampton to indulge in more tasty and spicy food.

Turtle Bay Southampton review, food bloggers, UK food bloggers, Hampshire bloggers, places to eat Southampton, Caribbean food
Turtle Bay Southampton review, food bloggers, UK food bloggers, Hampshire bloggers, places to eat Southampton, Caribbean food
Turtle Bay Southampton review, food bloggers, UK food bloggers, Hampshire bloggers, places to eat Southampton, Caribbean food
Turtle Bay Southampton review, food bloggers, UK food bloggers, Hampshire bloggers, places to eat Southampton, Caribbean food

Before we rolled back to the car for the journey home, we shared dessert - a Spiced Chocolate Pot which is set chocolate cream served with coconut shavings and coconut ice cream; and a cheeky shot of the spiced Old Jamaican rum which smells like vanilla and caramel! Served the right way - neat, with ice and lime.
I loved the rum, and usually I'm not a huge fan of it but this spiced rum was so sweet and pleasant it was really easy to drink straight. I actually think that a mixer would ruin it!

The chocolate pudding was something else - our waitress told us that one of her customers actually describes this dessert as 'sexy': the chocolate, the smooth ice cream and a kick of spice... Yes, a kick of spice has made this dessert one of the best I have ever eaten. There is an element of scotch bonnet in the chocolate cream which leaves a pleasant kick in the back of your throat and grows with the more dessert you eat. It was incredible! I want the recipe so I can make this at home and indulge in this heavenly combo whenever I need a pick me up.

Turtle Bay in Southampton is a fun place to spend your evening - the atmosphere, food and drinks are top-notch, and I really loved that there is such a selection of non alcoholic cocktails so you can still join in the fun without having to wake up with the dreaded hangover!

Now I have a treat for my readers - I have actually teamed up with Turtle Bay in Southampton to bring you guys an exciting competition: win a three course meal for 2 at Turtle Bay Southampton! So you can taste the Caribbean flavours - and the most amazing chocolate dessert created! Enter my competition below!

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1 comment

  1. I love turtle bay! I've only had the cocktails previously, but the atmosphere & interior are amazing! x

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