16 September 2016

Turtle Bay – Cheltenham Road, Bristol

Bristol is already home to one Turtle Bay – perched just off the harbourside near Park Street, a really good area for happy hour cocktails. I've only been a couple of times on busy Saturday nights out, so never had a chance to try their food menu. However, a second branch opened on Cheltenham Road recently, which is a lot closer to home and when I was asked to go and check it out I jumped at the chance. I personally feel like Turtle Bay suits the Gloucester Road area of Bristol much more than the harbourside. It's cool, relaxed and filled a huge gap in the market in this diverse area of the city.

So many people rave about Turtle Bay and it's easy to see why. Liam recommended the jumbled julep so Em and I got one each – it was fruity and delicious but far too easy to drink for a cocktail! We could have gone for more but as it was a school night we cracked on with the food.

We got two starters: the duck wraps and the chicken wings. I'd give the wraps a miss next time; they were a bit soggy and flavourless, but the chicken wings (which, sadly, didn't make it onto my camera) were amazing – thanks to my colleague Mike for recommending these!

For mains we wanted something a little milder to cool off our mouths. Our waiter was really friendly and helpful, pointing us towards the less spicy dishes. Em went for the Mo' Bay Chicken – it came in a super creamy jerk sauce with onions and a fried sweet plantain – it was so good and absolutely perfect if you're not a fan of spice.

My dish, the Trinidad Curry Chicken, was a little hotter, with scotch bonnet being the main culprit. Still, it was incredible and full of coconutty, fruity flavour and everything was cooked perfectly. The coconut garnish was a great addition, too.

Despite being stuffed we had to try a dessert. Covered in passionfruit sauce, the zesty lemon and lime tart had just the right amount of zing and sweetness - exactly what I needed after a super spicy meal. 

Overall, Turtle Bay won me over on all fronts. I can confirm the food is just as good as I had always suspected, if a little hotter than I imagined. However, spice is growing on me, and I love being open to trying new things. Even if you don't like spicy food, the staff will happily help you choose a milder dish with absolutely no judgement. So, definitely go – even if just for the 2 for 1 cocktails! Thanks to Turtle Bay for having Em and me round for tea :)


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