Turtle Bay, Oxford Road, Manchester
Sarah Jayne Hall visits Turtle Bay, Oxford St, Manchester
It was an excellent start to see my waitress so excited when I arrived at Turtle Bay. She told me about how she used to go to the Milton Keynes restaurant when she was at university, so when the opportunity came up to work at the branch in Manchester she could not resist. She loved it so much she wanted to work there – what a lovely story, it instantly gave me high hopes.
With all this in mind I asked for her recommendations. To make sure we had a taste of everything we opted for the Beach Food Platter (£12.95) which consisted of jerk chicken wings, pepper roti, sweet corn fritters and garlic and herb flatbread, plus a portion of Jamaican Fried Bait (£4.95). The wings were delicious, they started sweet and then developed into a spicy taste. So flavoursome, I had to remind myself there were other things to try otherwise I would have eaten the lot! The fried bait were astonishing, the perfect salty taste and they were complimented well with a beer. I could quite happily have grazed on them all evening.
For main courses I tried the Jamaican Browned Chicken (£9.65) marinated and slow braised chicken on the bone, served with rice ‘n’ peas and fried dumplings. I also tasted the Double Dipped Steak (£14.25) grilled jerk marinated steak, sweet onion chutney Caribbean slaw and sweet potato mash. Both were superb but I if I had to pick my favourite it would be the browned chicken. It was traditional, simple and filling. Each element of the dish was done excellently. This featured in the ‘One Pot’ section of the menu which is described as ‘uniquely Caribbean’. If you are going to Turtle Bay for the first time I’d suggest at least one person in the party going for something in this section.
All puddings are £4.85 - I went for the Spiced Chocolate Pot, this was served with coconut ice cream and topped with orange zest and coconut shavings. I also tried the Rum and Raisin Bread Pudding – a slow baked dessert with dark rum, raisins, cinnamon, brown sugar and vanilla ice cream. Like the main courses, both were excellent but the bread pudding hit the spot. The fusion of all the flavours worked perfectly and I couldn’t put my spoon down! It is quite a heavy dessert though so if you’re full and just want a taste of something sweet I’d go for the chocolate pot.
The cocktail selection was fun, exciting and vibrant, just like the atmosphere in Turtle Bay. I had a Hummingbird (£6.85) which was white rum, Tia Maria, banana liqueur, cream, fresh banana and coconut all mixed together to create what I can only describe as heaven in a glass! It was tasty and sweet like a milkshake and the alcohol gave it an exciting kick. It’s also worth noting that Turtle Bay do 2 ‘4’ 1 on all cocktails during Happy Hour, so if you fancy a few cheeky drinks that is the time to go and try them all out! (Please check with Turtle Bay for times, terms and conditions)
Turtle Bay is lively, fun, colourful and such an exciting environment to be in. With hints of Bob Marley and Jamaica throughout the restaurant you can’t help but feel like you are in the Caribbean. Choose to prop up the bar or head through to the chilled out area at the back of the venue. There are lots of hidden coves and places to sit, eat and drink whatever mood you’re in.
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It’s a big thumbs up from me!
33-35 Oxford Street. M14 BH