Over the last few months, we’ve seen construction work take place in Exeter as the brand new Queen St. Dining prepares to open. The very first restaurant to open was Turtle Bay.
I was lucky enough to be invited to review the colourful and enchanting restaurant. Specialising in Caribbean cuisine, I really did feel like I was in the Caribbean when I walked through the doors! The restaurant is beautifully decorated with bright colours and wicker baskets with a beach-hut bar right in the middle of it all.
Sitting down at the wooden oak table with traditional Caribbean music in the background, we started to browse the menu. With so many wonderfully unique meals to choose from, it took me a while to decide what to go for!
To start, I had the Duck Roll, which is slow roasted shredded duck, onion, tamarind, soy sauce, chilli and sugarcane served with sour orange chutney. It was simply presented but don’t let that fool you, this was delicious. I was slightly worried that the chilli might be a little hot for me. I don’t mind a slight spice but I’m not a big fan of having my mouth catch fire however I didn’t need to worry. It was the perfect amount of spice for me and I really liked the sour orange chutney, which complimented the chilli nicely.
As Turtle Bay’s motto is “We like it hot!” it wasn’t a surprise that 90% of the mains all looked pretty spicy! As mentioned, I really don’t like too much spice so I went for the Mango and Goats’ Cheese Salad. This summer salad is made up of Goats’ cheese and mango, dressed rocket, baby gem, sugar snaps, avocado, red onion and citrus dressing. The salad was quite basic but nevertheless tasty and was priced reasonably for what it was. The mango could have been a little sweeter but the goats’ cheese was gorgeous and the avocado complimented the dish nicely.
Ollie is a bit braver than me and went for something that was quite unique that you wouldn’t find on many other menus in the city – Our Curry Goat. This one pot consists of marinated goat cooked in curry spices, scotch bonnet, sweet potatoes, citrus juice and ginger served with sweet onion chutney and Caribbean dumplings. His feedback is that it was a good portion size and really scrummy. He described the one pot as a creamy curry which was full of flavour, presented well and not too spicy. The goat was really well cooked and tender.
As you may know from reading other reviews on the blog, I’m a big sweet tooth so was very much looking forward to pudding! After going back and forward with my decision, I finally settled on the Banana and Toffee Cheesecake. It was incredible! Extremely creamy, just the way a cheesecake should be and the flavours just melted in your mouth. I will definitely have to visit again though to try the rest of their puddings. Next time I’m going to have to go for the Rum and Raisin bread pudding. I think that would be a great winter warmer!
To wash down all our scrummy food, we enjoyed two of their cocktails – Caribbean Pimms and Passion Rum Punch. Both of these were gorgeous but my favourite was the Caribbean Pimms. Believe it or not, that was my first Pimms of the summer and it really didn’t disappoint. It was wonderfully fruity and was literally summer in a glass.
During our time in Caribbean bliss, we were very well attended to. I would like to say a special thanks to Danni who was really friendly and chatty. She made me laugh on a few occasions as she was determined to get us drunk! I find you rarely get such a friendly and personal service in a restaurant so thank you Danni!
My only slight criticism would be that there weren’t enough spice-free options. The salad was the only thing that I could find that wasn’t covered in jerk spice.
However, I will definitely be visiting Turtle Bay again purely because there are still so many things on the menu that I want to try. I may even challenge myself to try all of their cocktails as they are just too irresistible and with 2 for 1 every day of the week, how can you say no?
Have you been to Turtle Bay? How did you find it? What did you have? Leave me a comment below or tweet me @SheWhoLives1
Gourmet Burger Kitchen is also now open at Queen St. Dining. I was invited to their opening so keep your eyes peeled for the review coming soon!