Restaurant review: Turtle Bay, Derby

Have you done your Christmas shopping yet? If you’re nodding in smug satisfaction – well done you. If my question drove an icy finger of dread through your heart as you think of braving the crowds for your last minute Christmas shopping, fear not.

I can’t offer you magic potions, lotions, or condiments to have your shopping done for you. I can however make it easier.

Be really specific. Make a list. Stick to this list. And when you’re getting hungry make Turtle Bay your pit-stop for stocking up on fuel to keep hanger (that’s a cute mash-up of hunger and anger) at bay. Cute pun, see what I did there?

One Love cocktail

One Love cocktail

We popped into Turtle Bay for a spot of lunch. It was Thursday and not especially busy, although I have been in the evenings and it does get packed. After a few cheeky cocktails (I always go for the rum based One Love) which were very good, we kicked off with a couple of starters.

Chilli squid

Chilli squid

The chilli squid (crispy spiced coated squid, mango mole, fresh lime, coriander mayo) was very good. I love spicy food and have been known to eat fried chillies solo, because of their heat factor. I loved this dish and the mango mole provided that punchy kick that I craved. (I appreciate spicy food in cooler months, you just can’t beat that inner warmth.)

Island bait

Island bait

My dining partner had the island bait (lightly spiced crispy whitebait, fresh lime, coriander mayo). I hear it was very good. I’m not a fan of whitebait. It’s eating the whole fish thing, entrails and all that I balk at.

West Indian steamed fish

West Indian steamed fish

For main, I had West Indian steamed fish (red snapper fillet, fresh mango, thyme, herb spiced butter, spring onion, scotch bonnet, fresh citrus, dressed salad). The flavours of this dish were good; again, I appreciated the spice factor of this dish. Sweet, succulent mango with fragrant thyme and hot hot hot scotch bonnet made a great combo making demolishing this dish child’s play.

Kingston salmon toastie

Kingston salmon toastie

My dining partner had Kingston salmon toastie (flaked salmon fillet, goats cheese, cheddar cheese, rocket, garlic butter, toasted bread, West Indian hot sauce, Caribbean slaw, fries.) She ordered the sandwich sans rocket and goats cheese, which the restaurant delivered in a timely manner. She loved her sandwich, saying it was generously portioned with ample filling. Side portions of sweet potato fries were good too. It would have been better if the fries were a little crispier, although I appreciate how difficult it is to get sweet potato crispy.

For dessert, we ordered two take-away dishes, as we were stuffed. The Caymanas rum cake (warm golden mellow rum cake, rum caramel, vanilla ice cream) had a medium dense sponge, which coupled with the rum sauce, was very good. This is quite a sweet dish, due to the rum sauce which had notes of butterscotch. If you prefer a lighter dessert then opt for the lemon and lime tart (oven baked citrus tart, passion fruit sauce). The zesty filling was a delightful mixture of mousse and curd, whilst the passion fruit sauce lifted the dish rendering it versatile enough to eat for elevenses, or a special afternoon pick-me-up.

Lemon and lime tart

Lemon and lime tart

Turtle Bay Derby is a great hangout spot, good for a re-fuel and for meeting up with your girlfriends. Their Happy Hour is fab too, I highly recommend my go-to cocktail alled One Love. A special thank you to Amy Grainger and Alex Guthrie for being so accommodating and providing service with a smile. See you again very soon!

 Star Rating: (1: Hate: I’d rather eat my Dior shoes – 10: Love: I’d sell my kidney for a meal here)

Food: 7

Value for money: 7.5

Ambience: 7

Service: 7

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