It’s always nice to return to a restaurant you’d visited when it launched to see it is still holding its own in the competitive foodie scene of the Toon. I first ate at Turtle Bay at a special blogger event just before it opened early last year (Feb 2016). I was heavily pregnant, about to pop and hoped the spicy curries would work their magic to evict Dinky from her comfy home. That’s what the old wives told me and it unfortunately failed to work. I took the family along a couple of days later on its officially opening day so the Teen and Mr. Canny could try out the Caribbean inspired menu.
One thing that struck me was the lack of labelling. At the time Mr. Canny was vegan while the rest of the family ate whatever and we were told the Rundown was the only meat/dairy/egg free dish on the menu he could try, salads aside. Since Turtle Bay have introduced a new menu dishes are very clearly marked as SFV, gluten free, etc. This is great news for those with allergies or intolerances.
Normally I’m one to twist my face about salad being offered but with the weather taking a summery turn I was tempted to try out the Spinach, Rainbow Beets & Watermelon option or Avocado, Mango & Butternut Squash. For those who do eat meat or are vegetarian you can add goats cheese or chicken to these if desired. I tried out one of their delicious non-alcoholic cocktails while perusing the menu.
Having tried out the Ital Rundown on the last trip I was surprised to see another curry appear that was ideal for those eschewing meat. The Aubergine, Sweet Potato and Spinach was also joined by kidney beans and sugar snap peas. I ordered a side of Festival Dumplings to accompany the dish as in a big fan of the slightly sweet fried dough against the mildly spiced sauce.
Catherine ordered the Jerk Pit Salmon, which came with Caribbean classic rice and peas. She also chose a side of slaw to act as a creamy balance against the spicy glaze on the fish.
She had to dash off after mains were finished for a meeting but we stayed to enjoy the BBQ Pineapple for dessert.
This came with coconut ice cream and a rum sauce. I had to be careful as Dinky wanted this along with the fruit, and the last thing I needed was a drunk toddler on my hands! It transpires I was wrongly served this dessert even though I’d specified on numerous occasions during the visit I was vegan.
One thing that really impressed me, being incorrectly served a non-vegan dessert aside, was the way staff were with Dinky. Friendly, helpful and attentive, our server Chloe was absolutely fantastic. I can get stressed when dining on my own if she’s dropping food on the floor or being a bit of a tinker but she totally set me at ease.
It’s great to see Turtle Bay have added more dishes to the menu and also addressed issues with labelling. Rather than having to ask for a separate allergen menu they have ensured the standard sheet is all-inclusive which is a nice touch. With the dessert error they are very lucky I don’t have a dairy allergy, all things considered, as the mistake could have been even more problematic than peeing off a food blogger. Always double check is my advice if visiting in the future when ordering something marked VEO.
Thanks for reading,