Turtle Bay Caribbean Restaurant, Walthamstow - Food-Spotter
Turtle Bay Caribbean Restaurant , the small chain has just opened a new restaurant in the heart of London’s Walthamstow. With other Caribbean offerings to be found, I had the very difficult task of investigating to see if you should get ya raas down there and try it!
“Run tings rude bwoy!”
My core belief is usually that restaurants that try to cover dishes from different regions are usually one to stay clear of. Example, the all-round “Far East” restaurant offerings are, well…. quite frankly pants in my opinion. Caribbean food is different from one island to another, so I was unsure about this one, but the novelty factor of being able to try dishes that are not so easy to track down definitely peaked my intrigue!
One of the starters we ordered won major points for looking pretty – ladies, gentleman and aliens, may I present to you….
Jerk Pit Prawns! Tada! Pretty looking thing for sure!
“Mi wan doubles”
Seeing a bunch of Trini dishes on the menu got me over excited and I ended up ordering “Trini Doubles” and a “Trini Chicken Curry”. I can’t vouch for the taste in authenticity of the doubles, but they were pretty scrumptious as far as I was concerned.
Served on the plate were two fried spicy breads (bara) with curried chickpeas (chana) in-between. The bara has a nice spicy kick to it.
In addition to this I got to sample some of the trademark jerk chicken wings (just to taste what is considered a de-facto standard by some) and the good news is that they were nice! Not super spicy and at the same time not too bland – so a great balance of heat and flavours!
“What about the Curry?”
The mains was pretty nice, but I thought it wasn’t as great as the starters. If you’re a connoisseur of Caribbean food, it’s important to know that I was told that the chicken would be “off the bone”, which may make a big difference to some. The restaurant opted for the use of chicken breast as a result, which isn’t tragict, but if you know me, it’s my least favourite part of the chicken (lacks the succulence and moisture compared to the thigh and legs). This mean I found the chicken a bit dry, and along with the small amount of sauce it came with, it did make it a little less amazing than the starters. On the plus side they are served in an old-school looking crock pot.
My favourite part of a meal, the sweet stuff! I opted for something a little less standard, the BBQ Pineapple – or simply known as grilled sugared pineapple, rum caramel sauce, coconut shavings, and coconut ice cream. It wasn’t amazing, probably because I’m not a big fan of pineapple (yes I’m asking the same question as you right now – “why did you order it then?” – because it’s part of the job )
“Service! Service! Service!”
I think it needs to be noted that the staff here were pretty much amazing, especially our waitress for the evening (big shout out to Miss B)! She was attentive, able to make the right level of conversation, engage with us and provide a little banter, without being overly in your face or over your shoulders.
I’m not one to pay too much attention to the décor but the setting here definitely had thought put in, giving it a semi relaxed, but themed look minus the full on cheese (although corrugated steel could be a touch on that side ). There are interesting paintings on the walls, nice red lights in the shape of words as well as a section where amplifiers and speakers to mimic the sound system effect of a basement party. They definitely played on the stereotypes, but it enhances the experience rather than detract.
Turtle Bay Walthamstow
269 High Street
London E17 7FD