Sunday, 3 December 2017

A Caribbean Christmas

Turtle Bay Christmas Menu Leeds
Turtle Bay Christmas Menu Leeds


Can you tell that I’m taking every opportunity to get on the Christmas hype this year? I’m definitely catching the festive feels (I blame the girls at work) so when Turtle Bay invited me down to try their Christmas set menu, I was definitely down to try something a little different. When you think Christmas dinner, you’d be thinking some kind of roast with a stuffed pepper for the vegetarians, but Turtle Bay does it entirely differently which makes it perfect for groups. It’s the kind of place you’d go for a team Christmas dinner after work when you want to have some cheap cocktails on the side. Preferably on a Thursday as Friday’s are made for work hangovers, right?


Turtle Bay Christmas Menu Leeds


I headed down after work to try the menu with my friend Luke as he’s already a Turtle Bay fan and who doesn’t love a four course dinner on a Wednesday evening? The set menu which we reviewed is priced at £24pp for nibbles, starters, mains and desserts and it was a serious amount of food. As it’s 241 cocktails until 7pm, we took advantage of the offer and had a few drinks with dinner too and tried the Tobago tea (like a long island but with mango and lemonade instead of coke), a zombie (lethal yet delicious), and the Rum Runner which is an off menu drink and we didn’t know what was in it other than rum but it was delightful.

The nibbles we started with were pork rind, a garlic flatbread and chickpeas. I’ve had the chickpeas before and honestly could eat them like crisps as they’re baked in seasoning and are really flavoursome. The garlic flatbread was another winner as it had a hot sauce drizzled over it to give it a kick, and the pork rind was a bit like a pork scratching.


Turtle Bay Christmas Menu Leeds


Our starters came out with our nibbles so we shared them between us tapas style and had the duck rolls and mango chicken wings. Duck is one of my favourite meats and I’ve had the rolls there before, which are in a tortilla style wrap rather than a crispy wrap as you’d get in a Chinese restaurant, and they almost have a hoisin flavour but with jerk spices too. The mango chicken wings were also really delicious with a lot of meat on the bone, but as you can imagine, the messiest food to eat ever. Not that it stopped us, obvs.


Turtle Bay Christmas Menu Leeds


Turtle Bay Christmas Menu Leeds


After the starters and nibbles we were almost doubting whether we’d manage mains and desserts but y’know, we persevered. We both went for curry and Luke chose curried duck, whereas I picked the vegan option which is spinach, sweet potato and aubergine. Luke’s was a slow braised duck leg in the curry and served with coconut rice and peas. Mine was a lighter and less spicy curry as it was vegetables in a light curry sauce and served with steamed rice. We both really enjoyed the mains as they were full of flavour and being there for the Christmas menu meant we ordered something different to what we’d usually pick at Turtle Bay (forever fans of the goat curry). I really enjoyed that despite it being a Christmas menu, Turtle Bay has stuck to what it’s good at rather than trying to do a twist on a British Christmas dinner. I mean, can you even imagine jerk pigs in blankets? That would be a no from me.


Turtle Bay Christmas Menu Leeds


As it would be rude not to have dessert, we both finished the meal with something sweet. Luke chose the upside down rum cake which I’ve had before and can vouch for it being pretty much pure rum (and absolutely incredible), and I went for the dark chocolate brownie. Both were seriously good but I was so full that dessert defeated me. The brownie was so rich and is actually one of the gluten free options available.


Turtle Bay Christmas Menu Leeds


Overall, I’d definitely recommend the Christmas menu at Turtle Bay as it has all the best bits from the main menu on it and is pretty good value for money, especially for a central Leeds restaurant. It covers off all your dietary requirements without compromising the quality as can often be the case with set menus and timed right with the 241 cocktail offer, you’re pretty much in for a great night.
Would you be down for a Caribbean Christmas meal? Let me know in the comments.


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