With the weather recently taking a sunny turn, dreams of basking in the sun with the sea glittering nearby have flitted through my head. The sense of peace that descends on me when the sun is setting in the sky, warm rays shining through the bus, transports me away from everything and I can indulge in escapism with the help of that gorgeous pink sky.
Leamington is fairly difficult to escape from. Think a long, straight parade, 3 places to dance the night away in, a LOT of Italian restaurants and the omnipresence of a red and blue bus that takes you to a bubble campus, enclosed by countryside. Well, on Saturday night, I went to Turtle Bay and swum in delicious cocktails, got hot from spicy flavours and enjoyed a wholly different eating out experience to what I normally expect from Leam.
We arrived there at 9 and it was full – I didn’t event think to book, but we were led to the bar and informed that Happy Hour would begin at 9.30 (so we might want to wait a bit before ordering). We didn’t have to wait long before being given a table. The bar is in the middle of the restaurant, a square shape which was great because you could see the shaking of cocktails etc. It was bright, lively and had jammin’ music.
I went rather overboard and had 3 cocktails-the mark of a successful Happy Hour, but they aren’t all on the online menu and I can’t remember all the names of them. They were all amaze!! My favourite IS on the menu, ‘Jammin’: white rum, apricot liqueur, fresh mint, ginger, lime, apple juice & apricot jam. Real good.
We decided to go for 2 dishes and share them. So we chose the ‘Curry, Shrimp and Mango’ One Pot which consisted of shrimps, mango, sweet potatoes, Caribbean spices, sweet onion chutney, rice and flatbread with dumplings, and the ‘Dipped Pork Steak’, jerk-glazed pork, plaintain, Caribbean slaw, rice and peas, and sweet potato fries. My oh my oh MY.
I started with the jerk pork. The sauce was quite spicy (but this is for someone with a wimpy palette) and the pork was tender and juicy – it seemed like a good quality cut. The slaw had sultanas in it, and the sweet potatoes with the plantain meant there was an abundance of sweetness to balance out the salty spice of the pork. The whole plate was beautifully put together, everything present enhanced the dish in its own way – I wish there had been another slice of plantain though, I felt one mouthful of the soft sweetness left me really wanting more of it!! As is my custom, I asked for ketchup and mayonnaise to accompany the sweet potato fries, but found the jerk bbq sauce went much better. For the first time in a VERY long time, there was plenty of k and m left over at the end.
The ‘Pot’ is tres exciting-looking, arriving in a white pot whose lid was removed with a flourish and revealed a colourful saucy thing with pink prawns nestling next to yellow shapes, a far cry from my standard casseroles. The sauce was sweet, and thin enough not to overwhelm the delicate prawns but firm enough to stick to the rice and flatbread. The dumplings were dense but crispy (and went sooo well with the jerk bbw sauce).
I cannot WAIT to come here again. What would be really snazzy is when drinks stop being served (11pm) it could turn into a sort of place to dance in – that is my advice to the enthusiastic staff who served us.
The sun shines golden bright in Turtle Bay. I suggest you go and soak it up!