The Caribbean hits Walthamstow, London E17. After watching Turtle Bay restaurant being built and kitted out, we decided to take friends on its second night after the grand opening on 15 January.
On arrival at 8.30pm, we were told we’d have to wait a few minutes and were invited to the bar. Before we could chose our cocktails from a good range priced around £7, we were shown to our table near the serving hatch which helped us to decide what to eat.
A shared Beach Food Platter (£12.95) let us all try spicy jerk chicken wings, pepper roti, sweet corn fritters, garlic and herb flatbread. All were delicious but the fritters were a little spicy for some.
The girls had dishes from the Jerk Pit BBQ. Mo’ Bay Chicken was a tender chicken breast with creamy jerk spiced sauce, onions, plantain, dressed salad, and sweet potato fries. Whilst my Jerk Chicken, which came with slaw, and traditional rice ‘n’ peas, was tender and succulent and covered with a spicy sauce. This type of food is not for the feint hearted.
The boys plumped for one pot dishes said to be ‘rich, slowly simmered, and uniquely Caribbean’. The Blue Mountain curry goat and Trinidad Curry Chicken were again both spicy. At under £10 both we all thought the dishes were good value.
We had a choice of cocktails, Jamaican Red Stripe beer and wine throughout the night. The cocktails were excellent although the service left a little to be desired and ordering one single cocktail produced a full round and lots of confusion. Perhaps because of this, at the end of the meal, the manager produced complementary cocktails for us: a nice touch.
The restaurant has lots to commend it. Whilst it was absolutely buzzing with people eating in the restaurant, having drinks and bar snacks it will be interesting to see if this continues once the novelty wears off. The décor resembles a beach shack with lots of corrugated iron, rough wood with colourful beer crates being stacked to form the bar and we loved the ‘tea towel’ napkins.
Whilst the restaurant is close to Walthamstow Central tube station (Victoria Line), there is very limited parking in the area.
All in all, it was perfect perk-up on a winter’s night and if you can’t make the winter Caribbean sun, it’s a good alternative (but only if you like it spicy).