Since my first visit to Turtle Bay last year, I’ve been back a few times. Mainly to the one in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. So when I was invited to Turtle Bay Oxford Road, which is far bigger, it was a no brainer.
I’ll be honest I’ve never been to the Oxford Road site because I thought it would be heaving and too loud for my old lady pretensions. But I was really surprised when we walked in. It was a Sunday evening so was full of diners rather than drinkers. The chap behind the bar was lovely, and chivvied us along to take advantage of the final 90 seconds of happy hour. This gave me my first look at the new menu and I was thrilled to see that they have finally added the non alcoholic cocktails to the happy hour offer. Earlier in the year when I asked about it I was given an ‘are you crazy look’. But it did irk me when my non-alcoholic ways meant that my drinks cost more than Andrew’s mojitos. So that is fab news and they have added to the non alcoholic offering in general (which was really good already- one of the best I’ve found in terms of choice) which makes me even happier.
Waiting for our drinks, I had the chance to have a good look around. The recent refurb was evident, as it looks freshly opened even though it has been here a few years now. The semi open kitchen is a thing in the various branches I’ve been in, which I always like, as is the beach hut style bar. Upstairs there is a games area (giant Connect 4 and pool) which is I think is available to hire. Seating is all different, hodge podge, as well which I like – the area behind where we sat looked like old bus seats, and had a canopy and we had old school style wooden chairs.
Importantly (for me) was the music. It was loud enough to be heard and add to the atmosphere, but not so loud as it makes your teeth rattle. That is my major bug about the other Manchester branch so this was a definite improvement.
It was an evening, so the lighting over the tables was set to ‘mood’, it was going dark, and as a result all my food pics are a bit dodge with a purple haze! So apologies and I have added in some PR supplied shots so you can get a better idea.
We started with a shared jerk platter, because you can’t go to Turtle Bay and not have something jerk. Plus we were hungry and couldn’t wait to tuck in. To be honest, it was enough for three to share, but we managed most of it! Jerk chicken flat breads were like spicy pizza, the jerk wings were much better. Pork ribs were messy and tasty and the beef patty which looked like a little pasty, was actually for me better without the pastry.
We’d had the seafood platter on our last visit and I think my perfect starter would be a combo of the two – a surf and turf jerk option!
We were in agreement that it was a burger kind of night, and the smoky goat was calling my name. I don’t think I’ve seen goat burger on the menu anywhere else. It was simple affair – a substantial hunk of meat, tomato, lettuce and hot sauce. The bun could have been better (maybe a Sunday thing?), but it was a heck of a tasty, juicy burger.
On the side I went for dirty fries (because now I’m old I want to be down with the kids) which were a surprisingly tasty cheese and curry sauce combo.
Andrew went for the shack stack burger which he wolfed down so fast that I didn’t get a chance to take a pic. It’s a burger with bbq sauce and belly pork. All smooshed together it’s a properly big choice.
He had sweet potato fries and we shared a tasty and refreshing chilli pineapple salad which is my favourite side dish that they do.
If it sounds like a lot of food, that’s because it was. I wanted the new sweet dumplings for dessert so much but there was just no room at the inn! Damn that delicious pineapple, I’m sure it pushed me to the limit! So we left it there and I’ve made a mental note to call in for a revitalising plate of sweet dumplings when I am in town on a shopping trip.
The Turtle Bay menu continues to grow. They’ve upped the burger choices and the veggie and vegan choices. And that happy hour is hard to resist – for me too now I can get my mocktails fix. Andrew on the other hand is partial to a Marley Mojito bit don’t tell him I told you 😉
SHE LOVES: more goat in high street restaurants- no kidding it’s great!