It’s been a very busy week in the life of the Pop Up team, so on Thursday evening, to celebrate, a couple of us took advantage of our invitations to the pre-opening press night at “Turtle Bay”.  Only the third of its kind in the UK, this is Nottingham’s only inner city Caribbean food restaurant, and frankly, we thought it would be rude not to find out what the place has to offer.
Arriving on the red carpet, it was clear to see, that we people of Nottingham are ready for a slice of the Caribbean on a cold October night.  The bubbly door staff were having to turn folk away, in a “if your names not down…” fashion.
Well our names were down on the list so, we did manage to get in, but it was a squeeze, as the majority of Nottingham’s movers and shakers seemed to be out in force.  Being from slightly less glamorous backgrounds, we had no difficulty sampling the spoils at a rate that I will politely describe as, enthusiastic.
The mix of Jamaican Jerk and Trinidadian chick peas cut through the variety of rum based cocktails that we sampled (at speed).  White bait, Roti, Goat, Plantain, and the infamous chicken were also tickling the taste buds, as the heaped platters were served to us by dancing chefs and smiling waiters.  The food was delicious, and once or twice, when the pepper levels caught you out, there was an army of bar staff willing to douse the flames with a House Rum Punch which was definitely the real thing!  
That said, there have been questions raised about the authenticity of the food, when not the Head Chef, the Manager nor the Owner is actually from the Caribbean.  For more on that debate, listen in to BBC Radio Nottingham tomorrow from 4pm, with Reya El-Salahi.
All things considered we had a wonderful evening, in a wonderful setting, and whilst I have heard mixed reports about the value and quality of the food served, the atmosphere on Thursday was created in no small part, by a vibrant team of staff.  Important to any restaurant, that claims to boast a Caribbean flavour is a team staff that will give you a Caribbean welcome, and dancing their way through the crowds on Thursday was a work force that did just that. 
Me, myself and I, are very much looking forward to going back and finishing our conversations with Will and Luke behind the bar about how “Turtle Bay” came about…
But hey, don’t take my word for it, please, go and try it for yourself and feed back here!
If you fancy yourself as a bit of a journalist, we are always looking for people just like you, to attend nights like this and report back. If you are interested, in doing just that, please get in touch.

Article by Lucy G / 20th October 2012


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REVIEW: Turtle Bay Restaurant