Double Date @ Turtle Bay, Cardiff


I've been dying to try Turtle Bay for a while now and when yellow bae suggested we go on a double date, what better place to go? We had 2 Jamaicans and 2 Chinese guys who we're into Jamaicans. So it was perfect, I couldn't wait to jerk it up. Ya kno' man? This is Gareth & Anita, an absolutely gorgeous couple and used to be Tommy's house mates. They're the career focused type, the picture perfect house in the suburbs with a picket fence kind of couple. Gareth is an accountant and Anita just finished her masters in maths. Congratulations are in order everyone! They've been together 3 years now!

The bright lights and extremely colourful interior beaconed to us like the North star as we waddled down St. Mary's street in the rain. Typical wet weather. Instantly welcomed by a gorgeous, carnival atmosphere, Red Stripe mural and posters of Mr Marley I fluttered with excitement and hunger. The Caribbean spices danced under my nose as we we're seated. Location, location, location. It literally is everything. I don't know about you, but for me the table placing is so important. Ideally, some form of entertainment in view, be it an open kitchen, the view from a window or towards some lovely art & preferably with ample lighting. Since it was my first time properly meeting G & A I didn't want to be awkward; but we we're seated at the bottom of the stairs, in a dark corner where I couldn't quite see my food. On a fairly quiet visit? Disappoint. :( 

We ordered a round of drinks, when I realised the coconut water wasn't fresh from a coconut. (Yeah, like that was going to happen in Wales. D'oh!) ... I quickly changed my mind and got an ice tea cocktail instead! You know the one with basically every type of spirit in it? Hahaha, in the theme of the evening, how could you not rum & ting? The staff we we're very accommodating of my indecisive ways, thank you! The cocktail was delicious, a perfect mix of sweet, sour, salty & packed a punch. We all tried to order different things, so that we could share tapas style when they arrived. Anita & I both couldn't resist the classic jerk chicken though. You can't deny a classic. Tommy got pork belly, which was absolutely delicious. Incredibly tender and seasoned to perfection, it was succulent juicy and oh my days! Just 2 slices was maybe a bit of a tease, especially for a man but what there was of it was gorgeous. Pork belly with sweet potato fries is a great combination choice, the sweet pot fries we're crispidy crunchy on the outside and fluffy inside offt. 

Gareth had the pork cheek curry. Which again was completely melt in your mouth, fall apart meat. Accompanied with traditional rice and peas it was lovely. Our jerked chicken was great, it was cooked so damn well. Like really, they must baste it in it's own juices or something?! The flavour on the chicken was fantastic, but maybe needed a little more. I was ready to get messy and sweaty! There was an awesome selection of hot sauces on the table too, including Encona hot pepper sauce! Mmm, so good. The 'spiced' fries with the jerk chicken was lacking a little finesse, is that Dunn's river seasoning I spy? 

Both teams ordered rum n raisin bread & butter pudding for dessert, with vanilla ice-cream. We wanted to keep it traditional and Anita advised the rum cake, we didn't want there to be any food envy and we made the right choice! It was absolutely bangin'! Oh my damn, what a come back. A little crisp on the top and complete gooey, soft, smooth creamy in the middle. Bang. Amazing! Spiced with cinnamon & the bursts of soaked raisins we're fantastic. Served warm too, ah yars. Heaven. 

All in all, fantastic atmosphere. Lovely decor and a great restaurant concept. Very high quality of food and lovely service, which really makes the experience. I'd recommend Turtle Bay, it's cocktails for sure and the curry pots! Nom, nom & nom.   

Turtle Bay,
Hodge House, 
114-116 St Mary St, 
CF10 1DY
029 2034 2006

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