5 November 2015

Turtle Bay Huddersfield

Being a blogger you get so many fantastic opportunities whether it be a product review, a blogger event or a fashion collaboration or reviewing an amazing restaurants. 

I will admit I have been a lucky guy in the last 11 months and have been invited to do a lot of the above, some more than others. In fact I've only ever done one restaurant review, which I really really enjoyed.

So this is why I was over the moon when I was sent an invite to attend an event at the new Turtle Bay which was due to open in Huddersfield on the 29th of October.

Luckily, I was on paternity leave due to my baby girl being born on the 15th, so I knew I could definitely attend.

When we attended, the restaurant wasn't even open - in fact the builders had only just handed over the keys to the manager the day before.

The place looked amazing!

It has a great vibe and the designers certainly got it spot on with the decor - I really can't wait to attend the venue when it is busy with the music is in full swing, I bet the atmosphere is amazing.

The bar area was situated at the heart of the venue and was fully stocked with some lethal looking alcoholic beverages - beverages you would certainly want to sample when indulging in the out of this world flavours the food brought to the table.

One of my all time favourite drinks is a can of trusty old Red Stripe and I made sure I sampled a few...

Now - the food.

Caribbean food is something which not only have I grown up with, but it is something I still enjoy fairly regularly now because part of my wife's family originally come from the Caribbean.

When we are invited to a family party I often get treated to a few tastes of the Caribbean, my favourite being salt fish fritters, they are amazing, I keep forgetting to ask for the recipe to try and make them my self.

So, lets get back to the event.

Now I wasn't there to simply fill my face - oh no - this event had a bit of a twist, I was there to partake in a Caribbean cookery masterclass too.

The masterclass was hosted by Turtle Bay's development and training chef Colin Scott, he spoke to us about the history of Turtle Bay, which is a fascinating story...

Around 4 year ago the founders of Turtle Bay were a little fed up of all the same kind of restaurants being accessible on the high street and decided they wanted to change things to get something a little different out there.

Then, whilst on a trip to one of the amazing Caribbean islands, obviously after a few glasses of rum and sampling some of the most delicious foods the island has to offer, they came up with an idea...

"Lets open up a chain of Caribbean restaurants"

And so the idea was in motion.

We were then spoke to us about all of the spices used in all of the dishes on the menu which "Colin designed'' himself

And then we were told all about the histories behind the dishes we were going to sample, which were the Curry Goat and the Jerk Chicken.

So lets start with the Curry Goat.

Useful fact - Turtle Bay will only ever use goat in their dishes, a lot of other places will have goat on the menu  but many use mutton - I do have all the useful facts don't I!

If you've ever had goat before then you will know that it is a fairly tough meat, but this was so different, it just melted in my mouth and had a really nice little kick to it.

With the sweet potato and sweet onions in the dish too it instantly sent my taste buds flying - it was amazing.
The dish was served with thyme-infused basmati rice 'n' peas, which was really light and fluffy and packed full of flavour, everything complemented each other perfectly.

I made sure the Dutch Pot it was severed in was scraped clean, I'm not one to waste food.

Now, the Jerk Chicken

Did you know the traditional Jamaican Jerk is a method of cooking pork?
Nowadays though chicken, seafood and beef can be seasoned in this way as well.

We were all invited up to the grill to watch the jerk chicken go through the final stage of cooking

As you can see from the pictures it looked amazing but let me tell you the smell of it was out of this world.

The jerk chicken was served with a side order off sweet potato fries.

I was totally in shock with the heat of this dish, I've had jerk before but never like this!

The chicken was soft and tender, this was not just on the legs and thighs but also the breast too.
The jerk seasoning which the chicken was covered in was amazing, even though it was mega spicy it was addictive and I had to dive back in and have more.
Once again I had a sweet element to the dish with the sweet potato fries which did help to control the heat a little.

This was by far my favourite dish of the two and I can not wait to head back when the restaurant opens and try the jerk ribs and jerk belly pork.

The Turtle Bay chain is expanding massively and should have over 50 in the UK by next year, so keep your eyes open there could be one opening up near you soon.

But in the mean time, check out their web page (found here) for more information and to check out the full menu.


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