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Restaurant review: Turtle Bay, Preston

Posted on - 8th December, 2014 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Food & Drink, Opinion, Preston City Centre, Restaurants in Preston, Reviews
Busy in the kitchen at Turtle Bay

Busy in the kitchen at Turtle Bay

Turtle Bay is Preston’s latest restaurant-come-bar to have risen from the recession, bringing with it a much-needed splash of colour to the city centre.

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It could be that rare establishment that is both a family-friendly place for diners that is also stylish enough attract late night drinkers.

Time will tell, but the early signs are very positive. I’m always sceptical of themed restaurants that offer something exotic, as they often become something very ordinary (I’m looking at you Nando’s). However, a lot of effort has gone into Turtle Bay‘s décor, music and menu to offer something that is going to make an impression.

The music in particular is spot on. I was half expecting just to hear Legend’s on repeat, but the mixture of ska, reggae, dancehall and dub, with commercial and less well-known tracks goes a long way to setting the upbeat but relaxed tone.

The menu offers simple food that is big on flavour. The ribs are ridiculous; if you’ve ever watched House of Cards you’ll get the picture.

Ridiculous ribs...

Ridiculous ribs…

Similarly, I don’t think it’s possible to eat enough of those fried sweetcorn fritters. However, for a restaurant to stay exciting, menus need to change seasonally and develop over time. My only concern is that in sixth months time, will we become blaze about rice and peas and jerk marinade?

These bold flavours extend to the bar, with a cocktail menu dominated by strong rums and reasonable prices. Ordering off the menu will provide you with fun rather than sophistication.

However, Bar Manager Dave will likely be on hand if you’re a drinks connoisseur, or just looking to learn more. Ask him about the spiked home-made ginger beer and you’ll be in for a treat.

Bar manager Dan

Bar manager Dave

Let’s hope Turtle Bay becomes more than a chain restaurant, but a place that encourages local musicians, and develops a character completely of it’s own. With its roots in welcoming reggae culture, it could become the kind of diverse place that is a requirement for any healthy city.

Food: 8/10
Service: 9/10
Atmosphere: 9/10
Value: 8/10
Total: 34/40

Don’t just take our word for it, see what everyone is saying on Trip Advisor. Turtle Bay currently has four out of five stars.

Our food reviewers pay for themselves and aren’t invited by the venue, if we are we will always say in the review.

Have you been to Turtle Bay? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below

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