Royal Leamington Spa has been gaining a reputation as a bastion of good restaurants for some time now. I have been dining in some of the town’s best-kept secrets for many years and usually avoid chain restaurants however I have recently been treated to a pleasant surprise.  For those of you searching for a culinary experience like no other look no further than Turtle Bay, Leamington’s only Caribbean restaurant and bar.

Tastefully decorated as a tropical beach hut and playing Reggae music in the background, the experience starts to excite from the greeting at the door.  We were shown to a table which, like all, gives a great view of the lively bar, centrally located and constantly entertaining with cocktails being flamboyantly made by enthusiastic staff.

I sat up with surprise as the lovely waitress Ashley sat down with us to take our order, but then instantly relaxed to this new ordering experience… it was more comfortable to discuss the menu without the panic of someone stood over you like a strict school teacher!

We chose Island Bait and Chilli Squid to start. The Whitebait had more spices in it than I have eaten before and this made it the best I’ve enjoyed anywhere. The Chilli squid was not as hot as the title suggests; it was perfectly cooked and tasted delicious.  The starters left us tingling with spice and anticipation for the mains.

The menu is filled with so many exciting choices, the goat curry was a close call but we chose a Kingston Salmon Toastie for my husband and the Jerk Chicken for me. Ashley recommended the Sweet plantain as a side, a new experience for us and a very good one.  The Chicken was wonderfully spiced, not too hot, succulent and not dried out as you would expect from normal BBQ food.

Looking around the restaurant we could see the customer demographic was more varied than I could have imagined.  Turtle Bay is really a restaurant that appeals to all ages.  We will certainly be returning for the great food experience and generous drink offers, 2 for 1 on wines and cocktails 12-6 and 9-11.

Don’t walk past thinking Caribbean food is too spicy, go in and find out just how tasty this soul food is.

For more information please visit www.turtlebay.co.uk to find out more about the branch in Royal Leamington Spa.

For other places to eat & drink in the Shakespeare’s England are see our Food & Drink section.

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