Peterborough – Turtle Bay

I had a heap of Turtles, which is the loyalty scheme of the Caribbean restaurant Turtle Bay, so I thought that I’d visit their Peterborough outlet for the first time. It’s one of my favourite chains as I like the food and service and it’s centrally located in the city.

A nice bright interior, although it was quieter at lunch-time that I had expected. I had rather thought they might have some Christmas lunch parties going on, but that didn’t seem to be the case. The service was though friendly and prompt, and the team member did make an effort to make conversation.

This is the mango, lemon juice and grapefruit crush, which had the irritating attribute of a straw which didn’t reach to the bottom of the drink. The drink was quite refreshing, but it lacked any depth of flavour until I got to the bottom and I hit an almost syrup of mango. Now that did taste good, but it was quite hard to extract it with the straw not being long enough and with the risk of all the ice falling out if I tipped the bottle back too far. The choice of drinking vessel really is stupid in that regard, a glass would have made this much better.

The Trini curry chicken at the front is part of the chain’s one pot options. The chicken looked excellent in terms of the presentation, but the meat was entirely tasteless and seemed to have been cooked from frozen as it was too watery. The chicken hadn’t taken in any of the sauce and so it appeared to have just been dumped in rather than having been allowed to at least have some pretence of a marinade. The dish was lacking in any spice, which was an attribute that was listed on the menu, although the rice had a pleasant flavour. There wasn’t enough sauce and what there was simply didn’t have any depth of taste. The roti bread served with it was adequate, but nothing beyond that.

At the back of the above photo are the dirty curry fries, with this dish also being adequate at best. The chips were limp, there wasn’t much curry sauce on top of them, the chips at the base were mushy and it lacked flavour or texture.

Service in the restaurant was though efficient and polite, and technically it was perfect in terms of the check back, prompt delivery and engagement. Although the meal being served after just a few minutes of ordering had worried me, I’m not sure that Turtle Bay need to try and replicate JD Wetherspoon in that regard.

Overall, this was a pretty unimpressive meal and I do wonder whether chains can risk this sort of blandness given how competitive the market is. On the bright side, this was effectively an entirely free meal so I didn’t lose out, but it doesn’t encourage me to return.