Amidst the hustle and bustle of York there are plenty of quaint cobbled streets to wander down and take time away from the busy shoppers off the beaten track. One of those streets is Little Stonegate, just a stone’s throw from the world-famous York Minster, yet it feels like it could be miles away from the crowds and bustling Yorkshire city.
Little Stonegate plays host to many different restaurants from across the globe, you’ll find British, Italian, Thai, Latin American, Spanish, American, and Caribbean. And, Caribbean is where #TeamCoco girl Rachel McAlley spent a lazy, relaxed, food filled afternoon dining at Turtle Bay.
The word reggae is written in neon lights above the Turtle Bay door, and once inside the restaurant, the sounds and the smells of the Caribbean hit you like a rum punch. The cocktails are intoxicating, the menu takes you through a journey of flavours, the music playlist includes ragga, reggae, salsa, calypso, dancehall and there’s a huge wall filled with speakers.
We opted for a couple of virgin passion punch mocktails (£4.50 each or 2-4-1 happy hour) and a ginger beer (£4) to ease our way from the Yorkshire chill into the Caribbean spirit while browsing the vast menu. First on our radar was the beach sharing platter (£14) which included jerk pit chicken wings, bbq pork ribs, coconut milk and panko fried squid, bara roti, cucumber chutney and pickled veg. The absolute best flavours from these sharers were the panko squid and the bbq ribs, mouthwateringly good in fact.
Our mains were difficult to choose because there were just so many, and as there is also a brand new brunch menu we didn’t know whether to go for the brunch option or for something from the main menu. We decided to stick with the classic mains, so our first choice was from the soul food section of the menu, 24-hour buttermilk marinated, panko coated chicken thighs, mac ‘n’ cheese and pickled vegetables (£10.90), our second main was from the burgers and roti section, which included the surf side burger; a fish patty, crispy squid, mango mole, rocket and jerk mayo (£7.50). The stand out dish was the fish patty burger, the combination of mango sauce, fried fish, and soft bread bun were totally scrumptious.
Not that we needed any side dishes, but obviously it would be rude not to, so we went for the three side plates option (£8) including spiced fries, dirty curry fries (+£1), and grilled halloumi cheese (+£1). ‘Hello’ to the dirty curry fries dripping in cheese, oh my word they were good!
With absolutely no room for dessert, we wobbled back out to the streets of York to join the mayhem of the Christmas markets, both seriously full and exceptionally fulfilled.
If you are in York and fancy a little Caribbean cuisine then Turtle Bay is a must visit, it will leave you feeling content and comforted.
We must give the brand new brunch menu a brief mention as it looked ace, the bottomless brunch includes any brunch dish from the menu with unlimited bellinis, cocktails (not part of happy hour), and unlimited draught red stripe (£25 per person).
Turtle Bay, 11 Little Stonegate, York, YO1 8AX
01904 733 995