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Turtle Bay’s New Menu Review

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Local food blogger, Ellen Manning from Eat with Ellen, tells us her thoughts on Turtle Bay’s new menu…

 

I’m no stranger to Turtle Bay – I’ve been enjoying the delights of its cocktail happy hour (or should I say hours, since they have two each night) for quite some time now. Every time I’ve been I’ve looked at the menu, looked at the plates of food coming out to diners and said, ‘I really must try the food here’. Not just because of the fab cocktails, funky music and gaudy decor. But because I really do like Caribbean food. Years ago on a work trip to Tobago I fell in love with the simply, spicy food we were treated to, followed by an affair with the beachside jerk pit when Mr M and I holidayed in Jamaica. And lucky for me, there was a pretty good jerk chicken stall in Brixton when I worked in London where I could reminisce over lovely beaches, great people and happy holidays.

 

The closest Turtle Bay to me is in Leamington Spa. You’ll find it in Regent Court, a pedestrianised road full of foodie outlets and the place I recently tried my hand at sushi-making during its ‘Fiesta of Flavours’. We tootled along on a Wednesday night to check out their new menu and found a pretty busy, bustling restaurant with a few people enjoying cocktails but most there to dine.

 

It really does have a great ambience – fun and funky with the bar in the centre and seating all about. We sat up in a raised area which proved to be a great vantage point to see everything that was going on, as well as giving us the feeling of a little bit of privacy that you often want on date night.

 

It would have been rude not to start with a cocktail, so I tried out Turtle Bay’s espresso martini while Jamie couldn’t resist a Red Stripe to help him with his deliberations. We definitely needed some help – everything on the menu appealed to us. From jerk dishes to ‘one pots’, a load of fab-sounding starters, burgers and even salads, there’s something for everyone.

 

In the end we had to enlist the help of our waitress (whose name I can’t remember but she was absolutely brilliant – I know, a complete contradiction but she really was good). She suggested we go for a classic – the ‘Just Jerk’ platter that would give us a taste of everything.

 

It certainly looked like ‘everything’ when it arrived – a rainbow of colours and flavours all laid out like a feast fit for a king. Marinated jerk wings, glazed pork ribs, jerk beef riblets, Jamaican beef patty, sweetcorn fritters, spiced popcorn, herb mayo & super green salad.

 

The jerk wings were amazing, and the beef patties were a favourite of mine, while Jamie loved the ribs and the spiced popcorn. We both agreed that while pretty on the plate, we weren’t that bothered about the super green salad – I mean, who wants salad when you’ve got so much lovely meat on offer?

 

For main course Jamie didn’t struggle to make his mind up, going for the slow braised beef rib, served up with sweet potato fries and a watermelon, lime and coriander chow salad. You can opt for one of three different jerk glazes – classic, pineapple which is more fruity and coconut which is more creamy. He went for the first and wasn’t disappointed. The meat fell off the bone, the spicing was just right and he really enjoyed the sweet, refreshing watermelon salad, especially with its fresh coriander.

 

His only comment – not a complaint but an observation – was that it wasn’t quite the huge portion he had been expecting, and if he hadn’t had a starter didn’t know if it would have filled him up. You can take whatever you like from this: a) that the Mannings are greedy gutses and like big portions, b) if you don’t like being fed gut-busting meals then you’ll be happy to know you get a far more reasonable size at Turtle Bay, or c) always have a starter. Up to you.

 

I was adamant I wanted one of the ‘one pots’ and toyed with goat curry but decided on one of the new additions to the menu – Bajan Beef Cheeks.  I love beef cheeks anyway, cooked right, and these definitely were. For six hours apparently, and marinated in Caribbean spice, okra, potato, garlic, ginger, star anise, cinnamon, coriander & toasted coconut.

 

It did, indeed, come in one big pot with steamed rice and a roti flatbread on the side. The flavour was deep and warm, with the aniseed of the star anise shining through yet never overpowering the rich, meaty beef cheeks. It’s the perfect comfort food yet with a twist thanks to the addition of the punchy spicing. Delicious.

 

We definitely weren’t going to do dessert, but given that I was there to try some of the new dishes on the menu, it seemed important to for a complete job. As soon as he saw barbecued pineapple on the menu, Jamie was dead set on it. A simple dessert really – caramelised and grilled with a rum caramel sauce and coconut ice cream.

 

It’s probably not the most aesthetically pleasing dessert we’ve ever tried for this blog, but don’t be fooled. It was the perfect combination of sweet and refreshing and Mr M – not usually a fan of alcohol in desserts – said the rum caramel sauce was a great addition.

 

I was tempted by one of the newer desserts – ‘Passion Pie’, a kind of twist on a lemon meringue pie. Being quite full, I wasn’t too sure how much I’d enjoy it, given that I’ve had a fair few lemon meringues in my time, but was taken by surprise at how well executed and slightly different from the norm it was.

 

The pastry was buttery, sweet and crumbly, the passion fruit curd sweet and rich and the meringue just how I like it. Squishy and soft, with just a hint of crunch on the top. Add to that some passion fruit sauce and fresh mint and it was a winner.

 

As we left there was still a healthy buzz about the place. I loved the casual fun of Turtle Bay – a great, versatile place for a meal with friends, family or just the two of you. The food was great – not over-complicated which was refreshing (given I spend quite a lot of time eating fancy food) and full of big, bold flavours.

 

The final tick in the box was the service. They have a slightly familiar style that could feel a bit weird elsewhere but really works here and just adds to the friendly feel that makes Turtle Bay somewhere that puts a smile on your face. Again, I just can’t believe it’s taken me so long to try it!

 

Ellen was invited to Turtle Bay to try some of the new dishes on the menu. The meal was complimentary but she wasn’t asked to write a positive review.

 

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LOCAL FOOD BLOGGER CHECKS OUT REGENT COURT’S FIESTA OF FLAVOURS

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Local food blogger, Ellen Manning from Eat with Ellen, tells us about her day at our Fiesta of Flavour event in the first week of May.

I’m always up for a bit of foodie fun, so when I heard about Regent Court’s ‘Fiesta of Flavours’ it seemed like a great chance to get all food-focused. The two-day event promised an array of free activities at many of Regent Court’s outlets – not just food – from make-up masterclasses to salsa dancing, cocktail-making and sushi. All free and open for anyone to attend, with a bustling vibe reaching through the precinct, complete with stilt walkers, music and plenty of people there to pick up some new skills.

I tried a sushi-making masterclass with YO! Sushi, taking my friend along to learn how to roll our own maki and make my own nigiri under the watchful eye of duty manager Jacob. Along with a few other sushi fans, we started with a run-through of the most important element of sushi-making – the rice. In short, it’s got to be special sushi rice, washed 6-10 times with mirin added to it. Lucky for us, the rice had all been prepared for our class so we could get on with the rolling.

It definitely looks easier than it actually is. You line your nori up on top of your bamboo rolling mat then press cooked rice over it at a thickness of two to three grains, leaving a margin at the top. Once it’s spread out the fillings go inside – for us a line of sesame seeds with a strip of cucumber on top. And then you roll it, trying to keep everything tight and uniform in size, sticking the edges of the nori together, then cutting it into those pieces you see readymade.

We also tried nigiri, which translates to ‘with rice’ – much easier. A simple ball of the cooked sushi rice topped with slices of ‘tamago’, a sweet Japanese omelette. We wrapped up in a little ribbon of nori and there they were, ready to go. Job done, we packaged up our sushi along with the obligatory chopsticks, wasabi and soy sauce. I took them home to try and they weren’t half bad, I have to say. Our masterclass was only brief, but I’m told if you want a more in-depth sushi lesson YO! Sushi do their own sushi school where you can learn all about the art of rolling all different types of the Japanese staple.

As we left, the Fiesta of Flavours was still going strong, with plenty of people learning all sorts of new skills. I’m pretty sure a good weekend was had by all!

To book a YO! Sushi masterclass visit the store or call: 01926 681200
To read more foodie reviews from Ellen visit: http://www.eatwithellen.com


New artwork collections available in Whitewall Galleries

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View stunning new work from three of the UK’s outstanding artists; Doug Hyde, Sherree Valentines and Tom Butler, each of whom has given us their personal take on the forthcoming summer season. Whether it’s beaches, gardens, big days out or weekend breaks in glamorous cities, this diverse collection of artwork sets the scene for a summer of art to smile about!

Click here to view the Fine Art Preview May online magazine


Meet Fabian Perez at Whitewall Leamington Spa Saturday 11th June

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We are proud and privileged to announce Fabian Perez will be in attendance at Whitewall Leamington Spa 11th June 2.30pm – 4.30pm as he showcases his new atmospheric collections of original paintings and collectable canvases. This offers a tantalising opportunity to glimpse through closed doors, into a world of intimate conversations and the lives of others.

We look forward to welcoming you to enjoy the fabulous Whitewall experience.

Don’t miss this exciting event, call the gallery to reserve your place on the guestlist 01926 334688.


#RegentReviews

Fancy winning £50 to spend at Regent Court?

Leave a review on our Facebook page about your visit to Regent Court or one of our shops or restaurants and we will pick our favourite review each month to win!

Terms and conditions apply: http://www.regent-court.co.uk/competition-tcs/

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Deliveroo Mondays

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Mondays just got a whole lot better with our Deliveroo Mondays competition! On the first Monday of every month we’ll be giving you the chance to win £30 worth of credit for Deliveroo, so you can order food from your favourite Regent Court restaurant from the comfort of your own home! Choose from Cote Brasserie, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Gusto, Las Iguanas, Prezzo, Wagamama, Yo Sushi and Zou Bisou.

Keep an eye out on our Facebook page to enter.


Dining in style at Gusto-Review by Ellen Manning

Check out the fantastic review of our Gusto restaurant by local foodie Ellen Manning > http://www.eatwithellen.com/2016/10/gusto-leamington-spa/


Brunch is now being served at Gusto! Pop in from 10am-12 noon.

Brunch is now being served at Gusto! Pop in from 10am-12 noon


Shoppers urged to support Independent Retailers at Regent Court

This month, Regent Court is celebrating Independent Retailer Month, and is calling on all residents to rediscover their local retailers and show their support to independent traders.

July marks the UK’s third Independent Retailer Month, aiming to highlight the importance of smaller, local independent retailers and increase footfall in town centres. The campaign helps create impact, connect consumers and communities and demonstrate the benefit of local shopping.

With over 25% of Regent Court’s traders being independent, Regent Court is urging shoppers to keep it local with visits to stores such as Lille Perle, Zou Bisou, Bar Angeli, Chequers and Rosie’s Vintage Tea Shop. Stats show that for every £1 spent with a local, independent business, between 50p-70p circulates back into that local economy, a small contribution that can make a big difference to local retailers. Shopping with independent businesses also allows shoppers to buy more unique products, receive better service and have an all-round more positive experience.

Shop owner Allison Triggs from Jewellery store Lille Perle said. “Our store has been created as an exciting alternative to the established high street jewellers. Offering unique designer items of jewellery, in beautiful surroundings, our independence allows us to select highly individual hand crafted pieces that are sourced directly from top British designers, which are impossible to find on the high street or even online.’’

Alison and Kevin opened their store back in September 2015; choosing Leamington Spa for its long established independent retail sector and reputation for a high level, personal shopping experience. Kevin added ‘’We chose Leamington Spa as the location because of its small-town friendliness, where families want to come to settle and to raise their children, and where all generations live harmoniously alongside one another. As a destination, we also found that people travel in to Leamington Spa from surrounding larger towns and cities to experience a more personal level of service whilst spending their money. ‘’

Shopping with an independent retailer supports local traders, their suppliers and the people they depend on to run their businesses. To find out more about Independent Retailer Monthplease visit http://www.independentretailermonth.co.uk.


Regent Court welcomes new restaurant Gusto!

Leamington Spa has a new arrival in the form of the beautiful new restaurant Gusto. Inspired by the traditional grand cafes of Europe, Gusto is all about making the everyday exquisite. Follow the link for the full menu! http://gustorestaurants.uk.com


NEW AMAZON LOCKERS

A new service in Regent Court are Amazon Lockers which give shoppers a self-service delivery location to pick up their purchases.

The lockers are located between GBK and Zou Bizou in the management corridor.