Restaurant Review: Hard Rock Cafe London

Having been to a couple of other Hard Rock Cafe restaurants elsewhere (Rome and Orlando) John and I thought it was a bit strange that we’d never been to Hard Rock Cafe London. We were in London a couple of weeks ago so we had the perfect opportunity!

We arrived at close to 12pm when we thought the restaurant would be packed. Although it was  getting busy there wasn’t a wait for a table and we had plenty of choice of where we could sit. We were seated quite close to the toilet and baby changing which was perfect as we had Erin with us. Our waitress soon came over and introduced herself, dancing at the same time. Laura was fantastic and so bubby! She took an instant shine to Erin, who loved the attention!

Hard Rock Cafe London has a fantastic menu. There was so much choice and really, there is something for everyone! Usually when we go somewhere like this I’m really boring and always have a burger. John and I both decided to choose something different though. I went for the BBQ chicken while John had salmon.

While we were waiting for our food Erin was kept busy with crayons, a colouring sheet and lots of straws. Once she’d realised that she could put a straw in the lid for her apple juice she wanted more. Laura was fantastic and brought her a load of straws to play with. She certainly knew how to keep the kids happy and it was so nice to see someone take the time and the effort with a 15 month old. Erin hasn’t received this kind of service anywhere else!

We were pretty amazed when our food arrived. The portion sizes were much bigger than what we were expecting. There was a lot of food but it was super fresh, hot and delicious!

Erin was in a bit of a strange mood for lunch. We ordered her pizza and chips but I honestly wasn’t very optimistic about her eating it. She’s been having a bit of a fussy time recently and didn’t eat much at all. This wasn’t the fault of the restaurant though as her food looked great. Her pizza and chips came out on a plastic guitar with some ketchup in the middle. Once Erin discovered ketchup the game was over! She scooped it up on her finger and licked it off. At least she enjoyed some of her lunch!

Although we were getting pretty full from our mains, we were determined to have dessert. I couldn’t resist the Oreo cheesecake while John had a chocolate brownie with ice cream. At first we thought the desserts were quite expensive, at around £8 each. However, when they came out I could see why. They were both massive! Needless to say, neither of is could finish them. The problem was, we both wanted something different otherwise we might have shared!

After our meal we headed over to the shop. I have a Hard Rock t-shirt from each of the other restaurants we have been to and I wasn’t about to let this be an exception. I also wanted to get Erin her very first t-shirt to start her collection!

Our visit to Hard Rock Cafe London is most definitely my favourite so far. The service is what makes a restaurant so special and we couldn’t have gotten any better than with Laura. The attention she gave Erin, the attention she gave us and her high and fun energy was amazing. Next time we go, I’d want to be sat in her section again!

Disclaimer: We received discounted meals & merchandise for the purpose of this review. All opinions are our own.

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Restaurant Review: Bubba Gump Shrimp

Normally when John and I go to London, especially now we have Erin, we tend to eat at the same places. We like to pick places that we know are family friendly so that there are no surprises. However, on our most recent trip to London we decided to be brave and try somewhere new; Bubba Gump Shrimp.

We arrived at about 4:15 for our table booked at 4:30 and the restaurant was pretty quiet. I guess we were quite early for a ‘normal’ dinner time but with Erin we need to eat quite early! We were shown to a table with plenty of space for Erin and close to the bar. The restaurant is actually upstairs so we left the stroller at the entrance where it was watched by staff. It really helped to have more space at the table and not have a stroller get in the way.

Our waiter explained everything we needed to know about the menu and drink and also explained something quite special to us. You know when you’re at a restaurant and you either get annoyed because the wait staff come over too often or not enough, well, that’s not an issue here! Bubba Gump Shrimp has a very unique system that stops this. On each table there is a sign that can be flipped over. One side says ‘Run Forest Run’ and the other says ‘Stop Forest Stop’. If you want someone to stop, you turn the sign to ‘Stop Forest Stop’ and the other way around if you don’t want to be bothered. I imagine this makes the staff’s jobs a lot easier as well as making it a more relaxed dining experience.

Strangely, I don’t eat a lot of sea food so ordering was super easy for me as I went with a burger. John on the other hand LOVES sea food, which is why we wanted to try Bubba Gump Shrimp. John was in heaven with the menu and it took him quite some time to decide on what to have. In the end he went with the Shrimper’s Heaven, consisting of Hand Breaded Coconut Shrimp, Chilled Peel ‘n’ Eat Shrimp, Fried Shrimp, and Japanese style Tempura Shrimp all served on a bed of Fries and dipping sauces. For Erin, I chose a classic fish and chips.

When the food arrived we were amazed! John’s main meal was MASSIVE! It was £19.50 so probably designed as a sharing meal but that didn’t stop him.

I’m quite picky when it comes to burgers and I hate any kind of slightly pink meat. This burger was cooked to perfection for me though and it was delicious. John did amazingly well with his meal. Each little basket had chips in the bottom so there was a hell of a lot of food. He very nearly finished the lot!

Erin’s meal was fantastic. It came in a little boat and had some fruit and jelly as well. Erin can be a bit funny with battered/ bread crumbed food so she didn’t eat too much of the fish. However, the fish looked lovely and white and it wasn’t at all that it wasn’t nice. Erin did eat a lot of the chips and all of the jelly though. She also loved the boat that her meal came in!

Even though we were quite full we powered through and ordered desserts. John went for the Key Lime Pie as he’d never had it before while I had the Chocolate Chip Cookie Sundae. I was not prepared for the size of it at all!

It’s safe to say that we did not manage to eat everything. My sundae was so big that both John and I gave it a go and couldn’t manage it. This is definitely one to share, especially after quite a big meal. It was so nice though so I really wish I’d been able to manage more of it.

The bar has Forest Gump playing all the time! I can imagine that would get seriously annoying if they had the sound on but luckily, they do not! I kind of wish we’d paid a little bit more attention to it though as at the end of our meal we were quizzed! It has been a long time since I last saw Forest Gump so we had to cheat a little bit. John ended up running around the restaurant to find an answer in a picture!

Bubba Gump Shrimp is definitely somewhere I’d go back to when we’re in London again. The staff were great with Erin and so friendly and fun. Our food was delicious and we honestly couldn’t fault any of it, apart from maybe there was too much for us to finish! John said the Shrimper’s Heaven was absolutely amazing while I’d go back just for that sundae!

Disclaimer: We received a complimentary meal for the purpose of this post. All opinions are our own.

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Cosmo Authentic World Kitchen, Norwich

When I lived in Nottingham while I was at university one of my favourite places to eat was a buffet restaurant called Peachy Keens. It was an all you can eat ‘everything’ kind of place and since moving away, I’ve missed it. I was so excited when I found out a Cosmo Authentic World Kitchen was opening in Norwich as it’s a very similar thing.

Cosmo

Me, John and Erin all headed into Norwich for the day for my birthday last month and headed to Cosmo for when it opened at midday. It was a Sunday and I don’t think I was prepared for the queue down the street when we arrived at 11:40. Once open though the wait wasn’t too long. I do wish we had booked though to make it even quicker.

While we waited for our table, we were asked to leave the pushchair downstairs. Yes, the restaurant is up a set of escalators with a lift available if needed. While I didn’t mind too much, Erin was getting tired and I had to keep my fingers crossed for her getting though lunch.

We got seated at the end of a row of tables which was perfect for us as it meant being able to get in and out easily and there was loads of space for the high chair. I could see why we were asked to leave the pushchair downstairs though. They have maximised how many tables are in there and there really isn’t much spare space.

What is available in regards to the food really depends on when you go. During weekday lunches there is less of a choice but it is also half the price (See bottom of this post for prices). We went on a Sunday lunch where everything was available.

As you can expect from the name of the restaurant, there is food from all over the world available; Italian, Asian, carvery, desserts just to name a few. We were really spoiled for choice. John started with sushi while I started with a roast dinner. It was Sunday after all.

Erin had a bit of a mix of food but she didn’t really eat a lot to be honest. Luckily, her meal was only £3 because of her age. She was super tired at the time so wasn’t too bothered about eating, well, until I got her some cake. Then she ended up having cake with noodles all mixed together. Yum!

John and I were both really impressed with the food. Each time we went to get another plate of food we could see things being filled up again. It was great to see how often fresh food was being brought out. I think we both managed 4 plates of food before having a couple of desserts. That was maybe 1 plate too many really.

The desserts were fantastic and there was such a large selection to choose from. I was in dessert heaven really and had way more than I probably should have. I loved that there was something for everyone; ice cream, warm puddings, fruit, a chocolate fountain and loads of different cakes!

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the food at Cosmo. If anything let it down it would maybe be the baby changing facilities. It’s not that they were bad or dirty or anything but the lack of options. Cosmo is a really large restaurant but there is only 1 baby changing facility which is in the disabled toilet. When we needed to change Erin there was quite a queue of other parents waiting. However, as things go, it’s not the worst problem in the world!

PRICES

LUNCH from £7.99
MONDAY – FRIDAY 12:00 – 15:00 £7.99
SATURDAY 12:00 – 16:00 £10.99
SUNDAY & BANK HOLIDAYS 12:00 – 22:00 £14.99

DINNER from £14.99
MONDAY – THURSDAY 17:00 – 22:30 £14.99
FRIDAY – SATURDAY 17:00 – 23:00 £15.99
SUNDAY & BANK HOLIDAYS 12:00 – 22:00 £14.99

My London Getaway!

Last week I did something I didn’t think I’d do for a really long time. I went away for a couple of days without Erin or John. Part of realising that I have PND also meant that I realised that I need some me time now and again. So, I headed off to London for a night to see my sister and her fiance (Nat & Chris). It was also a kind of late birthday present too.

London

I arrived late morning on the Thursday and we started off with a Wetherspoons breakfast before heading off to Jurassic Kingdom (Review coming soon). Even though Erin wasn’t with me, I still wanted to do a couple of things that maybe I wouldn’t have normally done before. We all had loads of fun, especially taking selfies with the dinosaurs. It was a beautiful day as well so it was nice to get out of the city and in a big, open space.

After Jurassic Kingdom I headed to my hotel, the Holiday Inn Express (Review coming soon) in North Acton, to check in and lighten my bags a bit. The hotel was a 2 minute walk from the tube station so that was great. It is about 20 minutes away from central London on the tube but I didn’t mind that at all.

On Thursday evening we had tickets to see Dreamgirls (Review coming soon), which was my birthday present from Nat and Chris. Before the theatre we went to Bills for dinner. Bills is one of my favourite restaurants so I knew the food would be amazing!

I was so incredibly excited about seeing Dreamgirls. Not living in London means never really being too bothered about seeing any shows. However, Dreamgirls is a favourite of mine and I was desperate to see it. Unfortunately though, Amber Riley wasn’t in it on the night we went but that wasn’t a problem. Come back to read the review in a few days!

On Friday we also had quite a few plans. I got up quite early and headed out for a roam about on my own before meeting Nat and Chris again. We were meeting near the Southbank Center so I went to look at the London Eye and to chill by the river. I think I got there at about 9am and it was so quiet and peaceful. It was a lovely place to be before everything opened.

At 11:30 we had tickets for the London Duck Tours. (Review coming soon) I’ve never done a tour of London before and I was so excited about this. This really didn’t disappoint and it’s one of the most fun things I’ve done in London.

Lunch on Friday was my favourite restaurant of all time, Vapiano. There are branches all over the world and they have the best pasta ever.

Vapiano

Of course, we had to do a bit of shopping so we went to Liberty’s and Carnaby Street where I finally got to go to Choccywoccydoodah. I was in chocolate heaven and could have bought everything. I didn’t though. Instead, we went to Bubblewrap Waffle in Chinatown. I had to wait an hour for a waffle but my god was it worth it!?

By this time we were all exhaused but we headed to Westfield Stratford as it’s not far from where Chris lives. He had to pick up some bits as he and Nat were coming back with me for the weekend. Nat and I did some wedding dress viewing and a bit more shopping but that didn’t last long. My poor feet were killing me.

My London getaway was bloody knackering but it was so needed. I got to do loads of my favourite things and also do something new and exciting. I can’t say I felt refreshed but I can quite happily go for quite some time now before needing some time to myself like that again.

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Giraffe World Kitchen, Norwich

A few weeks ago I needed to head into Norwich with Erin to get a Mother’s Day present and a couple of other bits. Normally if we do this I take her a sandwich or something and I grab myself something quick to eat. However, I felt like having lunch out with my girl but we hadn’t planned on anywhere to go. As we were walking by, I noticed that Giraffe had a children eat free offer! How could I resist?

giraffe

We went for lunch at 12 on the dot, even though Erin was fast asleep. Typical! Still, I was determined to attempt lunch. The restaurant was very quiet at this time which I was thankful for. Lunch out with a toddler can go all kinds of ways.

Having never been to a Giraffe branch before, I didn’t know what to expect from the menu.  I didn’t even know that the full name of the restaurant was Giraffe World Kitchen. There was so much choice. I have to say though, I played it really safe with a burger (£9.95). This is the kind of place you go to though when the people you’re with all fancy something a bit different. I ordered the salmon and sweet potato fries for Erin.

The food only took 10-15 minutes to come out and it was delicious! My burger was cooked to perfection and the fries were crispy! Erin ate all of her sweet potato fries and a lot of her salmon. I think she’s only had it once before so I was really impressed with how much she ate! Erin’s free meal consisted of a main and a dessert (it was supposed to come with a drink but we weren’t offered one) so I chose a chocolate brownie and ice cream for her. I obviously had to have one myself too (£5.50). I was really glad I did too as sharing one with Erin wouldn’t have happened. She devoured hers and finished mine.

All of the staff made a real fuss of Erin which was lovely, even when she wanted to chase one of them round in circles. They didn’t mind one bit though!

There was only one aspect of out visit that let it down a little bit. This was the baby changing facilities. The baby changing can be found in a really dingy looking corridor near the kitchen (I think). The changing room is actually doubled with the disabled toilet, with other toilets being upstairs. Now, I have no problem with the disabled toilet and the baby changing being together. However, because people couldn’t be bothered to use the other toilets we had to wait quite a while to use the facilities.

Overall though, I really enjoyed my lunch out with Erin. It’s not often we go just the two of us and we both had a great time.

Have you been to Giraffe before? What did you think?

The Library Restaurant, Norwich

I absolutely love finding new restaurants to go to when we go into Norwich. My sister and her fiance visit roughly every 6-8 weeks and we love to go out for lunch. John recently found us The Library Restaurant, even though unfortunately, he didn’t make the meal in the end!

the library

We had our table booked for 12pm as Erin came with us. She gets very grizzly when she’s hungry. No idea who she takes after there! When we arrived, we were shown to our table and asked if we wanted some chips brought over for Erin straight away so she didn’t have to wait. This was honestly so nice. I have never been anywhere that has offered this before, or even really taken notice of Erin. It’s little things like this that will make me want to go back.

the library

the library

the library

Erin had so much fun feeding Auntie Natalie her chips! They took a couple of minutes to arrive and it kept Erin happy for the whole meal.

The lunch menu was really impressive and we all had a hard choice. Everything sounded wonderful and we wanted more than 1 thing! In the end, we had starters and mains.

the library

Soup

the library

Brushetta

Chicken Wings

I had the chicken wings and they were so good! Instead of just being regular chicken wings, they were Southern Fried. However, there was so many and I didn’t finish them purely because I knew I wouldn’t have space for my main as well. Starters were around £5.95 each but they can also be made into a main meal if you want to!

For the mains I went for gammon while my sister and her fiance had a chickpea burger with halloumi, red onion and homemade pesto. These were £8.95 and £10.95 respectively.

the library

Gammon and chips

the library

Chickpea burger

We so desperately wanted dessert because they sounded amazing. However, we were all stuffed!

Another lovely little touch was that the bill came in an old book. It was perfect for this restaurant. Speaking of books, this was actually an old library and you can see bookcases and books all around. My sister even wore a book Cath Kidston dress to match the decor!

I absolutely could not fault our meal or the service at The Library. The staff were so lovely and our meals were served quickly and presented really well. Nothing was too much trouble and Erin was made a fuss of which she loved.

I cannot wait to take John back so he can experience this place for himself. It’s such a shame he had to work on the day!

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Christmas meal at the Beechwood Hotel

Living in a small town means that there aren’t many places to eat out, unless you want a pizza or Chinese takeaway. If you want to go out for a proper meal you have to go to a nearby town or into Norwich. For us, that adds £15 on to any kind of meal/ day out because of train fare.

Our family have a tradition to go for a pre-Christmas meal. The weekend before Christmas my mum and sister came to stay and this is what we did. I chose the Beechwood Hotel where we live in North Walsham. Although it’s pretty much on our doorstep we had never been before. I’d been told it was pretty fancy and being a picky eater made me worry that I wouldn’t like anything.

Anyway, when we arrived we were greeted in reception with someone taking out coats for us! We were showed to the bar area where we had a seat while looking over the menu, ordering some drinks and eating canapes.

After ordering our meals we were shown through the the dining room. Our table had plenty of space around it so we didn’t have to stash Erin’s pushchair elsewhere. This really made things a lot easier for us as it meant having everything of hers to hand. You never know how an 11 month old is going to act during a meal!

While we were waiting we were served warm rolls and butter. Erin was happy chomping away on these! Our starters didn’t take long to arrive at all and they looked, and tasted, amazing. I had ‘fans of galia melon, mango and raspberry ripple sorbet, pineapple and star anise compote’. Amazing is not a strong enough word. I don’t think I’ve ever had fruit as a starter before but the sorbet was seriously nice. 

For the main course I went with sirloin of beef with veg, roast potatoes and yorkshire pudding. John had sea bass, my mum had beef as well and my sister had rosti potato pancake, cranberry, thyme, pistachio, feta and butter bean filling, savoy cabbage, roasted carrots and rosemary veloute. 

Sea bass

Rosti potato pancake

Sirloin of beef

I don’t think there was a scrap left on any of our plates. I am extremely picky with meat and my beef was cooked to perfection. Erin tucked into some of everyone’s meals and was really happy to share! I think the parsnips were her favourite though.

Desserts were the hardest choices of the meal though. Two of the waiters tried to be helpful and recommend some of the choices but it turned out that they thought everything was amazing. I can see why. We all chose something different so that we could share and taste each dessert. I had a deconstructed passion fruit and mango cheesecake which I do think was the nicest.

Sticky toffee pudding

Passionfruit and Mango cheesecake

Creme Brulee

Trio of chocolate

Not only did we get amazing meals but we also got amazing service. For me, good service really makes or breaks somewhere and the Beechwood Hotel’s staff make me want to go back again. Nothing was too much trouble for them. They even spoke to Erin and picked things up for her when she’d thrown them on the floor a million times. I honestly didn’t think that this would be a child friendly restaurant but I was so wrong.

My only annoyance was there apparently not being any baby changing facilities. John went to change Erin twice and couldn’t find them. However, if we go back again I’ll be sure to ask just to be sure.

A three course lunch cost £24 so fantastic value. Prices do vary for dinner. If we’d gone into Norwich we’d have paid something similar for a meal from a chain and not got nearly as good quality. We had the perfect Christmas meal as a family and I think we’ll be going back next year now as well.

If you’re over the North Norfolk way then this place is a real gem! 

 

Zaks Authentic American Diner: Norwich (Waterside)

Ever since John and I went to America for the first time 3 years ago I have been desperate to find somewhere local that does comparable food. I tried one American Diner chain a few years ago and have since never tried anywhere else because it was so bad. All I wanted was some nice American pancakes and instead I got scotch pancakes from a packet.

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Anyway, I had heard really good things about Zaks in Norwich and just recently I went for dinner with a friend to see what all of the fuss was about. To start with, we went to the Waterside location on a Friday evening and arrived at about 6:30. The tiny car park was packed already so we had to go and find a street to park down and walk to the restaurant. I’m glad it wasn’t raining!

American

Not only was there very little parking but the restaurant also wasn’t accessible. The Zaks website gives directions and info about each location and I really feel like this is something that should be mentioned. Luckily, it wasn’t an issue for us but it would be for a lot of people.

Once we were seated we ordered a couple of cokes and set to work on deciding what we both wanted to eat. The menu is quite extensive and everything sounded amazing. I decided to go for something I would never normally pick and that was the sticky BBQ chicken wings. My friend had the loaded potato skins.

I couldn’t believe what was put in front of me when the starters arrived (quickly, I might add). My chicken wings were huge! I was so glad to have been given a finger bowl with this starter as it was super messy. These were some of the best BBQ wings I have ever had and I want to go back for more just writing this post!

Chicken wings

Sticky BBQ Chicken wings

Loaded Skins

Loaded Skins

As my chicken wing starter was so big I wondered how I would carry on eating. I did manage it though. My friend and I couldn’t decide what we wanted so we decided to share mains. I went for the Southern Fried Chicken with Curly Fries while she had a Cheeseburger with Sweet Potato Fries and we halved everything! We were also quite bad and had Mac & Cheese and Corn on the Cob as sides as well.

Southern Fried Chicken with Curly Fries

Southern Fried Chicken with Curly Fries

Cheeseburger with Sweet Potato Fries

Cheeseburger with Sweet Potato Fries

Mac and Cheese

Mac and Cheese

Corn on the Cob

Corn on the Cob

Do not ask how we managed all of this food, but we did! However, some of it wasn’t as good as the rest of it. The Southern Fried Chicken was a bit dry and the coating was a bit bland while the Mac & Cheese was super sweet and sickly. On the other hand, the cheeseburger was AMAZING, as were both lots of fries. I could have eaten this all over again. I know next time, because there will be a next time, I wouldn’t know which option of fries to choose! They were just so good and I’m really glad we shared.

You would think that after all of this food we wouldn’t have been able to manage dessert. My whole thing about American Diners here in the UK is the crap pancakes so I couldn’t really leave Zaks without trying theirs could I.

Pancakes with Banana, Toffee Sauce and Cream

Pancakes with Banana, Toffee Sauce and Cream

Pancakes with Banana and Ice Cream

Pancakes with Banana and Ice Cream

Oh the pancakes! I was in absolute heaven. These buttermilk pancakes were exactly what I was hoping to get and they’re as close to proper American pancakes as I’m ever going to get here I think. Unfortunately, I was so full that I only managed half but I did take the rest home with me!

I had such a fun (baby free) evening out at Zaks. The service was fantastic and even though the restaurant was really busy, we were never waiting too long for anything. Each staff member was very approachable and did whatever they could when we asked any questions. We were also quite the awkward customers at times too, asking for no sauce on this, plain something else etc. Nothing was too much trouble and it wasn’t a problem at all.

If you’re ever in Norwich I would highly recommend going to Zaks. I know I’ll be back and I won’t be waiting too long to go!

Disclaimer: We were provided with with a complimentary meal for the purpose of this review. All opinions are our own. 

Restaurant review: Turtle Bay Norwich

Back in August I wrote about going to the amazing Turtle Bay Press Preview. It was my first experience with Caribbean food and I couldn’t wait to go back. Luckily, we were invited to do a review of the full Turtle Bay experience. John and I were so excited to go for a meal together and even better that we did it for our third anniversary.

Turtle Bay

Turtle Bay

We arrived just before 12pm and there were already people sat at the tables! I thought we would have been one of the first there. We were seated by quickly by the lovely Gabrielle and we had a great view from the large window. Erin with us and there was plenty of space for her pushchair. We were also brought a pushchair quickly for Erin!

Selfie!

Erin was starving when we got there so unfortunately she didn’t eat with us. Turtle Bay’s website shows a children’s menu although we were not offered one. I actually would have ordered for Erin had we been shown a menu. We had a bit of trouble feeding Erin the food we’d brought with us as she was absolutely transfixed by the twinkly lights and colourful interiors!

Erin

John and I started with some lovely drinks, a Passion Fruit Cooler and a Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie!

Passion Fruit Cooler

Passion Fruit Cooler

Peanut & Banana Smoothie

Peanut & Banana Smoothie

We were a bit rubbish at deciding what we wanted to eat so we ordered our starters on their own before deciding on mains. I ordered the Jerk Glazed Ribs with coconut glaze while John had the Jerk Pit Prawns. Now, I thought having the coconut glaze on my ribs would mean they would be a little milder than the regular jerk glaze. I would hate to think how hot the regular glaze is because my mouth was on fire! John happily ate both of our starters!

After the heat from the ribs I decided to play it safe with a Street Burger, which comes with pulled  jerk pork and spiced fries. John had the Jamaican Browned Chicken which comes with rice and peas and Caribbean Dumplings. I also had my own Caribbean Dumplings because I remember loving them at the Press Evening.

Although the Jamaican Browned Chicken comes with scotch bonnet in the mix, John actually found it quite bland compared to the heat from his earlier ribs. My Street Burger was absolutely delicious though. The burger itself was really juicy and cooked exactly how I’d want it. I hate a pink burger and this was done to perfection. The jerk pulled pork gave the meal a bit of warmth but nothing too hot or unmanageable. Neither of us left any of our food so that goes to show how much we enjoyed it!

When we finished our mains it was about 12:50 and the restaurant was quite busy. Georgina was running around like crazy and Tom, the manager on that day who had also been looking after us, was busy too. Unfortunately, we had to wait about 30 minutes before our plates were cleared. I had to ask a different server for a dessert menu so I kind of felt as though we’d been forgotten about a little bit by this point. We’d also run out of drinks too.

When we did get to order dessert we went for the Dark Chocolate Brownie and the Banana & Toffee Cheesecake. John ordered a Latte while I went for another Passion Fruit Cooler. Tom made sure our desserts came out a couple of minutes later and they were AMAZING! John and I shared because neither of us could decide and I’m glad we did. The chocolate brownie was so moist and was teamed so well with some vanilla ice cream. Banoffee is my favourite so the cheesecake was a bit of a no brainer for me really. I would order this again in a heart beat!

Our whole experience at Turtle Bay took around 2 hours and Erin was very grumpy by this point. She was annoyed and wanted to sleep but wouldn’t settle because there was so much going on. This could have been avoided easily had we not had such a long wait between the main and the dessert.

Even with the long wait between courses, Georgina and Tom did a good job of looking after us. They had smiles on their faces the whole time, were super friendly and made us feel extremely welcome.

I can’t wait to go back to Turtle Bay for another meal. Thanks for having us!

RESTAURANT DETAILS
8 Swan Lane,
Norwich,
Norfolk,
NR2 1HZ
Website
Norwich@turtlebay.co.uk
@turtlebayuk
Facebook

Disclaimer: We were invited to Turtle Bay for the purposes of a review. All opinions are our own. 

Levi Roots Caribbean Smokehouse

After going to the Turtle Bay Press Preview I really wanted to try some more Caribbean food. On a recent trip to Stratford to see my sister and her boyfriend, as well it is being my mum’s birthday, we headed to Levi Roots Caribbean Smokehouse for lunch.

Restaurant

I had booked our table for 12pm so the restaurant had only just opened when we arrived, meaning it was pretty empty. However, it didn’t take long for it to start filling up! We were seated near the window which was lovely as it meant we had a good view of the restaurant but could also look outside as well!

The restaurant interior is really colourful and fun!

Caribbean Smokehouse

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As we visited at lunch time there were two menus available for us to choose from. We had the regular menu or the special lunch menu (£9.90 for a main, side and a drink). Between the four of us we had a mix of both menus. My mum and sister both had Pepperpot Vegetable Curry with Rice and Peas while Chris and I shared a  Boneless Reggae Reggae Chicken Platter (£20). We also had sides of sweet potato fries and plantain (£3.90 each).

Pepperpot Vegetable Curry with Rice and Peas

Reggae reggae chicken platter

Pepperpot Vegetable Curry with Rice and Peas

There was certainly a lot of food on our table! I don’t think we really realised just how much there would be. Everything was amazing, although none of us finished everything!

The platter that Chris and I shared could have easily done three people instead of two. With this platter you get chicken breast, thighs and pulled chicken. You get the option of having this simply smoked or it being dipped in the jerk sauce. Now, if you like something on the milder side of hot, don’t have it with the sauce! We had it simply smoked and that was quite warm enough. There is sauce on the table if you do decide you want a bit more of a kick.

I didn’t try the curry but I was assured that it was lovely!

Along with some amazing food I think we also had really good service. The food came out quick enough without it being rushed. Our server came over enough times during our meal to check on us but we never felt as though it was too much or invasive. We also were not pressured into feeling like we had to order dessert after finishing. I would have loved to have tried their rum cake or passion fruit meringues though.

I think that Levi Roots Caribbean Smokehouse is a VERY different kind of Caribbean restaurant to Turtle Bay. I think they cater a bit more for people who don’t like Scotch Bonnet in absolutely everything and there are more milder options which is fantastic!

Levi Roots Caribbean Smokehouse, you’ll be seeing me again I’m sure!