It's not all spicy

“How spicy is this going to be?”

It’s the million-dollar question - 10 chefs might give you 10 different answers! But that doesn’t make it easy if you’re just not that into spice!

Well, luckily for you, Caribbean food isn’t all about the heat. At Turtle Bay our focus is all on flavour – so whilst most of our dishes will have plenty of spices - like cumin or ginger - they’re not all going to knock your socks off with scores of Scotch Bonnet.

Just Ask

If you're a bit worried about spice levels - don't worry! Just speak to your server and they will be more than happy to recommend some less spicy dishes. All our food is made fresh in our kitchens, so there are plenty of dishes where the amount of spice can be less or more depending on your preference.

Wash down with a cocktail

Drinks in the Caribbean are quite often sweet as this balances out a spicy meal - the oil-based capsaicin (which is what makes things feel spicy) gets absorbed by sugar so calms the feeling. That's what makes our handcrafted cocktails the perfect accompaniment to your meal - not only are they ice cold, the sweet fruit syrups do a great job of complementing your main course.

It's all about balance

If you're a bit worried about going overboard on spice, pair your main with a sweet side for a bit of balance. All of our jerk dishes come with a side of refreshing slaw which pairs deliciously with meat or fish and also helps reset the palette if the spice gets a bit much. Plantain, sweet potato fries or dumplings are other great sides to balance out your main.

The not-spicy guide

We know it can be tricky navigating new menus if you’re not into the heat so here’s a selection of our least spicy dishes for anyone who’s not a fan of chilli…..

BRUNCH

Big Vegan Grill Down – the curried chickpeas do have a little warmth here but the cooling avo and sweet plantain do wonders to balance this out.

Bacon or Sausage Roti Wrap– a classic for anyone who doesn’t want a spicy start to their day. Don’t be put off by the chilli relish – it’s sweeter than it is hot. If you can handle a gentle warmth, the jerk bacon or sausage is the one for you.

Smashed Avo & Poached Eggs – a refreshing favourite, top with a poached egg to play it safe.

STARTERS

Crispy Chilli Squid – one of our most popular starters, just ask for no chilli for a spice-free option.

Sweetcorn Fritters – the fritters themselves are great non-spicy starter options but make sure you ask for the sauce on the side as this has a kick.

Garlic Flatbread – garlicky goodness and not a chilli in sight.

Doubles – a delicious vegan treat, our hand-stretched roti bread is topped with curried chickpeas. They aren’t a zero on heat but it’s really just a gentle warmth from a blend of spices like cumin and ginger. Tread carefully on the cucumber chutney topping though – it’s got a tiny kick so you might want to ask for this on the side.

MAINS

Mo’ Bay Chicken – an all time Turtle Bay favourite, this dish has a creamy jerk sauce with just a background level of warmth to it. The sweet plantain and coconut rice and peas keep things balanced.

Jerk Tofu – this is a good entry level jerk dish. The tofu doesn’t absorb as much marinade as chicken so it’s not as hot, but the jerk gravy has a medium amount of warmth so tread carefully if your spice tolerance is 0.

Fried Chicken – the ultimate indulgence, whatever your spice tolerance. Our Mac n Cheese has a little kick to it, so you might want to switch this out for a side of fries.

Buddha Bowls – the freshest of flavours and a super healthy non-spicy option. If you’re really not OK with heat you might want to forgo the cucumber chutney. Pulled chicken or jerk halloumi are great toppings, just a gentle warmth to both of them.

Sweetcorn Roti Roll – sweetcorn fritters are a great non-spicy dish, served in a freshly grilled roti with smashed avo, pickled onions and crunchy lettuce. The only hint of spice in this dish is the mild jerk mayo. This just adds some delicious flavour, but you can always ask for it on the side to be on the safe side (pun intended!)

Burgers – all our burgers are full on flavour and light on spice so take your pick!

Sides – pretty much ALL our side plates are low on spice so you’re safe with most. Just be careful with – Cheesy Jerk Fries and, Mac n Cheese and Pulled Jerk Chicken. And don't be scared away from the 'spiced' fries - their deliciously addictive spice mix is a blend of spices, not chilli!

PUDDINGS

All safe except the chilli chocolate brownie, which isn’t exactly ‘spicy’ but does have a subtle hint of chilli!

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