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It's not all spicy

Jul 01, 2017

“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 watermelon 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 Mac n Cheese 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

Blackwell Breakfast – we do like chilli, but never in porridge.

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

Scrambled Eggs on Roti– 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. We would suggest you avoid toppings if you don’t like spicy at all but if you can handle a gentle warmth, the jerk bacon is the one for you.

Avo Smash on Roti – 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 and Salt Cod Fish Cakes – 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.

Mac n Cheese – a Jamaican classic. For low spice, have it on its own, otherwise pulled chicken or mushroom toppings are worth a try.

Fish Fry – pure deliciousness. Don’t be put off by the beer and chilli batter – it adds flavour but the heat doesn’t come through too much.

Fried Chicken – the ultimate indulgence, whatever your spice tolerance. With a side of Mac n Cheese, you can’t go wrong.

Coconut Run Down – the coconut sauce keeps things relatively cool here. We’re not going to claim zero heat but you can rest assured it’s way more flavour than it is spice

Island Buddha Bowls, Kingston Caesar and Festival Salad – 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.

Chilli Smashed Avocado – it’s just a sprinkling of chilli flakes on the avocado, so chances are you’ll be OK with it. The curried chickpeas have a little warmth but lots of flavour.

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 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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