Let’s face it, Greater Manchester is unofficially the most exciting foodie city in the UK, with the rate of openings only matched by a willingness to experiment. Within this ocean of choice there are plenty of Caribbean eateries serving up exotic flavours from tropical shores, and almost definitely even more Italian and southern Mediterranean establishments vying for your attention. But what we don’t often see is a restaurant combining a taste of the West Indies and surrounds with a dash of Italy and its neighbours. A unique proposition which, as one quick online search reveals, seems to be working very well indeed for Tortuga.
Located inside a brightly painted, pastel-hued building in Droylsden, once you’ve tracked this place down and settled at one of the tables all eyes will fall on the food. The menu splits across various categories, and as is tradition starts with the starters. There, you’ll find a number of European staples like grilled halloumi and garlic ciabatta with cheese, alongside popular dishes from Jamaica and nearby islands, such as Caribbean prawns and spiced lamb chops. Pastas are also available as a mains, along with salads and burgers, although the real stars of the show come from the grill.
Think jerk chicken and Caribbean-inspired mixed grills, beef ribs and more. steaks, meanwhile, get a section of the menu just for them, and come in the form of sirloin, rib eye, or fillet. Onto the bar, and you’ll find small but well chosen lists of whites, reds and roses, and a choice of fizz for those special occasions. Not to mention a good selection of draught beers, including Italian mainstay Peroni and Jamaica’s own Red Stripe. Add a range of mocktails and cocktails, including the rather potent Tortuga rum punch, refreshing Caribbean strawberry daiquiri, and non-alcoholic virgin passion punch, not to mention various soft drinks by the bottle or can, and there’s not much more to ask for.