When Turtle Bay invited me along to their press preview evening I was promised a night full of rum, reggae and authentic Caribbean food. What I got was way more – Newcastle’s latest addition to the restaurant scene fully immersed me into a vibrant and lively Caribbean inspired experience, creating a feel of celebration and carnival that this region is infamously famous for. From the get go you realise that Newcastle doesn’t have anything as unique as this restaurant and in this little review I’ll explain why…
Upon entering the restaurant the first thing to notice is just how colourful the restaurant is. With bold oranges, greens and yellows throughout. The unique use of speakers is a nod to Turtle’s Bay newest location; recognising Newcastle’s love of partying. There is also many bespoke murals throughout the restaurant adding yet more artistic flare. After a quick glance round I was handed one of Turtle Bay’s signature cocktails – the ‘Reggae Rum Punch’. Cocktails are a must when visiting Turtle Bay with each one having it’s own touch of Caribbean sunshine and a slightly heavier touch of rum. As well as the ‘Reggae Rum Punch’, I also tried the ‘One Love’ and ‘Island Ice Tea’. Of the three my favourite was definitely the ‘One Love’ which is made from passion fruit liquor, Blackwell rum, fresh passion fruit & coconut all blended together and served martini style. If that wasn’t already enough to tempt you, then maybe the Happy Hour is. Running from 11.30AM – 7PM and then from 10PM till close, Turtle Bay offers 2-4-1 cocktails. What else could rum lovers want?
Beyond the well known jerk chicken I didn’t really know much else about what Caribbean food had to offer. I can now hold my hands up and say that there is so much more! Throughout the night we were served various dishes and sharing platters which were all full of flavour. To start we were served what Turtle Bay call a cutter – inspired by beach shacks across the Caribbean islands. It is, in essence, a sharing plater perfect for groups wanting to experience a variety of zesty flavours. Our selection consisted of sweetcorn fritters, jerk chicken wings and duck wraps, all of which were rich in flavour and spice.
For mains we were served a few of their fantastic options. Of course, the classic jerk chicken was served with sweet potato fries which were gorgeous. My favourite was the Curry Goat one pot we received. Turtle Bay’s selection of ‘One Pots’ are advertised as rich, slowly simmered and authentically Caribbean. This resulted in goat that melted in the mouth and provided me with flavours I haven’t really experienced before. I wanted to pretty much try all of the menu – something I don’t get too often in restaurants.
To conclude, I truly had a brilliant night at Newcastle’s newest and exciting dining experience. Providing this cold English city with the flare and spirit of the Caribbean – whether it be from downtown Bridgetown or the white sandy beaches of the Turks & Caicos. As Bob Marley once said, ‘You have to be someone’, so why not be that someone to visit Newcastle’s Turtle Bay?
Let me know what you think in the comments below.