Turtle Bay has arrived in Newcastle, bringing Caribbean sunshine vibes, rum, reggae and jerk flavours to the North East.
Opening to the public today, Turtle Bay, located near The Gate, is bright, bold and intriguing. From the moment you walk in and see the colourful decor, relaxed atmosphere and range of food on offer, you'll forget all about the rain and cold.
I headed along late last week for their preview evening and found out they're pretty big on their drinks just as much as they're excited to share their food; there's more than 40 different rums on offer... So if you fancy a tipple or two, leave the car at home and try one of their cocktails. As I had the car, I enjoyed a Passionfruit cooler (super sweet and refreshing) followed by the Peanut Butter Smoothie (all kinds of amazing)
The starters, or cutters, as Turtle Bay call them, take inspiration from street vendors and beach shacks. Our selection included sweetcorn fritters (think onion bhaji style crispiness on the outside, soft and slightly chewy inside) hot pepper roti, duck wraps and chicken wings.
Onto main dishes and we were treated to two 'One Pot' curries; one with goat and the other a veggie Run Down. I'd never tried goat before but it was tender and full of flavour. The mix of spices in both curries really added flavour, but without being too spicy (in a hot sense) to enjoy. If you're not so much into the heat and spice, the jerk chicken might be for you. It was sweet, sticky and packed full of flavour and those cheese topped sweet potato fries were gooey and delicious.
If you're heading out for lunch and maybe don't want to devour half a chicken, or a curry, why not try a toastie? Turtle Bay offer chicken, salmon and pulled pork, all with the same crisp toasted bread, generous filling and plenty of melted cheese. Mmm.
By this point I was incredibly full (partly blaming the smoothie for this though - not sure why I haven't got a photo of said smoothie) but I always have room for dessert and whether you're a brownie fan, ice cream kinda gal/guy or you want some rum and raisin cake - there's something for you. I really liked the pineapple - being one of those people who'll order a Hawaiian pizza, I've no qualms against warm pineapple and the cold contrast of the coconut ice cream was a delicious pairing.
Turtle Bay opens today and for their first day will be asking diners to pay what they think is appropriate for their meal and donating to The Sunshine Fund. Find out more via their website where you can browse the menu and book your table too.