There aren’t many venues kicking around, which you can walk into and immediately succumb to their positive energy. The recently opened Turtle Bay Caribbean Restaurant in Newcastle, is an exception to the rule.
Turtle Bay, which is the city’s first actual restaurant of its kind, is situated on Newgate Street, in the old Co-op building which has been redeveloped in order to house other venues including a Holiday Inn.
Upon entering the venue, you can’t help but smile, and the cause is simple yet genius! The overwhelming, uplifting and positive vibe is the culmination of a few welcomed factors which include; a delightful playlist of upbeat Reggae music, regular 2-4-1 cocktail offers, jovial staff who genuinely appear to be enjoying themselves and an eclectic decor which features bold colours and tangible Caribbean-esque furniture.
“…Then There’s The food!”
The food here is literally a melting pot of authentic Caribbean cuisine with dishes inspired by the flavours of three Caribbean islands – Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad – to create the Turtle Bay menu.
One of the stars of the menu is the Curry Goat one pot (£9.70). This rather fiery dish consists of tender chunks of marinated goat cooked with scotch bonnet, sweet potatoes and citrus served with rice, peas and Caribbean dumplings ( Like stodgy but delicious Yorkshire puddings). If you’ve never tried goat before, I suggest you grab this opportunity by ‘both horns’ and dive right in. Take it from me – Goat cooked right, and it is cooked right here, is a delicious, tender meat which absorbs and retains flavour.
The other headline feature is the jerk chicken dish from the Jerk Pit BBQ menu (£10.10). This Caribbean classic, sweet & spicy marinated chicken, should not be overlooked. They also do a decent burger with a twist. Seasoned beef burger, pulled jerk pork, brioche bun, baby gem, sweet onion chutney, herb mayo, Caribbean slaw & sweet potato fries – with a slice of pineapple on the side (£8.50).
“You’ll love your visit to Turtle Bay so much, that you may find yourself saying ‘Irie man’ instead of ‘Alreet man’!”
If you want The Caribbean in a glass, the bar stocks over 40 rums and, unsurprisingly, it’s the spirit which is the main ingredient in most of the cocktails. With imaginative names such as Marley Mojito, Bahama Mama and Tobago Tea, and laid-back reggae beats, you’ll be jammin’. (2 for £6.95 during happy hour which lasts from noon till 7pm and 10pm till close every day). My personal favourite is the beautiful, yet lethal – Reggae Rum Punch – 126 proof Wray and Nephew rum, strawberry liqueur, fresh lime, orange and pineapple.
So, whether you’re a fan of Caribbean cuisine, want to try it for the first time or looking for food with a kick and a bit of Caribbean sunshine in the wet Newcastle summer, Turtle Bay will be right up your street!
So remember… When your feeling low, Turtle Bay is the place to go!
Address: 117 Newgate Street, Newcastle, NE1 5RZ
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