Turtle Bay Newcastle is located next to the Gate, as part of the Old Coop Building redevelopment. We’ve walked past here several times and last year popped in for some cocktails. This weekend we decided it was time to try the food. The kids were desperate to go to to Za Za Bazaar, so we managed to send them out with Granddad! We got a little sneaky date night meal.
Turtle Bay Newcastle
The Interior of Turtle bay is an eclectic mix of reclamation, but with a bright overlay. I remember when we were in the Caribbean on our honeymoon, that outside of the built up areas, builder were very resourceful. A lot of corrugated tin roofs and up-cycling of items that had been found from storm debris.
Here in the centre of Newcastle they have tried to capture the island living feel. There is a large section of roof over the bar area that is made from scaffolding poles. Near the kitchen there is large sails hung from the ceiling. Thinking back it had the atmosphere of a beach bar and outdoor eating. One wall was created from a brightly coloured display of speakers, while others were covered in murals.
Turtle Bay Cocktails
When your on your Jamaican “holiday” it would be rude not to try the local cocktails. Which if you like Rum you’re in for a treat. I spotted a Flight of Rum, which consisted of 4 measures of different rums and a can of mixer. At £18 it wasn’t cheap, but if you like your rum then it could be for you. There was a two for one deal on cocktails, so we both had Bahama Mamas.
Jerk Spice at Turtle Bay
If your a fan of spicy food Turtle Bay is for you. Although I didn’t spot this, my Brother John mentioned that most things have Scotch Bonnet Chilli attached to them. I had a feeling it was going to be spicy anyway as my Dad used to add Jerk spice to all sorts. So I had a clue as to what to expect. Maybe this is why you are given a jug of water, even before your given the menu!
To start with we decided to have a Beach Food platter. This consisted of Corn Fritters, Garlic and herb flat breads, Pepper Roti and Jerk Chicken Wings. From the first mouthful of Corn fritter, the spice and the flavour was intense! The Jerk spice was… WOW! I can take the heat and it was amazing. Who would have thought a Corn Fritter could be so exciting.
Mains were a Double Dipped Steak and Spicy Fries for me, while Cat went down the Jerk Chicken and sweet potato mash route. As the starters were cleared away, we ordered up a second cocktail. As it was a Saturday night the place was buzzing. Staff were swarming around all over and I’m pleased we were tucked in our side section as it meant no one was shuffling past our table. Plus I couldn’t help listening in to the couple who were on an early date next to us. Two bottles of fizzy wine and clothes to impress, they were the equivalent of our honeymoon island living.
Jerk Pit BBQ
Our plates were in front of us quickly and my initial thought was that it was a small portion. There was a lot of white space on the plate, but it was Fries in a bucket, a scoop of coleslaw and a gravy covered steak. Cat seemed to have more of a plateful.
The first bite of the steak, bit we back with the Chilli kick. I was loving this. It is the first time I’ve ever had to take a rest break during a meal. The sauce and steak were so tasty, but there the intense flavour and heat was wearing me out. Two breathers and a Bahama Mama and I’d completed my steak.
Turtle Bay Toilet Time
I’d like this to be a thing with restaurant write ups and a recent chat with some other Bloggers gave mixed results. To me in a themed restaurant, you’ve stepped into the fantasy and your not really wanting to step out of it, until you’re back on the street. Turtle Bay’s toilets keep you in the zone. As you walk past the BBQ grill in the kitchen a meshed window gives you a peak. Murals and Caribbean colours continue into the toilets.
This is what I feel a theme restaurant should do. So often your greeted with white porcelain and a budget toilet. While here you have the functionality and the atmosphere throughout.
When all of the smaller details come together the over all offering is so much more. I really enjoyed this and will be looking for a return visit Turtle Bay Newcastle, but probably without kids again. Dealing with Imogen and a mouthful of scotch bonnet sauce doesn’t bare thinking about out.