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Turtle Bay: Worth the Hype?

March 9, 2016 in Eating Out 13

Since it opened in Newcastle a few weeks ago, Turtle Bay has been showered with praise by North East food lovers, just check out some of the complimentary tweets below…

I was lucky enough to be invited along to a press launch of the Caribbean restaurant where I got the chance to sample several dishes from the menu and enjoy an endless supply of potent rum cocktails. Needless to say I had a top night, the service and food were all top notch, but my memory of the detail was somewhat hazy the next day (did I mention FREE RUM??)

So, before recommending a meal at Turtle Bay I thought I better head back and sample a typical evening there, paying a bit more attention to the food rather than the drink … you know, just to be sure 😉

turtle bay

I also took along my spicy food loving fella and his lovely Mam who had been wanting to try goat curry for years. Taking my Mother in Law out for a meal is always a risky business, don’t get me wrong, I love her to bits, the trouble is she has an unfortunate track record of experiencing mediocre food at even the most revered restaurants. However, it would seem Turtle Bay has broken the curse as the eagerly awaited goat curry got a big thumbs up!

picmonkey_imageThe meat in the goat curry was marinated in traditional curry spices with scotch bonnet for that signature kick! Sweet potatoes, citrus juice and ginger helped balance out the heat of the chilli and the generous one pot dish was served with traditional Caribbean dumplings. These were almost like doughnuts in texture and tasted quite sweet too, which probably accounts for why my Mother in Law couldn’t find room for dessert!

To be honest, neither could me or James, our mains of Jerk Salmon served with sweet potato fries and Jamaican Browned Chicken were both delicious and seriously filling! We’d also shared a Beach Food Platter, Chilli Fried Squid and Jerk Pit Prawns prior to our main meals… OK, we may have got a bit carried away with the ordering but everything on the menu was so tempting!

My pictures definitely don’t do the dishes justice, the focus in the kitchen is clearly more on taste than presentation but I can assure you that what the food at Turtle Bay lacks in finesse it more than makes up for in flavour!


There’s actually a really good selection of starters, platters and lighter dishes inspired by the food you’d find at beach shacks on the Caribbean coast… add to this the lively atmosphere, colourful surroundings and reggae music at Turtle Bay and it’s easy to imagine you’re on an exotic island, nowhere near the bustling bars of The Gate complex in Newcastle city centre! I can definitely see myself visiting for a quick bite at lunch and not leaving till the early hours!

turtle bay rum

Although I was the designated driver on this particular visit I do have to give a little mention to the amazing selection of rum on offer, Turtle Bay stocks over 40 different Caribbean varieties, all at the same price. The outgoing bar staff are a dab hand at making cocktails and with a happy hour that lasts from 11.30am – 7pm and then starts up again at 10pm, it’s not hard to get into the party spirit (pardon the pun!)

turtle bay board

It’s not often I find myself loving a chain restaurant as much as I love Turtle Bay and I honestly cannot wait to return!

Have you tried a Turtle Bay restaurant? I’d love to know what you thought and which dishes and cocktails you think I should try on my next visit.

Tasty Tuesdays on

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8 years ago

I would seriously go there every day for my dinner if I could, I love it!

Katie Bryson (@cookingkt)

I had a blast at the launch and really must go back – for cocktail hour!!! The food is so spicy and delicious and I love the party atmos. Looks like you had a fab time!!!

8 years ago

I’ve never eaten at turtle bay but the cocktails are yummy!

Corinne x

Lindsay At Newcastle Family Life

I keep hearing such great things about Turtle Bay, I really must visit. Your food looks and sounds delicious, as does the rum xx

8 years ago

I’m always put off by chain restaurants but I’ve never seen a bad review about Turtle Bay yet! Definitely on the list to try soon!

Dragons And Fairy Dust

I’ve not been yet, I really must go soon. It looks great fun


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4 years ago

Nice post! In my opinion, I think Turtle Bay is alright in terms of drinks but the food needs a big improvement to it. The portion size for the price was something I didn’t like. The setting of the place is really nice and has a colourful theme to it. I think it’s time more people look at other Caribbean restaurants and I hope to find more around the UK to review and talk about such as The Real Jerk: Hope you can read the post and comment! Maybe it’ll expand to other cities and towns as it gets… Read more »

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