Hello guys! I’m sorry for my lack of presence on the blog lately but life has taken over and I’ve been enjoying a short break away from it all. Today I’m getting back into the groove of things by sharing a review of an amazing new restaurant coming to Middlesbrough. For me, 2017 is all about trying new things, as you will know from my first encounter with Octopus last month. This week I had the pleasure of attending the VIP launch night of Turtle Bay on Corporation Road in Middlesbrough. A vibrant Caribbean restaurant boasting sensational flavours from their famous jerk chicken and steamed goat curry to their lethal cocktails. Caribbean food is something I’ve never delved into so this event was something I was really looking forward to.
Photos taken by Adam unless otherwise stated 🙂
Upon arrival me and my boyfriend, Adam sat by the bar which resembled a beach hut – already giving us those summer holiday vibes. The barman greeted us with some of the bar’s famous Reggae Rum Punch (made using Wray & Nephew rum which is 63% proof!) followed closely by some jerk infused nibbles in the form of popcorn and nuts which were a delicious start to the evening.
With over 40 different types of rum available alongside other mainstream alcoholic brands, it’s clear to see Turtle Bay take their drinks very seriously. After making our way through most of the cocktail menu, Passion Rum Punch, Tingwray, and Beachcombers Zombie were our favourites! With 2 for 1 on all cocktails from 11:30am – 7pm and again from 10pm until closing, I can see this bar being a hotspot for pre-drinks!
Over the course of the evening, the cocktails were flowing and we were spoilt with an absolute banquet of food to give us a good feel of the menu. The open street-style kitchen allows you to watch your food be freshly prepared in front of you which gives this chain restaurant added flair compared to other chains.
Shortly after taking our seats, we were given two sharing starter platters – one meat and one vegetarian board. Each board contained a variety of dishes from the general starter menu. My personal favourites were the spicy sweet corn fritters, jerk chicken wings and chickpea flatbread.
Our next course involved sampling some of the one pot curries; again, we had a meat and vegetarian option to try. The meat one included succulent beef cheeks whilst the vegetarian option was made up of sweet potato, butter beans, spinach and aubergine; both were accompanied by boiled rice. I preferred the flavour of the vegetarian dish than the meaty one which is unusual for me. It made me see that vegetarian food doesn’t have to consist of tasteless greens and can be full of flavour. Although the curries were both pretty spicy, the spice didn’t overpower the flavour which was amazing.
Next we got to tuck into braised beef and a full chicken coated in delicious jerk marinade which gave the chicken an amazing taste and made the skin extremely crispy and tasty. Served with sweet potato fries, rice and a jug of sauce for good measure, it was clear we weren’t going to leave on an empty stomach.
Image source: Turtle Bay
The kitchen staff at Turtle Bay in Middlesbrough whipped up an extra special dish especially for the launch – a parmo with a Caribbean twist! Unfortunately this won’t be on the main menu however I do hope they have it on a special board because it tasted insanely good! With over 50 authentic Caribbean dishes to choose from, there’s something for everybody.
Image source: Turtle Bay
If that wasn’t enough, we finished the night with a dessert platter for us to try a bite of each of the desserts from the dessert menu. Whilst the dark chocolate brownie would normally have been my favourite of the bunch, the banana and toffee cheesecake was the best dessert I’ve tasted in ages! I also really enjoyed the rum infused bread and butter pudding.
Following the £800k investment into Turtle Bay in Middlesbrough town centre, the restaurant has been tastefully decorated to reflect the vibrant Caribbean lifestyle complete with reclaimed materials, funky wall murals and plenty of colour. Along with an impressive playlist, you could easily forget about the dreary smoggy weather and believe you’re abroad living life in the sunshine. I can definitely see Turtle Bay becoming a firm favourite in our town!
Turtle Bay Middlesbrough opens on Sunday 23rd April and is located on Corporation Road in Middlesbrough.
*Complimentary food and drink provided by Turtle Bay in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Please read my disclaimer for more information.