Tag: Cocktails

Turtle Bay Comes To Middlesbrough!

So if you follow me on social media you probably noticed that I was lucky enough to attend a special preview evening of the new Turtle Bay restaurant in Middlesbrough last Wednesday night. This was basically a small gathering of North East bloggers, PR’s and I believe local councillors, who were all invited along to preview their new menu before it opens it’s doors on 23rd April 2017.

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TurtleOpen

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Firstly, why on earth have I never visited a Turtle Bay restaurant before?! “Rum, Reggae, Jerk” , can you get any better than that?! From the moment you walk through the door of this place you feel an instant relaxation. From the smooth reggae tunes and the ridiculously friendly (in a good way!) staff to the amazingly refreshing cocktails and massive choice of rums (over 40!), it’s pretty impossible not to have a smile on your face within the first few minutes of your visit.

Cocktails

If you just fancy popping in for a few cocktails there’s definitely plenty to choose from, whether it be a boozy one or a soft drink. My personal favourite had to be the Bahama Mama which is full of fruity flavours and finished off with some coconut rum and banana liqueur- total amazeballs indeed! What’s even better though is that they have a ‘Happy Hour’ where all cocktails are 2’4’1 all day, every day until 7pm and again from 10pm! If you’re feeling a bit peckish too they offer some moreish bar snacks of Jamaican Jerk Nuts, Spicy Pork Rinds and Jam Rock Spiced Popcorn- I couldn’t stop nibbling, especially the popcorn.

Nibbles

So onto the important part; the food! The first dishes brought to our tables were the Just Jerk Platter and the Vital Veggie Platter.

jerkplatterThe Jerk platter has a selection of pork ribs, wings, beef riblets, beef patties, sweetcorn fritters, spicy popcorn and a super green salad and every single element of this sharing dish is absolutely incredible. Every piece of meat was cooked to perfection and literally fell from the bone and melted in the mouth.

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The Veggie platter consisted of okra, grilled mushrooms and peppers, pepper roti, flat bread, curried chickpeas and again the sweetcorn fritters and super green salad. Now I’m not a vegetarian and probably wouldn’t have chose to order this myself so I have to admit that I was totally surprised by the utter deliciousness of everything on here! Especially the okra- I’d have that again no problem!

veggieplatter

Next up, we were brought two curries to try; Bajan Beef Cheeks and Spinach, Aubergine and Sweet Potato Curry.

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Like the meat on the Jerk Platter, the Bajan beef cheeks were incredibly succulent and tender. It had a lovely spice to it but it was quite mild, perfect for me.

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The Spinach, Aubergine and Sweet Potato Curry was again gorgeous. The vegetables were cooked just right; soft enough to enjoy but still full of flavour. I don’t think I’d manage a full portion of this though, it was a tad more spicy than the beef!

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After the curries we noticed that the BBQ was in action which of course meant, Jerk Chicken!

Jerk

A 24 hour marinated and pit grilled chicken, smothered in jerk seasoning, sour orange chutney and fresh coconut shavings, served up with coconut rice ‘n’ peas. Incredible. I love everything about this dish- it totally shouts ‘Caribbean’ and the flavours speak volumes.

BeefRib

If you don’t fancy chicken though, I’d have to recommend this one, the Slow Braised Beef Rib which was my favourite of the night! This was dished up with some sweet tattie fries and some watermelon, lime and coriander chow salad which was absolutely incredible! The very thought of fruit with savoury makes me feel uncomfortable for some reason, but I have to admit that this combination of sweet and spice worked beautifully. It’s making me hungry just thinking about it…

Parmo

Next up (I know, how much food?!), was the chefs own surprise creation which isn’t actually on the menu and was a total one off for us; The Turtle Bay Jerk Parmo!

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As the ‘Parmo’ was created in Middlesbrough I thought this was a lovely touch! I have to admit though, as I’m closer to Newcastle (Upon Tyne), I’ve probably only ever tried a few Parmo’s in my life. And those that I have tried have been rather dry and greasy! But the Jerk Parmo? This was on another level. The flavours were just incredible and as with the rest of the meat through the evening, the chicken was tender and there was plenty of it! This should definitely be on the menu, or at least on a secret menu!

By this point I was slipping into a major food coma and was just about ready for bed, but then we were brought a dessert selection to have a try of! Like I wasn’t going to try any, right?!

dessert

Banana & Toffee Cheesecake, Fresh BBQ Pineapple, Rum & Raisin Bread Pudding, Dark Chocolate Brownie and my absolute favourite, the Passion Pie. Think lemon meringue pie but instead of lemon this is passion fruit, not as sharp but gorgeously sweet and fruity. I couldn’t get enough of it and made my food coma worse by eating quite a bit of it! The toffee and banana cheesecake was gorgeous too, in fact every element of this dish was, but I will definitely be ordering the Passion Pie again when I return!

I headed home pretty sharpish after dessert as the food had definitely won and I was literally ready to fall into bed! This is hands down my new favourite restaurant and I can’t recommend it enough- even if you’re just in the mood for some cocktails, you have to give Turtle Bay a try! And it’s open now! (Opened 23rd April 2017)

Have you ever visited a Turtle Bay restaurant? What did you think?

Mother Hermit xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Las Iguanas- Newcastle Grey Street

Last night my sister and I took my Mother-in-Law over to Newcastle as we had bought tickets to the theatre as a surprise for her 60th Birthday. The past couple of weeks I had been looking online to find somewhere to go for pre-theatre food and cocktails but couldn’t decide on anywhere, so after a quick tweet to CannyFood and the recommendation of Las Iguanas, the table was booked.

I’d booked the table for 5.30pm as the show was due to start at 7.30pm and I wanted to make sure we had plenty of time and didn’t feel we had to rush our food and drinks. When we arrived I was a bit worried because it looked rammed! The bar was absolutely packed and because the sun was out everyone was making the most of it at the outside tables. We went in through the restaurant entrance and was quickly greeted and shown straight to our table. The friendly staff member then brought us a few different menus and went through each one with us, explaining that it was buy one get one free on a wide selection of cocktails all day-every day and told us that we could order from the main menu but our best option was to order from the lunch and pre evening menu as this was available until 6.30pm. We ordered some drinks, cocktails for me and my sister and Brahma for the MiL, and were left for a few minutes to make our dinner selections.


We decided to share a breadboard and some extra Pao De Queijo (cheese dough balls) to start and ordered our mains from the lunch and pre evening menu as recommended. Myself and the MiL chose the Cuban Sandwich and my sister went for the Blazing Bird. Within about five minutes our starters and drinks arrived- very quick service considering how busy the restaurant was. The bar had quietened right down by this point too. The breadboard consisted of ciabatta, jalapeno cornbread and cheese dough balls which were gorgeous, every item was so fresh and soft but we weren’t too sure on the jalapeno cornbread as it was quite sweet and the texture was quite like a cake. Everything else was cleared up quite quickly with the chipotle butter which was a lovely smokey and slightly spicy accompaniment.


Once we had finished our plates were cleared and again within minutes our mains were served. My sister’s choice looked amazing. Half a chicken in a Honey Peri-Peri glaze with curly fries. But there’s no way I would have chosen it over the Cuban sandwich. Oh my days it was amazing! I was a bit worried about ordering it because I usually find that pork is very dry and tough, especially when it’s served in a sandwich, but I noticed this was belly pork so I had to give it a go. It was beautiful, the meat was so juicy and tender it just fell apart and the mustard and gherkin relish worked with the pork so well. That along with a generous side of curly seasoned fries, it’s safe to say I was pretty full and satisfied when I’d finished. The MiL definitely agreed which was backed up with her empty plate! My sister said that her chicken was gorgeous with plenty of meat and the right amount of glaze but the portion was too big for her to finish. Again once we had finished eating, our plates were cleared very swiftly and we were offered a dessert menu or coffee’s but we were feeling a bit full so just opted to have another drink sayings as we still had an hour before the show started!


I was really impressed with every aspect of our visit to Las Iguanas. The whole meal, 2 starters, 3 mains, 8 cocktails and 2 pints of lager came to just under £70. Even the decor was lovely and the atmosphere of the whole place was very relaxing. And the cocktails? Well I could have happily sat and sampled them all night if we hadn’t booked the theatre! We’ve decided to book up for another show later in the year and I’ll be booking us a table here again- no doubt about it!


Mother Hermit xx