I am always looking for new places to eat, so when Turtle Bay opened it's doors in Newcastle last month I checked out their menu online, and knew instantly that it was somewhere I wanted to try.
The restaurant is easy to find, situated just past Tiger Tiger and The Gate, behind Debenhams.

The atmosphere inside is amazing with Caribbean themed music playing, we were greeted by friendly and enthusiastic staff, lead through the super colourful and excitingly decorated restaurant to our table. We were seated in a great position, overlooking the restaurant and bar but with a great view of the open kitchen - I love being able to see who's making my food and watching the process. 
To drink I ordered the Watermelon Crush, which is blended fresh watermelon and ice and Robbie had a bottle of beer. I'd read a few reviews previous to going, and a few people had said the Watermelon Crush was the ideal drink to have beside you to help with the spicy food, so I kept that in mind and made sure I remembered to order it, not only was it cooling, it was really refreshing and delicious. I'm a big drinker, and always end up consuming most of my drink before my food, but as this was so icy, it really lasted well throughout the meal.

For starters I chose the Chilli Fried Squid and Robbie had the Jerk Chicken Wings.
My squid was one of the nicest squid dishes I have ever eaten (and I've eaten a lot!), and the portion was huge! It was served with mango mole and fresh lime and coriander mayo, which worked well to balance flavour of the chilli in the coating. On a spicy scale, these weren't very spicy at all, but packed with flavour - delicious!
The grilled chicken wings were served with sour orange chutney, again a nice sweet balance of flavour to combat the spice. Robbie was a little worried the 'jerk' spices would mean the wings were a little hot to handle, but although they were a lot hotter than my squid, they were still just flavoursome rather than hot.
When it came to ordering the mains, I was a bit stuck for choice between the One Pot Curry Pork Cheeks and the BBQ Pork Belly, but ended up going with the pork belly (an all-time favourite of mine). I'm so glad I did... described on the menu as 'slow braised 24 hour marinated jerk pork belly, grilled, crispy crackling, sweet onion chutney, fresh green seasoning' and I ordered sweet potato fries to go alongside... the flavours in this were incredible, spicy but not overly hot, just luscious. Although the presentation isn't the main thing in Turtle Bay, the colours on this plate looked stunning... it's just a shame the lighting in the restaurant meant my photographs don't do it justice!
Robbie had enjoyed his starter so much, he opted for more jerk chicken, in the form of Jerk Chicken Bun which was served in a sweet bun with sweet onion chutney, caribbean slaw and fries. He did point out that this was much hotter than the chicken wings, but still extremely tasty.

Unfortunately we were too full to squeeze in a dessert, I tried to convince Robbie to share a Spiced Chocolate Pot with me (how good does that sound?!), but he wasn't having any of it, and instead bribed me away by saying we'd come back soon to try some more!

We're not really big on hot food, I like a mild/medium curry and a mild Nandos, but nothing much hotter, so I was a little nervous about just how hot everything was going to be, but I didn't need to worry... I'd say the flavours outweighed the spice in the dishes we ordered, and we thoroughly enjoyed everything we ate. Please don't let the worry of 'its going to be too hot' put you off eating here, I'd say there's something for everyone, and the waitresses seem more then happy to explain the dishes and give advice on what you'd enjoy.

Have you been to Turtle Bay before? I can't wait to go back!
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