I’ve never tried Jamaican food before, but I love the party vibe surrounding the spicy food. Don’t forget those rum based cocktails, too… Turtle Bay Chelmsford invited me along to their VIP launch night. Here’s the low down on the new Caribbean restaurant…
The initial vibe and atmosphere of the restaurant and bar is just exciting and fun! The eatery is decked out with a mixture of wood and metal, fairy lights, graffiti art and neon quotes. It gave the illusion of being in a bar in Jamaica, sipping cocktails and chilling out listening to reggae music.
We got to sample the menu, and boy was the food AMAZING.
As soon as we stepped in, we were offered a Duck Roll. The shredded duck was slow roasted, with onion, tamarind, soy sauce and chill, with a sour orange chutney. It was so flavoursome and tender.
Next, I tried the BBQ Pork Belly. The marinated pork belly is slow braised for 24 hours, grilled to perfection with a crisp crackling, smothered in sweet onion chutney and green seasoning. I’m not usually a fan of pork belly because I just associate it with fat, but wow, the meat was so tender and melt in the mouth!
The Jerk Pit Prawns were next. Whole grilled prawns in a herb, chilli and garlic butter marinade. It had a hot sweet kick but they were so melt in the mouth.
I was worried about eating the Jerk Ribs because of the mess and hello, I was wearing a lime green top, the most inappropriate colour to wear when eating, BUT, they were insane! The grilled pork ribs are marinated in a honey BBQ glaze, drizzled with orange chutney.
Again, I tend to associate ribs with fat, but it was literally 80% meat and it was so tender and flavoursome, the meat just fell off the bone.
I didn’t sample the burgers, but the beef and jerk pork Street Burger looked delicious. I love burgers with a brioche bun, so I’m looking forward to giving it a go soon!
Unlimited cocktails went down a treat, too.
We were given Reggae Rum Punch to start off with. A Wray & Nephew based drink, with strawberry liqueur, fresh lime, orange and pineapple. I had a bad experience previously with Wray & Nephew so after one sip I swiftly passed on that…
I went for Tingwray next. This one had Wray & Nephew in too, but was mixed with Ting grapefruit and fresh lime which was more palatable. They sure know how to make strong cocktails!
I’m looking forward to going back for happy hour, which runs 11:30am-7pm and 10pm-1am. All cocktails and wines are 2-4-1, and I can’t wait to try the Vanilla & Passionfruit Mojito, a sweet concoction of gold rum, fresh passionfruit juice, lime and mint!
The whole team were enthusiastic, happy and bubbly all evening. It’s nice to feel welcome into a place that could seem a little daunting to a complete Caribbean newbie like myself! Becky was a credit to the team. She was chatty, friendly and super helpful!
Have you been to a Turtle Bay before? Do you like Caribbean food?