Try and say Turtle Bay in a Caribbean style accent – “Tear-till-ee Bae”
It was a grim night in Liverpool, with the heavens deciding to spur on the evening with a good push of rain and wind – the norm for this time of year around the city. Getting dropped off in town, the roads are busy and the rain is pouring – but we’re hoping for a warm welcome from the launch of Turtle Bay on Hanover Street.
Pulling up in the car, our eyes are drawn to the bustling sidewalk and vibrant lights of Turtle Bay. With a literal red carpet entrance, everyone felt the star. Letting us past the rope, we give in our Liverpool Bloggers name and we’re dragged in by the smell of Caribbean cuisine and a bright bar with drinks calling our names…
Walking through the door, we’re greeted by someone I’m guessing was a manager. With no one getting past without a huge smile and hug, I feel like I’ve known this place for years. With some Rum Punch being poured for each of us, it’s safe to say the grim outside thoughts evaporated with the inside hospitality.
Finding a place in the crowd, we stood with drink in hand admiring the venue. With tiny fairy lights lining the ceilings; retro bulbs that are making a return; seating areas with what appeared to be a canopy to create an outside Caribbean feel; a hectic bar with drinks galore and a kitchen that exuded a sweet aroma of food yet to arrive. It had a buzz that was contagious.
Music was another thing to add to the list. With an authentic Jamaican band playing live all night, we felt at ease mingling in with everyone else enjoying the night.
It felt like a big family already between the staff. With each and every one of them walking with a beat in their step, a smile on their face and an aim of serving someone with a drink or food. The hospitality was outstanding, and I only hope that this quality continues on in the restaurants journey; if it does – they will be a contender for top dog on Hanover Street.
After sipping away our first cocktail, we realised that the drinks were flowing all around us. A free bar had joined the night. With a selection of Jamaican Lager, Rum inspired cocktails and non-alcoholic choices – everyone was happy. When the drinks were low, one of the staff members in their iconic red T’s would be around to save the day with another beverage.
A few choices from the menu included:
BAY BRAMBLE: White rum, blackberry brandy, fresh lemon & club soda
HOUSE RUM PUNCH: Dark rum & Passoa, fresh passion fruit, orange juice & lemon
CARIBBEAN PIMMS: Pimms, fresh mint, strawberries, cucumber, lime, ginger, orange & passion fruit
JAMAICAN PALE ALE: By the Bay, for the Bay
RED STRIPE BOTTLE: The Jamaican’s beer of choice
I went for the House Rum Punch, and then went on to Red Stripe Bottle. It was a fruity style of lager that I would love to try again!
What we were eyeing up was the huge trays of food coming out of the kitchens. We had a choice of…
Jerk Chicken Wings: 24 hours spice marinated, grilled chicken wings served with sour orange chutney
Jerk Glazed Ribs: 24 hour marinated, grilled pork ribs served with sour orange chutney
Duck Roll: Slow roasted shredded duck, onion, tamarind, soy sauce, chilli & sugarcane, served with sour orange chutney
… And a pot of Jerk Chicken: 24 hour marinated & grilled, with sour orange chutney & coconut shavings and rice
There may have been a few others, but these are the ones we got the names of, and these were the most delicious! The jerk chicken was amazing; so tasty and fresh. The glazed ribs made my lips tingle with the heat, but it was a taste that lingers in my mind as scrumptiously different.
The Caribbean vibe captured everyone’s imaginations. It’s a concept that hasn’t really been explored in Liverpool yet, and its one that I think will be hastily swept up in the hype of the city. With another venue near Victoria Street, the name is already circulating. But with Hanover Street evolving into a new hub for international dining, I expect to hear a lot more from Turtle Bay.
Thanks for the invite, we’ll be back soon for some spicy specials!