Venue Review: Turtle Bay
As soon as you step inside Turtle Bay, you feel its Caribbean sunshine; with the orange glow of the interior, the friendly smiles of the staff and the incredible menu of both cocktails and range of dishes, that appeal to all kinds of tastes.
The founders of Turtle Bay wanted to “bring the fun, bring the flavour and bring the good vibes” of the Caribbean to the UK, and they’ve done it so well that there are now 43 restaurants. The fact that almost every hour is happy hour also helps; which means two cocktails for the price of one (£7.95). Apparently, the Reggae Rum Punch truly does pack a punch, with Wray & Nephew’s overproof rum (63%).
Every Friday and Saturday evening, there are DJs and happy hour cocktails from about 10pm, and the vibe is like a Caribbean festival. There are ‘rum sharing boards’ so you can explore their astounding range of rums, presented at four different levels of quality, from good to fabulous.
Most people order tasty side plates to share at the bar, and there are plenty of choices, from Caribbean dumplings to sweet potato fries. For a proper meal, Jerk chicken, goat curry and sweetcorn fritters are very popular, of course; however, Turtle Bay’s extensive menu considers vegans, vegetarians and health-conscious foodies, as well as those who might want a filling brunch or a delicious burger. For lighter dishes, there’s an ‘Island Buddha bowl” with quinoa and a colourful, festival salad. If you still have room after the generous portions, the puddings are mouth-wateringly good, with a Caribbean twist on some traditional desserts, such as sticky ginger pudding and Caribbean mess.
The interior of Turtle Bay is warm and welcoming, and there are tables for playing backgammon, dominos or chess. Each Turtle Bay has a different mural of a woman’s face, and the sound-system look of the speakers. The décor takes inspiration from the reggae bars in the Caribbean, so you can imagine stepping outside onto a palm-fringed, sandy beach in the sunshine, rather than Croydon’s High Street.
With a fun vibe, great music, lots of space (max. 120 covers) and an economical set menu available (from Sunday to Thursday), this makes Turtle Bay a great place to go with a group of friends, family, colleagues or classmates.
And who doesn’t want to experience the fun, flavours and good times of the sunny Caribbean?!