A few weeks back, we were really excited to attend a VIP Preview evening at the brand new Turtle Bay Northampton on Gold Street, so when they got back in touch and asked if we fancied trying out their whole dining experience we couldn’t wait to book our table!
First off, the place looks beautiful – low lighting with fairy lights, and the £800,000 renovation works are obvious. There’s a real feel of a chilled out beach hut to all the decor. The Gold Street neon is a nice touch too.
We were shown to our seats after a little confusion over our booking (which was quickly sorted out) and given plenty of time to peruse the cocktail menu. There’s so many to choose from, although it would be great to have an indication of how strong they are on the menu – I’m not a big drinker, so I’d like to have some low alcohol options to choose from instead of just having to pick from the Caribbean Softs options. That said, their Pineappleade is delicious (even if the slush was a bit melted by the time it got to me) and makes a great refreshing drink to cut through the Jerk spices. Hubs tried their Turtle Bay Cider which he really enjoyed – it was a bit sweet for me – and our friends had a Limeade and an Island Records Jamaican Porter (which was a bit like Liquorice apparently!)
Turtle Bay Northampton Review
Our starters came in good time, and me being awkward and asking for the lovely Ladies’ Fingers without the mayo wasn’t a problem. They were good sized portions, and all looked so tasty that we were sampling each others – although Hubby had the Jerk Chicken Wings and after one bite became a bit territorial! “If anyone wants one of my chicken wings then tough. Hands off. They’re mine!” They were perfectly cooked, with the meat sliding clean off of the bone.
Our friends had the Stuffed Pepper Roti, which was described as “creamy, but then the chilli kicks you in the back of the mouth”, and the Crispy Chilli Squid.
There was a small issue with our mains, having 3 of them come out but then being told the 4th (which was mine) was going to be a few more minutes was pretty disappointing. But they apologised profusely and explained that the chefs had overcooked my Jerk Pit Salmon, and they would rather serve it late than badly cooked, which I can appreciate. And it was worth the wait – I had it with the Pineapple Jerk which was a beautiful combination.
Hubs chose the Jerk Sirloin Steak, which was a perfect Medium Rare, and our friends munched through the towering Two Way Chicken Burger and the Baby Back Ribs. Lesson learned here though – those Spicy Jerk Chips are POTENT! If you’re not a huge spice fan I would look for a different side.
Turtle Bay Northampton Review
Time for another round of drinks while we considered the dessert menu! Hubs had a Passion Fruit Cooler, while I had a lovely Caribbean Pimms – which is Pimms with fresh mint, lime, cucumber slices, ginger beer, fresh passion fruit with passion fruit juice. It was really warming and fruity. It’s great that they have some specially brewed ales and things like Red Stripe beers – as there’s such a wide range of drinks, there is something for everyone.
Desserts. I think this was the only time the four of us stopped talking. They were AMAZING. I had the Rum and Raisin Bread Pudding, which is honestly one of the best puddings I’ve had in a long, long time. It was moist and full of Cinnamon, and the perfect size to end the meal with. We’d also ordered the Chocolate Brownie, Spiced Rum and Chocolate Pot with coconut ice cream, and the Banana and Toffee Cheesecake. We were all in agreement that they were all a good size – you ran out before they got too sickly, as they were pretty sweet. They were really helpful when it came to checking for allergies too – I can’t eat almonds, which is a fairly unusual one, but they double checked for me.
All in all, we had a great night – the staff at Turtle Bay Northampton were attentive and friendly, and it was nice to be remembered by the manager from the preview evening. As the evening drew on, we were pretty sure the music got louder – I can imagine if the place was full it would be quite difficult to have a conversation with the music at that volume. The food was a little slow to come out considering it wasn’t that busy, and it was a shame that a few things we wanted to order weren’t available. Our server’s little electronic ordering tablet also kept logging her out, which meant it took a bit longer to make our orders – she handled it all with a smile though!
We will definitely be heading back there again soon – they even have a kids menu, so it would be nice to take our little ones there for lunch one day soon.
Turtle Bay Northampton is located at 2-6 Gold Street, NN1 1RS in the town centre. Happy Hour 2-4-1 on cocktails before 7pm and after 10pm.
Disclaimer: We were invited to dine at Turtle Bay in return for this honest review.