Preston’s newest restaurant Turtle Bay opens its doors to the public tomorrow. We were given a sneak preview of what it has to offer.
Turtle Bay assaults your senses before you’ve even stepped foot in the place- in a good way. Turning off Friargate onto the Flag Market you can’t miss it. Its floor-to-ceiling windows, decorated with fairy lights, illuminate the square.
Upon arrival, we were greeted warmly by Fran, the General Manager of Turtle Bay and Oliver, head bartender of all their restaurants across the country.
Oliver was there to give us a taster of their cocktail menu where you won’t find a Cosmo or Sex on the Beach. Turtle Bay’s cocktails are especially designed with the Caribbean in mind, inspired by the region and their love of rum.
In fact, each Turtle Bay restaurant houses forty different types of rum, as well as serving the Jamaican beer Red Stripe and a range of soft drinks.
First up for us was the Mai Tai; Appleton Special rum, orange rum liqeur, apricot brandy, lime, mint and pineapple. As you can see, a lot of effort goes into the ingredients of the cocktails but the results are spectacular. The Mai Tai is sharp, sweet and refreshing. And so tasty!
Next up was the Tobago Tea, one of two of variations on a Long Island Iced Tea. It had the usual ingredients; rum, tequila, vodka, gin and triple sec but was topped with lemon, mango and lemonade to give it that Caribbean kick. Considering how much alcohol is in it, it goes down very smoothly!
The Jamaican Mule was next and this is where things got very interesting! The Mule was simply Sailor Jerry’s Spiced Rum, lime and Turtle Bay’s homemade ginger beer. It’s the latter that completes this cocktail. It’s not your regular ginger beer; it is made with cloves, bell peppers and a range of spices that gives any cocktail a kick, but especially this one. After the immediate taste, the ginger beer hits the back of your throat but not in an overpowering way. It’ll warm you through, making it a superb winter cocktail.
Last but not least was the mind-blowingly strong Beachcombers Zombie. Made with four different types of rum and topped with absinthe, bitters and tropical juices, this cocktail is one for those who like their drinks strong and their memories blurred.
Although it wasn’t on our agenda, we were lucky enough to try some food while we were there and this is where Turtle Bay really exceeds. It serves up authentic Caribbean cuisine in big ‘one-pot’ portions. They’re also happy to cater for individual needs, i.e. less/more spice. For what it’s worth, this reporter fully recommends the Jamaican Browned Chicken. You won’t be disappointed.
Turtle Bay are hosting a big launch party tonight ahead of its official opening tomorrow; look out for Pluto’s review of the night’s events. We can’t wait for it to open. There is nothing like it in Preston and we think you lot are going to love it.