Little Stonegate, York
Sun-Weds 11.30am-11pm; Thurs 11.30am-midnight; Fri & Sat 11.30am-1am
The floor vibrated with the sound of live reggae as the crowds gathered for the VIP opening night of Turtle Bay – a new taste of the Caribbean on York’s Little Stonegate.
I was invited to the restaurant’s launch party earlier this month. They’ve actually been open a few weeks – several friends have already been and really enjoyed it.
The brand has a good reputation amongst friends in other parts of the country so I happily accepted the invitation, well it would have been rude not to!
The long tables had been removed from the main body of the room and it was full of people, dancing to the band and the DJ that preceded it.
The raised seating area was reminiscent of an American subway; typical of the décor in Turtle Bay, which was quirky and different and grabbed my attention.
The lighting was dim, with the ceiling covered in tiny lights on strings which, for some reason, made me think of New Orleans.
Platters of finger-sized food were passed around by a large team of waiting staff. It was at this stage I starting pining a little for a table as trying to eat curry with a spoon while juggling a drink at the same time proved interesting.
We sampled sweetcorn fritters (heaven), plantain (an acquired taste that I don’t think I’ll acquire, but which proved popular with everyone else), a chicken curry dish that had a refreshing kick (from something I still can’t identify), ribs, chicken wings and calamari. All were outstanding.
The staff were friendly, enthusiastic and helpful. You could see they were enjoying themselves and that made for a really good atmosphere and vibe.
I have a friend who uses a mobility scooter and we sometimes struggle to find somewhere to eat when she comes to York, so I inquired about access and was assured that there’s a large walkway to one side of the tables that gives easy access to all the facilities.
My only concern on the night was a passing thought that the large square bar might be a little too close to the front doors, creating a potential bottle-neck when Turtle Bay inevitably proves popular for cocktails at the start of a night out.
That said, I left knowing I would be booking a table again very soon as I think this venue has such a different vibe and menu.
Turtle Bay is somewhere you can go as a couple, as a family or as group of friends and have a very enjoyable evening.