bringing latino vibes to leicester is the fun and friendly fiesta of las iguanas restaurant. with a warm welcome, colourful atmosphere and a south american menu boasting a whole host of meaty grills, delicious seafood and spicy vegetarian and vegan choices, we sat down and joined the party.
since it was happy hour, it only seemed right to take advantage of the 2 for 1 cocktail menu. i chose a cana royale; las iguanas magnifica cachaça, raspberry liqueur and elderflower, topped with cava. fruity and sparkly and too sweet for my boyfriend. so i had his whilst he enjoyed a brahma brazilian beer.
to start, we shared three plates from the mix and match tapas and starters, choosing classic nachos, garlic lemon and chilli gambas and cha-cha chorizo. these glorious nachos have left me with a guacamole craving ever since - i've got a couple of avocados waiting to ripen ready :)
since it was soaked in smoked jalapeno sauce, the chorizo was super spicy but oddly moreish. i kept going back for more and following each bite with a glug of water! the spicy sausage had been braised in red wine so totally fell apart in your mouth.
as for the prawns, well, look at the size of them! they came out so piping hot and i was eagar to dive in and peel them. beautifully cooked, succulent and very messy to eat but worth the wait!
so for main i went for henrique rapadura. a latin lamb henry, smothered in sweet sticky cane sugar, soy, mint, guajillo chilli and star anise sauce, scattered with sesame seeds and served with chunky twice-fried potatoes and cuban beetroot and onion salad. an almost latin meets japanese mix of flavours which went well with the crispy potatoes and light but tangy salad.
my boyfriend went for the extraordinary xin xim; a brazilian inspired dish comprising of creamy lime chicken in a crayfish and peanut sauce with a spring onion, garlic and coriander rice, fine green beans and sweet plantains. it came with a toasted coconut to sprinkle - a delicious touch which added texture and brought out the coconut of the rice.
now onto puddings... i obviously had to round off the latin vibe with some churros! sprinkled with lipsmacking cinnamon sugar and served with a dulce de leche dip which i could happily drink. not sure about the mint there, mind.
we finished off with what we were told was the signature drink of las iguanas - a caipirinha. made from a chopped, lime, sugar and their magnifica cachaça, it was very similar to a mojito with a lot more punch and a lot less mint. refreshing and fun.
a fabulous evening in all. after much deliberation on their menu (i should say they actually have separate gluten free and vegan/veggie menus which i thought was brilliant) i can't wait to go back and try their calamari starter, home style burritos and baked butternut squash full of prawns, tomatoes and melted cheese. for now, it's guacamole making time!
eat well, eat fresh, eat latin.
find out more at las iguanas... ♥
note: i was invited to las iguanas for a complementary meal to review their menu. all opinions are my own.