Las Iguanas are a Latin American inspired restaurant that pride themselves of fresh, colourful and seasonal dishes. Their interiors are always vibrant and the menu and cocktail offerings fall in line with this too. I'm always impressed with their vegan and gluten free options, which are probably one of the best offerings I've ever seen from a chain restaurant. And since their menu is ever changing, I've been back to the Leicester branch a few times to try out their new dishes!
On this occasion, the new additions included Corn and Habanero Fritters, Havana Club & Jerk Pork BBQ Ribs and a new Buenos Aires Burger inspired by the flavours of South America; a chargrilled prime short rib and chuck beef patty, topped with garlic aioli, baby gem lettuce, pork chorizo, caramelised onion, Emmental cheese and fresh herb chimichurri sauce. Even since visiting in September, they have a few new dishes added for Autumn and Christmas.
We went for a mix of their tapas style starters to begin; Dadinhos, Albondigas and Ceviche. You can choose a choice of three for £14.95 or five for £24.95, which would be great to enjoy with friends over cocktails. The Dadinhos, one of the newer additions, are cubes of cheese which have been crisped up and served with chilli jam. I loved the flavour and texture! A seriously moreish plate you won't want to share.
The Albondigas are a traditional lamb meatball hailing from the South American region of Patagonia. They are blended with mint, apple, parmesan and a hint of nutmeg before being cooked in a rich tomato sauce. The hints of mint in the sauce came through and made the lamb extra tasty. It was a shame it didn't come with bread though, to mop up the spicy sauce. Lastly was the seabass ceviche, which was a new dish that is sadly no longer on the menu. This was a lovely texture clash which came with crispy sweet potatoes on top. The fish had been cured in lime, chilli and coriander to give a fresh taste.
Alongside we enjoyed a couple of their Vanilla Mai Tais (£7.95 with two for one cocktails - awesome!). These are shaken up from Havana Club Especial rum, Absolut Vanilla vodka, lime juice, almond syrup and bitters. Very fruity and sour with a hint of almond - my favourite. A few new additions include a Yuzu Samba and Watermelon Margarita - definitely need to go back for those!
For the main event we both went for seafood dishes. Mine in the form of Moqueca de Peixe (£14.95) and my dining partner opting for a pan fried seabass dish with sweet potato crisps and achiote, a special which is no longer available. Instead they now offer a similar Seabass, Crab and Prawn dish (£13.50) which comes with a seabass fillet, white crab and peeled king prawns in a tomato, fresh coriander, achiote, parsley, basil and red pepper sauce. The seabass had some great flavour and was beautifully presented, however was full of bones which made it sadly less enjoyable to eat.
My dish was a curry-like medley of homemade creamy coconut, tomato and lime sauce featuring peeled prawns and sustainable white fish - with Moqueca de Peixe translating as fish stew. I really liked the addition of rice, grilled plantain, pico de gallo and coconut farofa to sprinkle as required. The sauce itself has some excellent flavours and was mopped up accordingly. However for £14.95 I felt that there weren't many prawns in the dish.
Have you been to Las Iguanas lately? What are your favourite dishes?
We dined as guests of Las Iguanas. All opinions and photography my own - I was not expected to write a positive review or otherwise.