A short walk from the Market Square, Las Iguanas is the perfect place to enjoy a meal.
With its Latin vibes and lively atmosphere, the restaurant on Chapel Bar has always been a popular venue with the folk of Nottingham and yet one I had only visited once myself. For some reason I think must have gone very early in the week as that night it was quiet, That certainly wasn’t the case on Wednesday night as specially invited guests flocked into the newly refurbished restaurant.
The large chain restaurant originally started in Bristol back in 1991, and is one of Britain’ success stories. The food is as vibrant as the decor which has been updated, along with the seasonal menu. new additions include Ipanema Mussels, cooked in a lime, coriander and coconut sauce; Seco De Cordero, a Peruvian-style spicy lamb shank, and Cauliflower and Corn Quinotto.
A brightly-coloured corrugated wall bearing the slogan Taquero Mucho is the centrepiece. It translates as ‘A lot of taco’ but it’s not just taco you can enjoy at the restaurant. There is a whole host of Latin cuisines from Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and Peru.
My evening begins with a quick cocktail masterclass in the lounge area, Usually, you can sit and enjoy a bar food menu or enjoy the fantastic two-for-one cocktail offers that Las Iguanas run daily, but tonight I am taught how to make my own Caipirinha. One of their signature cocktails made with Las Iguanas Magnifica Cachaca, lime and sugar. It’s sharp taste tantalising on the tongue.
Seated I choose from a vast selection of fresh and vibrant dishes. Starters include Havana Club & Jerk BBQ Glazed Pork Ribs Pato Taquito, Albondigas and more. I opt for Quesadilla; folded Tortilla pan roasted and filled with Garlicky Mushroom, Chilli, Thyme and Cheese. Served with Roasted Tomato Salsa. A delicious blend of flavours. Really tasty but be warned – I apparently still smelt of garlic the next day, so if you’re on a date – make sure they have something containing garlic too. Believe me, it’s worth it. Fortunately, I was with two friends, and I didn’t plan on snogging them Thankfully in this versatile restaurant you can feel at home with friends, in a large party or as a couple.
I love nosing at what other people order and there were definitely some tasty looking dishes being served. You might have noticed I chose a veggie option for my starter, I did the same for the main. I like a lot of vegetarian food and I always think that if a restaurant can do a vegetarian dish well then they care about their food. Often the vegetarian dish seems to be a bit of an afterthought but I’m pleased to say that Las Iguanas had several Vegetarian options plus they’re approved by the Vegetarian Society. I picked another one for my main course.
I could have chosen from Moqueca De Palmitos, Fajitas, Chilli but I went for Cauliflower & Corn Quinotto – a Peruvian-style quinoa risotto with smoked cheese, roasted cauliflower & charred baby corn, topped with puffed quinoa & crispy chilli.. As my photo shows, it’s not the most instagrammable dish but it was packed full of flavour. A mojito and a couple of espresso Martini’s later and I’m done.
I had a great time. Next time I won’t leave it so long. The restaurant is fitted with comfortable sofas and chairs but with Spring looming the al fresco dining area at the front will be the perfect spot for enjoying the longer days.
For more information or to book visit: https://www.iguanas.co.uk/restaurants/nottingham
By Tanya Louise