For a bit of Latin American charm, visit the new Las Iguanas Bloomsbury
I’d forgotten how much I loved Las Iguanas until I visited their new Bloomsbury restaurant (located opposite Russell Square station).
It had been my regular place for cocktails at uni and I loved it so much I chose to return for my graduation meal. Moving back to Kent and working in West London, I don’t get to go as often as I like nowadays.
On arrival I was excited to see that they still had their 2 for 1 cocktail menu which I had taken advantage of many times in Kingston and to my delight they have extended it! As it is Las Iguanas 25th birthday, they now have 2 for 1 on 25 cocktails all day everyday. Amazing!
Before we made the most of this fantastic offer though, we were treated to a quick Caipirinha masterclass where we were able to make our own. Caipirinhas are pretty easy to make – fresh limes, sugar, ice and Las Iguanas Magnifica cachaç. Although I think I’m much better at drinking cocktails than making them, I didn’t stir mine very well so was left with a load of sugar in my glass. (I think I was distracted by the wafting aromas from the restaurant)
Despite this it was still SO delicious and I’m definitely a Caipirinha fan now – my version wasn’t too bad for my first try!
After our masterclass we were taken to our table where we ordered more drinks (we thought we would leave it to the professionals). I went for a Cuban Cherry cocktail (£7.50) – a concoction of Havana Club 3 year old rum, cherry brandy, maraschino liqueur, lime juice & almond syrup.
Karl went for the Miami Vice (£8.50), which I wish I had ordered too. It’s an absolute dream of Strawberry Daiquiri & Piña Colada in one glass.
For starters we ordered Nachos (£6.95) with smoked chipotle chicken (£1.95) – which had Karl claiming to be the best nachos he has had – and Dadinhos (£4.95). The Dadinhos were incredible. They are a Brazilian classic: crispy cubes of smoked cheese served with a sticky chilli jam. I cannot recommend these enough if you are dining at Las Iguanas and are a big cheese lover like me.
I love the vibe at Las Iguanas. We sat next to the kitchen as I loved the hustle and bustle of the chefs and electric atmosphere it brought. However, if you are looking for a quieter evening then there are plenty of other quiet dining spots in the restaurant.
The decor is bright, groovy and vibrant bringing a charming South American vibe to the place. There’s lots of wood furnishing and so much colour which is right up my street.
When Karl and I dined at Las Iguanas in the past I had major food envy over his Xinxim dish (£13.95). He ordered it again and once again I had food envy and I couldn’t resist a little taste. Xinxim is a Brazilian dish with chicken & crayfish in a creamy lime & peanut sauce with spring onion rice, fine green beans, coconut farofa & sweet plantain. I love anything peanutty and the peanut flavour of the dish is just amazing. I’ll definitely be ordering this next time I visit!
I’m a huge coconut fan so I went for the Bahian Coconut Chicken (£12.95) which did not disappoint.
The chicken is pan-fried in cumin, coriander & cayenne & cooked in a creamy coconut sauce with ginger, garlic, tomatoes & coriander and served with spring onion rice & shredded greens.
The food at Las Iguanas is always top notch and the portions are very generous making it well worth the money. The staff were so friendly too and always on hand to help and suggest dishes (we were highly recommended the Xinxim, which as I mentioned was a fantastic choice!)
Although very full, I could not resist dessert after taking a look at the menu. I struggled between my favourite – the brownie – and the Creamy caramel cake. I thought I would go for something different and ordered the caramel cake (£5). Karl went for three churros with dulce de leche (£3.95).
After being handed the dessert menu we waited about 35 minutes before we were asked our order. Although by this point I was less full and more likely to demolish my cake, so I guess it didn’t work out too bad.
Our desserts were definitely worth the wait. The creamy caramel cake was perfectly creamy. I devoured on layers of soaked sponge with caramelised cream and drizzled with dulce de leche and then topped with even more caramelised cream. So naughty but totally worth it and I would order it again and again.
The churros are dusted in delicious Cinnamon-sugar and served with dulce de leche dip for dunking. I think Karl was regretting ordering the portion of 3 as there is also an option for 6 churros (£6.95).
We had a fantastic night and I am dying to go back asap for the cocktails, cheese and caramel cake.
Las Iguanas, you need to open a branch in Kent!
15-17 Brunswick Square
(Opposite Russell Square Underground)