Reviewed by Cora Leslie
Las Iguanas, Spitalfields is situated in the heart of Old Spitalfields Market and is a five minute walk from Liverpool Street Station. Its close proximity to Petticoat Lane and Brick Lane makes it an ideal place to stop for lunch or to round off a day’s shopping with an authentic South American meal… not to mention a few cocktails!
We arrived at Las Iguanas at 4pm on Sunday afternoon after having spent some time wandering through the market stalls and soaking up the local atmosphere – this is an amazing area and well worth a visit. As soon as we entered we were impressed by the warm welcome we received from Balash, the manager. He showed us to our table and informed us where the toilets were situated and then left us to browse the menu.
We were immediately impressed by the choice of food on offer: Tapas and starters, side dishes, olives and dips… and this was before we even glanced at the mains on offer! The waiting staff were informative and friendly but not intrusive. The drinks menu was explained and as they have "Happy Hour cocktails" all day on Sundays we decided to try one while we decided what to eat: Two cocktails for £5.20 – £7.50 is a real bargain especially in the City of London.
For starters we decided to share some quesadilla and albondigas. At the last minute I opted to add patatas bravas and I am so pleased I did. The patatas bravas came as chunks of crispy potato with two dipping sauces and mini skewers… absolutely wonderful!The quesadilla were mini parcels stuffed with spicy chicken, peppers, onion and cheese and the albondigas was a dish of lamb meatballs in a delicious tomato and chilli sauce. We shared all three dishes and could not decide which we liked best, all three were superb.
For our main meal my husband opted for the strip steak fajitas while I opted for the chicken chimichanga. Both meals arrived in a timely fashion and the fajita elements arrived separately so that you could compile them to your own taste… a very nice touch! My chicken chimichanga was served on a bed of rice and re-fried beans. Both meals were really well presented and lived up to expectations. I regret to say that I could not finish all of mine but did manage to taste some of the steak from my husband’s fajita, again, high quality food that left us completely satisfied.
We sat for a while with our drinks before ordering a desert, this was our choice and the waiter kindly gave us time to chat and ponder the desert menu. As our meal had been so filling we decided to share a Berry Mexican Mess, a South American take on Eton mess. The desert was scrumptious and I really wish it had been possible to have one each!
We had a fabulous late lunch, our waiter Gabriel, was attentive, friendly and unintrusive, allowing us to enjoy our meal but always ready when we needed anything. We left having had the best meal we have had for a long time and discussing what we will choose when we go back! The choice of food is all so tempting that I think we will be returning until we have sampled it all. The prices are reasonable for the amount and quality of food served. They offer 3 tapas for £13.80 or 5 for £23, so there would always be the option of stopping here for a few cocktails and sharing some tapas if you weren't in the mood for a full 3 course lunch/dinner.
They have high chairs available for children and an outside area that will be nice in the warmer weather.
Las Iguanas support South American businesses and also use rain forest alliance certified coffee producers. The Latin American music played, the decor and the layout of the restaurant lead to a lively, friendly atmosphere complimented by excellent staff. Definitely highly recommended for all occasions, whether it’s a light lunch, a full 3 course meal or just cocktails with friends.
For more informative, to view menus or book a table visit www.iguanas.co.uk