Review: Las Iguanas [Derby] new spring/ summer 2016 menu!


When I heard that Las Iguanas had launched a brand new Spring/ Summer Menu on 15th March, without even seeing it I new I just HAD to go and try it out.

Ever since I visited the Birmingham branch before Christmas I have been in love and itching to go back.

If you've never been, Las Iguanas is a Latin American restaurant offering authentic & exciting food & drinks. The new menu features fresh and vibrant new starters, mains, desserts AND cocktails!

We decided this time to try out the Derby branch and to venture out without the children for a change.

I was already giddy at the thought of a child-less evening. Add in delicious food & cocktails into the mix and I was literally like a kid on Christmas morning.


The Atmosphere

The Derby branch is situated in the convenience of the town centre. 

At the front is a bar and ample space for drinkers and the large back area is dedicated to the diners so it is the perfect set up to make a full night of it with a lovely meal, cocktails at the bar and then on-wards into town later on.

Because of this set up, the atmosphere in Las Iguanas is lively and was full of people celebrating anything from Birthdays to Hen-do's.

I loved this, because everyone around us was having fun and there to have a great night.

Other peoples happiness always rubs off and makes you feel happy!


Las Iguanas, Derby, is set in a beautiful building which has a really nice feel to it.

From industrial looking brick walls and metal work to rustic tables & lanterns & pretty twinkly fairy lights, the whole vibe was stunning.


The dining area has 2 little 'nooks' which were both laid out for larger parties which is fab that they can each have their own little area!

Below is one of the areas which was later filled with a big group of ladies celebrating a hen party.


Because of all the celebrations going on, the restaurant filled up from 7pm very quickly. A true testament to how popular the place is! 

It also meant that it was full of people of all ages from young children to the elderly. And no matter what age, they were all clearly enjoying themselves and the food. 

The Birmingham branch is filled much more (at the weekend) with a younger crowd of drinkers on a night out so it was nice that the Derby branch was more relaxed and varied but still full of fun.

The food

The food in Las Iguanas is far from boring. One thing that will strike you as you look through my photos is just how colourful and vibrant all of the dishes are. 

To me the look of a dish is as important as the taste. We eat with our eyes first and the look of these dishes get your mouth watering from the off.

For that reason, I'm going to let the pictures do the talking here and I guarantee you'll be drooling before you get to the end.

And you'll just have to take my word for it that the taste lives up to the look. Or go and try them all out for yourself!

Starters


A popular Brazilian bar snack & new to the menu are these Dadinho's - crispy cubes of smoked cheese served with a sticky chilli jam. Or as I like to call them 'little cubes of heaven'. Pure heaven.....

I literally could have forgone the main and dessert and just had these tasty little morsels of cheese three times over. 

Seriously, the trip to Las Iguanas is worth it just for these babies. 

These & a cocktail and I'm all good for the entire evening.

They are already proving popular as nearly all the tables I observed whilst we were these had a plate of these on the go.


Also new is a revised bread board. 

I love a good bread board and I love jalapeƱos so this dish was made just for me I'm sure.

As well as your standard ciabatta with oil & balsamic, this bread board features buttermilk & jalapeƱo cornbread & pao du queljo (cheese dough balls) with a chipotle dipping butter.

Mains


P ordered the new Havana club & jerk BBQ glazed pork ribs which is a true taste of the Caribbean. 

Mouth wateringly good, fall off the bone pork ribs covered in sticky rum glaze, topped with crispy onion & chilli with sweet potato fries & coleslaw.

P got into a total sticky mess chomping away on bones like a medieval king but my goodness, did he enjoy it. He was not happy when it was all over and wanted to eat it all over again despite being full to the brim.

And I need to make special mention to those little crispy onions. Who new crispy onion would be so delicious? A great addition to a lovely dish.


I opted for the fish. 

Being a pescatarian for 10 years before going back to meat, I love fish.

P is not a fan though so we rarely eat it at home unless is in a thick layer of batter or breadcrumbs so this sea bass was a real treat for me.

The sea bass is served in a light lime achiote marinade on a bed of a very generous portion of chargrilled asparagus with a roasted sweet potato mash topped with sweet potato crisps.  


As you can see from the clean plates, they were oh so very delicious.

Desserts

Nope, this isn't a cocktail. It is dessert. A cocktail flavoured dessert. Could it get any better?

This new vegan-friendly mojito jelly with lemon & lime sorbet is the perfect way to end a good meal on a light and refreshing note.

And it looks pretty too!


I however am a cheesecake monster.

If cheesecake is on the menu, no matter how full I may be, I just HAVE to have it.

And my most favourite cheesecake of all the cheesecakes is vanilla and caramel.

So I was a very happy that in amongst all the new additions on the menu, this little gem had kept it's place on there.


Look how deep that creamy vanilla layer is!

And topped off with dulce de leche sauce. 

SO satisfyingly good.


I love cheesecake so much it warranted two photo's to drool over.

The drinks

Las Iguanas has happy hour with 2-for-1 on cocktails EVERY DAY, EVERY HOUR!

And they have just added 7 new cocktails to the menu.

I couldn't resist the cocktail fun, so I opted for my all time favourite, a classic pina colada.

A taste of  tropical summer right there.


Extra Info

So, this spring/ summer, head down to Las Iguanas and join the fiesta for fresh, exciting & delicious & a diverse selection of creative cocktails (as well as the more traditional!), that will transport you to the beaches of South America. 

To view the full menu & book a table you can visit the website: http://www.iguanas.co.uk/



*Disclaimer: I was gifted this meal for the purposes of review but all opinions are my own and true* 

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