Las Iguanas had been on my list of places I wanted to visit ever since they came out with their new and improved Veggie/Vegan Menu last year so when my friend Lex alerted me to their Veganuary 2-4-1 meal deal, off we went.
“Our food pulses with its exotic 16th Century roots – a mouth-watering confusion of native Latin American Indian, Spanish, Portuguese and African influences.”
Las Iguanas started off with their first restaurant in Bristol in 1991 and today they have 56 restaurants across the UK with plans to open franchises in other countries very soon. We pootled off to the gigantic Stratford branch and I annoyingly forgot to take my camera with me but I had such a great meal that I couldn’t not share!
what we ate
MOQUECA DE PALMITOS – £12.25
The dish above (and above above) is the Moqueca de Palmitos; a dreamy curry made from butternut squash, palm hearts & spinach in a creamy coconut curry with charred red peppers, garlic & fresh tomatoes. Could not recommend enough! It was creamy, full of flavour and I think palm hearts might be my new obsession.
Frustratingly the plantain and the coconut farofa that are listed as coming with this dish aren’t vegan as they’re cooked in the same fryer as some dairy products and so weren’t included with my meal. Also notably the Sweet Potato Fries, the Cassava Fries and the Fries on the sides menu are also not Vegan as they are cooked in the same fryer as the dairy dishes! Come on, Las Iguanas – treat yourself to an extra fryer!!!!
THREE MUSHROOM FAJITA – £12.95
Tom went for the three mushroom fajita which he said he enjoyed. Fajitas are always a winner but it would have been nice to see some Vegan sour cream or perhaps some mock meat or extra guac to give the dish a little pizazz and something to make it halfway to being worth the very steep £12.95 price tag.
There is only 1 option on the ‘Main Meals’ Menu that is Vegan by default (the Fiesta Ensalada). The rest are adapted to Vegan if requested, so make sure you let your server know that you want the vegan option to avoid any unwanted dairy crap.
The other vegan / veganizable options are
FIESTA ENSALADA £8.25
Roasted butternut squash, mixed leaves, carrot, cucumber, pink pickled onions, oven-dried tomatoes & fresh avocado, tossed in a poppy seed dressing. Topped with toasted pumpkin seeds, charred corn & roquito peppers.
CRANBERRY & AVOCADO SALAD £7.95
Avocado, dried cranberries, baby spinach & coriander, tossed in a poppy seed dressing & sprinkled with candied spiced almonds.
QUINOA ENSALADA £7.50
Quinoa, black beans, sweet potato & charred corn with molho à campanha salsa served on top of crushed avocado with a cranberry chilli salsa & roquito pepper drops. Topped with sweet potato crisps & sprinkled with fresh coriander.
VEGGIE CHILLI £8.95
Sweet potato, butternut squash & chickpeas braised with spiced tomatoes, served with spring onion rice, soft wheat tortillas & pink pickled onion.
And from the dessert menu
MANGO SORBET £4.95
Three scoops of our handmade alphonso mango sorbet.
A creamy, set coconut pudding with mixed berries & mango purée.
It would be great to see Las Iguanas add a chocolate pudding option – perhaps if they got a separate Vegan fryer they could have vegan friendly churros on the menu! They’d be a hit!
Pretty much the best Waiter ever
I talk a lot about how important Customer Service is to me. You can have the best food in the world but if you’re rude to me then I’m not going to come back.
If you go to the Stratford Las Iguanas and your Waiter is called Tony then you’re in for a treat. Tony was super friendly and helpful; He was very clued up about the Vegan options on the menu and he had a lil chat with us where he recommended some Vegan ice creams he’d recently tried from Tesco (these and these)! What a Hero! Tony even rounded off our evening with a little magic trick as we were leaving!
MENU CHOICE FOR VEGANS: Good
PORTION SIZE: Hit & Miss depending on the dish
BRANCH VISITED: Stratford, Westfield Shopping Centre
PRICE RANGE: £7.50 – £12.95 for a main meal
VALUE FOR MONEY: Not great. £12.95 for a small-ish plate of mushrooms/peppers/onions with a few small wraps is very bad. I think the curry would have been worth the £12.95 if there was a Vegan replacement for the non-Vegan things they took away to make the dish Vegan.
WOULD I GO AGAIN? Yes, but only when they have another buy one get one free offer
Click here to find your local Las Iguanas branch now!