We had decided to try Las Iguanas on the strength of it being near the Rose Theatre, where later we were going to see Fascinating Aïda - and one of us had been to a sister restaurant in Birmingham, while another had liked the sound of the menu.
There was a friendly welcome and a pleasant atmosphere that set us at ease at once. (Some of us have had less than good experiences at chain restaurants.)
Drinks: We were happy to order caipirinhas for all four of us and - as we were in time for Happy Hour - we got two for the price of one! They were the best caipirinhas we've had - and we've had a few by now in the line of duty. [In case you are unfamiliar with this drink, it is considered Brazil's national cocktail, made with cachaça (sugar cane hard liquor), sugar and lime - very refreshing and moreish.]
We went for starters and main courses to begin with - but were not excluding the possibility of desserts. We had a lot of time to spare before it was theatre time, after all.
Starters: 1x Pato Taquito (duck and caramelised onion in a tortilla, with a delicious cranberry salsa), 1x Prawns in a garlic, lemon and chilli sauce, 1x Chicken wings with the new sweet & spicy guava sauce, 1x Albondigas (lamb meatballs in a spicy tomato & chilli sauce). We enjoyed all the dishes. The cranberry salsa and the guava sauce were particularly delicious. Each dish had a delightful bite of spice.
Main courses: 2x Xinxim (Lime chicken with a crayfish & peanut sauce), 1x Chicken fajitas, 1x Pollo Caruru (chicken and butternut squash in a seafood and coconut milk sauce). The Xinxim was excellent, a mild creamy sauce with plenty of chicken. The fajitas were also good, while the Pollo Caruru, a dish new to us all, was a welcome discovery.
We weakened and had 'just a quick look' at the dessert menu.
Desserts: 2x Creamy caramel cake, 1x Ice cream (vanilla and dulce de leche), 1x Sorbet (lemon, raspberry and mango). All the desserts were finished with relish - by us, not by the chef. The cake was light and sweet, the ice cream was very good and the sorbet refreshing.
We rounded off the meal with more of those excellent caipirinhas.
All the food was delicious and well presented, and every dish (well, not the desserts) was piping hot when it arrived at the table. The service was informal, friendly and excellent. The restaurant itself was pleasant and welcoming.
The cost for all that was a few pence over £34 per head, including 12.5% service.
Rating: FIVE STARS