As a fan of Mexican food, I was really excited to visit Las Iguanas for the first time. Leamington Spa’s shopping district The Parade, boasts plenty of different restaurants and cuisines, and this recent addition to the high street did not disappoint.
Walking in, I was hit with an immediate sense of atmosphere. The colours are warm and comforting, lights twinkle and there is a general, muted buzz of voices. The lights provide just the right ambience, and makes every meal feel like a special occasion.
The service added to the overall tone of the restaurant, as our server was friendly, attentive and clearly wanted us to be there. Every now and then she checked if we needed anything else, which made all the difference. After already experiencing a forty minute wait for starters to arrive at another restaurant this week (cough cough, Chiquito), our experience at Las Iguanas was far more pleasant. As the evening progressed, our check backs weren’t quite so frequent, but it was still definitely over and above what I expected.
The menu includes a lot of cocktails and mocktails. Where do I begin? I went for the ‘Apple Mojo-less,’ which had the flavours of a mojito without the alcohol. It was refreshing and still full of minty flavour without being overpowering. With that much choice, I’ll be wanting to return just for the drinks menu – the ‘Smoking Plums’ sounded particularly intriguing.
The food also did not disappoint. The mushroom, chilli and thyme burrito was packed with flavour, but not overly spicy. The patatas braves, on the other hand, had quite a kick to them (although I do have an absurdly low threshold for chilli.) Overall, there was a remnant of comfort food-ness about it, while also being exciting, filling and flavourful.
Reasonable,though missing sombreros
As a student, I was wary about how expensive Las Iguanas would be, but it was definitely reasonable, particularly after eating enough to keep me full for a couple of days. Plus, during happy hour, all cocktails are just £6.80, a hugely enticing factor considering how much I enjoyed the mojito mocktail.
However, the one thing missing for me was a really strong Latin American element amongst the rest of the atmosphere. It was easy to imagine sipping my mocktail on a beach, so it would have been nice to look around and see traces of that too. To match the food and drink, I would have enjoyed hearing Latin American music playing, or perhaps sombreros scattered around here and there (like they do at Chiquito). But apart from this, the experience was impeccable. The food, service, and price were all exactly what I had hoped.
Kettle rating: 4.5 stars