I must admit, it’s been a little while since i’ve visited Las Iguanas Brighton, so when I was invited along to review I was excited to see what was new and looking forward to trying out a few cocktails too!
Before we ate we were treated to a cocktail masterclass with resident mixology expert Josh, who told us about the incredibly rigorous training all Las Iguanas mixologists must go through before they are let loose on the general public. All of this leads to an encyclopaedic knowledge of cocktails which is very impressive to witness first hand!
In Josh’s capable hands we got behind the bar ourselves to create three of their signature cocktails. First we started with the classic Caprinha, a Brazilian favourite consisting of fresh lime wedges, muddled with sugar, folded with Las Iguanas’ own Magnifica cachaça and crowned with crushed ice, a personal favourite of mine. It may seem simple combination but when done right the flavours really do shine, sweet, sour and incredibly refreshing.
Next we made a Cosmopolitan from Absolut Berri Açaí vodka and triple sec shaken with pomegranate juice, a squeeze of lime and grenadine. I have to say that usually I find the Cosmo a little to strong for my tastes but the inclusion of the berry vodka and pomegranate juice instead of cranberry make this much easier to drink, almost dangerously so!
Finally we make a short Strawberry Daquiri with Havana Club 3 year old rum and strawberry liqueur shaken up with fresh lime and Funkin strawberry purée. Another perfectly balanced drink, excellent for a Summer’s day (hopefully it won’t be too long until we have some!)
After our masterclass we’re shown to our booth. This is one of my favourite things about the layout of Brighton’s Las Iguanas, there are lots of options, from tall tables close to the bar for tapas and cocktails, to the big comfy booths that line the back wall. Also, one wall is almost solely floor to ceiling windows which look out onto Jubilee Square, perfect for people watching any time.
For starters we go for a couple of tapas dishes (you can actually get three dishes for £14.40). We first choose a Las Iguanas staple in the form of Champinones £4.95. Thick-sliced mushrooms in a creamy smoked chilli sauce, served with warmed soft wheat tortillas. I’ve had this dish many times in the past and it never fails to disappoint. A deliciously creamy, smokey, chipotle flavoured sauce, heavy on the pepper with a nice chilli tang. Our other tapas choice is the Smoked Haddock Croquettas £4.95, crispy panko-coated croquettas with potato, parsley, red chilli and cheese, served with salsa ‘Las Iguanas’. These are like fish cakes, but better! A light smokey flavour comes from the haddock, but it doesn’t overpower. The panko coating is thin, light and crispy and the salsa ‘Las Iguanas’ is a green salsa with a light spice and fresh flavours.
For my main, I choose the new Bahian Coconut Chicken £12.95, chicken pan-fried in cumin, coriander and cayenne and cooked in a creamy coconut sauce with ginger, garlic, tomatoes and coriander. Served with Tapas Time spring onion rice and shredded greens. The dish is colourful to look at and the curry is perfectly seasoned and creamy (but not too heavy). The shredded greens are a surprising highlight, crunchy, sweet and really flavoursome. I have to add that i’m always impressed by Las Iguanas rice too, it always has a nice bite to it and is never overdone. My colleague goes for the new Sea Bass £13.50, on a bed of spring onion rice with white crab and peeled king prawns in a tomato, coriander, basil, parsley, achiote and red pepper sauce. The sauce has a little chilli kick to it but not enough to overpower the fresh tasting sea bass which is flakey a light. We have a side order of Patatas Bravas in Bits £3.95, spicy spuds on sticks, with smoky chipotle sauce and creamy aioli. These make the perfect accompaniment and the chipotle and aioli only adds to the sweet and nutty potato bites.
If you’re looking to inject some Latin flavour into your day then i’d highly recommend Las Iguanas. Great food, great vibes and great cocktails right in the buzzing centre of our city.
If you’re looking for a deal Las Iguanas always have great offers but right now to celebrate their 25th birthday they’ve really pushed the boat out. Offers include happy hour being extended to all day, every day and 241 on all tortilla dishes every Tuesday. Also be sure to keep an eye out for their new menu launching on 15 March.
Book your table now at www.iguanas.co.uk/book-now/brighton