Las Iguanas | Eating Out

First bloggy post of 2014, yo! As if you're not sick and tired of all the images of food you've been bombarded with over the festive period, I'm going in with an 'Eating Out' post.

I went for a very overdue lunch with a friend of mine just before Christmas. For convenience (mainly to my advantage - ha!) we opted for the Westfield, Stratford branch of Las Iguanas. It's a Latin American restaurant that serves dishes infused with cuisines of the Portuguese, Africans and native Latin American Indians.

The restaurant boasts in-house seating as well as an al fresco-esque dining space in the the mall's walkway. I'd recommend - particularly if it's not peak time - asking to sit wherever tickles your fancy, rather than letting the waiter/waitress pick a random table for you. In my opinion,  where you sit contributes to part of the dining experience. They'll let you know whether or not the table is reserved; if you don't ask, you don't get.   
The waitress who escorted us to our table delivered what I can only describe as 'information overload': I do understand that she was trying to educate us a little on the background of the restaurant and its cuisine, but after the third sentence, I felt the information was going into one ear and out the other, and I just wanted to check out the menu and get to ordering.
When it comes to going to new/continental restaurants, I have a policy of always trying out something I've never had before/ traditional - we all have our idiosyncracies, right? It baffles me when people dine in Nando's, for example, and order chips and a regular burger. Each to their own, I guess.

A meal for two would cost between £25 and £40, depending on what you order.

I had a Brazilian dish, named on the menu as 'The Extraordinary Ximxim': lime chicken in a crayfish and peanut sauce, with spring onion, garlic and coriander rice and fine green beans. This was accompanied with toasted coconut farofa (to sprinkle on top) and plantains. Is your mouth watering yet?  
Our meals arrived within 15 minutes of ordering, and, seeing as neither of us had eaten a proper breakfast that morning, we tucked in straight away.

In Sierra Leone - the country of my origin - there is a traditional food called granat soup (groundnut soup). My dish reminded me of that, but obviously had very tangy, citrusy accents and the texture of some crushed peanuts.

In all honesty, I would have liked to have seen a bit more generosity on the plantain front - with only two small slices, I would liken it to pigeon portions (harsh, I know, but I felt a little robbed there). Apart from that, the meal was nice; nothing particularly 'wow', just nice.  
My friend ordered a grilled chicken salad (*rolls eyes* in reference to my comment above about trying different foods), but requested to have some olives added (I'll grant a spec of redemption there). "Girl, Christmas is coming up so I need to be good," was her excuses for not pigging out. Fair enough. 

2013 was a very challenging and emotional year for both me and my friend, but we overcame quite a bit, and had a lot to be grateful for, so we toasted to a much better 2014 with some passionfruit cocktails - courtesy of the 'Buy One Get One Free' offer that was on during our visit. 
I would eat at LasIguanas again - good food, calm atmosphere, and attentive staff - but it wouldn't be my first choice for Latin food.

Have you dined in Las Iguanas before? If so, what did you make of the food? 

Oh, and Happy New Year (albeit belated)!

As ever, 

Rebecca-Monique

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