Last weekend the girls and I were invited to sample the delicious Latin-American menu of Las Iguanas in Kingston.
As a family we like to eat out pretty regularly. I like the girls to experience different cuisines, and I appreciate not having to do the washing up ;) We'd not been to a Las Iguanas before so were really keen to try it out; as much as I enjoy dining at independent local restaurants, I like having a handful of chains that can be found all over the country that I know are going to give me a good meal at a reasonable price and that will happily accommodate children.
I like to eat early when I'm out with the kiddos so we booked our table for 4.30pm so that we could take our time over our meal and still be finished before all the evening diners arrived.
When we got to the restaurant we were greeted not only by a smiling host, but also by a gorgeous - and huge! - Christmas tree, which really made us all extra excited, as we were planning to go get our own tree the next day. We were seated by the window and handed our menus, and then our waitress came over to help us go through it and to take our drinks order.
Seeing as it was a girls night out, we went for cocktails..... non alcoholic of course. As it was early, some of the drinks were part of a 2 for 1 offer, so the girls both had Raspberry Coolers (raspberry puree and bottle green elderflower refresher) and I opted for the Spiced Ginger Punch.
The variety of food on offer at Las Iguanas is incredible. As well as very extensive grown ups, kids and separate lunch menus there are also veggie, vegan and gluten free ones! Parents are offered free organic baby food for teeny tiny guests and there is a kids meal available for under 12s, where they can choose from eight different mains, which are accompanied by lettuce, cucumber sticks, carrot sticks, baby tomatoes and peppers (or peas if preferred) to help them on their way to five a day! A dessert and a drink form part of the parcel too.
One of the things I liked most about the restaurant was the menu flexibility. We chose a couple of starters to share amongst us, one of which was the quesadilla. The two filling options on the menu were garlicky mushroom or spicy chicken but the girls wanted something plain and the chefs rustled up a simple cheese and tomato quesadilla no problem. We also tried a new dish on the menu; the black bean bolinhos which were AMAZING!
The girls both wanted mini burgers for their mains. They came in a toasted buttery brioche bun with lightly spiced curly fries and ketchup on the side - all of which went down a treat.
My main was out of this world! I chose the picanha steak - an 8oz rump steak, chargrilled, rested, sliced and sprinkled with coarse sea salt, then served with a fiery salsa and sweet potato fries. It was cooked to perfection and melted in my mouth. Although I like to try new things, it was one of those dishes that I just know I am going to have to have again next time we visit!
The girls had a choice of dessert as part of the kids meal and Evie chose a bowl of strawberries and blueberries and Daisy went for the jelly and ice cream! That didn't stop them helping me with my creamy caramel cake though, which was probably just as well as it was ginormous. The coffee was rich and sweet - and just what I needed to perk me up for the drive home after a such big meal.
It was the ambience in the restaurant that made it stand out from others that we frequent. Usually when you eat earlier, and with children, the lights are bright, it's really noisy and you kind of feel as if you're being hurried along. That was not the case here; the lights were dimmed (which seemed to make the girls relax a bit more as they were impeccably well behaved
Las Iguanas claim to live for food, and to bring food alive - and that they certainly do. The open plan kitchen was buzzing, the staff were all happy and friendly and knowledgeable and efficient and the food was fresh, top quality and excellently prepared. We had a fantastic meal and will most definitely be returning.
We were invited to Las Iguanas and received a complimentary meal but, as always, my thoughts are genuine and all words are my own.