Las Iguanas, Bristol

‘A chain!?’ I hear you cry. And normally I’d be with you. But hear me out. The Las Iguanas in Bristol has restored my faith… In one chain at least. Recently revamped with new décor and menu it wonderfully captures Latin American food and the vibrancy of its many cultures.

To start was a round of Smoking Plums, a delicious cocktail with put-hairs-on-your-teeth strength and a platter of the chicken tacos. Smokey sweet and punctuated by the fresh pickled onions. They were moreish and soon vanished as we scrabbled for each soft taco.

chicken tacos on a wooden platter

Gone in seconds, the tacos.

Our mains were Brazilian style ribs and a slow cooked lamb shank. The ribs were dripping with a thick, glossy sauce. Fortunately, the other half found the heat from them a little too much to bear so I had plenty to gobble up. A dish I think, best described as voluptuous.

a full rack of ribs on a white ceramic plate with coleslaw and sweet potato fries.

Gloriously sticky Brazilian style ribs.

The lamb shank slipped off the bone like a silk stocking down a leg. Tender meat lightly spiced fell apart on the tongue. As with all well-cooked lamb shanks, one never feels enough. Served in a red wine jus on a bed of creamy sweet potato mash it was a dish that was inhaled more than ate.

lamb shank on a blue dish with a sweet potato mash and brown sauce.

Up close and personal, the lamb shank.

To finish was an old favourite, churros. Served with a rich chocolate dipping sauce and an even more impressive dulce de leche. Coated in sugar and presented in an old fashioned sweet bag we got dipping. This is the part where I reveal I’m not actually that big a fan of chocolate but will do anything for caramel. Smothered in dulce de leche was an extra sugary hit I probably didn’t need as I bit through the crunchy outer into the soft fluffy inner, savouring each sugared chew.

Churros hoop being dipped into a dark chocolate sauce

The ring had to be in the picture… Apparently. Please note the finger.

Okay so the last statement wasn’t quite true. We finished with another cocktail. We were fortunate to be given a lesson in how to make caipririnha. An incredibly refreshing cocktail with only three ingredients, four if you include ice and one which is particularly potent when you happen to be responsible for making your own. A fitting Latin American end to an excellent meal. A thank you to the teams at Las Iguanas and Pam Lloyd PR.

rum cocktail against a blue backdrop

Strong when made by yourself, the caipirinha.

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