Where I ate:
Las Iguanas, Westfield Stratford, London
I’ve wanted to go to Las Iguanas for years, I still remember when it opened at Lakeside and everyone at school used to go on about it. When I was in London for a gig last month, I decided to finally see what all the fuss was about – but on reflection, there are so many better restaurants at Westfield.
Our waiter wasn’t the best and considering the ratio of staff to customers at the time of eating, should have really been better. I went in my work clothes (black dress and blazer with pumps) and he asked if it was a special occasion, which it was – but with this in mind, he made no extra effort. Had it been a birthday, his attitude would most certainly have ruined it. Our drinks seemed to take forever to arrive and when the food finally came, I was given something different – he even had the nerve to say it was what I asked for, and he had read the order back and I agreed. Whatever happened to the customer being right? We may have caught him on a bad day, but there was no excuse for his rudeness.
What I drank:
Brazilian Bellini (Las Iguanas Magnifica cachaça, passion fruit syrup & mango juice, topped with Cava)
It was happy hour when we arrived (which incidentally runs from midday ‘til 7:30pm on Sundays to Wednesdays), meaning buy one get one free cocktails. As everyone knows, I cannot resist a cocktail, and it’d be rude now to order two! Bellinis are quite possibly my favourite but I knew none could compete with the beautiful passion fruit Bellini I had at Hakkasan), which you can read about here. There’s no way this competed either: the passion fruit and mango were sharp and with the dryness of the cava, didn’t work. I still polished both off, mind.
What I ate:
Chicken wings (honey piri piri) to start, followed by the Cuban Revolution with chicken (toasted ciabatta stuffed with tinga (Mexican smoked chipotle chicken) with sliced emmental, tomato, gherkin, mustard & aioli, served with slaw & fries)
We shared wings to start and ordering from the evening set menu meant we got a smaller portion for a fraction of the price – although we ended up ordering one each. Each portion had two chunky wings, coated in a sweet but spicy piri piri glaze. They were way too hot for me though – even hotter than Nando’s or authentic Portuguese dry rub.
For my main course, I opted for the Cuban Revolution, mainly because I’m not a fan of burritos, enchiladas and the like, but I was also craving pickles *hides*. It did sound amazing on the menu and once it finally arrived, didn’t disappoint. It was huge – certainly enough for two and I’d have been more than happy with half a sandwich. The chicken was spicy, not quite as bad as the starter but I could have done with extra aioli or some sour cream to soften the blow. There was definitely no need for fries either (talk about carbicide). On the early evening menu, this only cost £7 so you certainly get value for money, but I couldn’t do justice to the amount of food served.Definitely not quite worth the hype, but it was an evening out and I left full.