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Review: Dining out at Las Iguanas, Lakeside

PUBLISHED: 13:05 17 October 2016 | UPDATED: 13:05 17 October 2016

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Archant

Stephanie Mackentyre pays a visit to Las Iguanas, Lakeside to taste the Latin American cuisine

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With our fantastic Team GB enjoying all things Brazilian this summer, I was tempted to venture to a restaurant offering a taste of South American food. Las Iguanas at Lakeside certainly reflects the carnival atmosphere, both with its brightly-coloured décor and a menu which offers plenty of choice, including a set Brazilian Carioca menu with two courses for £17 and three for £20 which includes a drink.

This native Latin American-style restaurant has Indian, Spanish, Portuguese and even African influences weaved throughout its menu. Las Iguanas is situated within the Boardwalk part of the Lakeside shopping centre and overlooks the lake. My guest and I popped in for lunch on a beautifully sunny day, so were able to dine literally on the boardwalk under their large, black parasols. On this occasion we decided to try the Tapas menu – three dishes for £14.95 or five for £24.95. Assuming they wouldn’t be that filling we chose five dishes, but could easily have been satisfied, it turned out, with three.

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We picked: Dadinhos (crispy cheesy cubes with a sticky chilli jam), nachos with melted cheese, pico de gallo salsa, jalapenos, tomato salsa, soured cream and guacamole; a dish of lamb empanadas (lightly fried, crispy filled pasties), plus tato taquito (roast duck and caramelised onions rolled in a chargrilled flour tortilla and served with a spicy cranberry salsa) and finally quesadilla filled with spicy chicken, peppers, onion and melted cheese.

All were served on vibrant side dishes with mini china pots of salsa on the side. It was pleasing to note a variety of vegetarian options across the menu too. They were also offering two for one drinks all day, however, with an afternoon of shopping to pack in we chose non-alcoholic, but delicious fruit coolers.

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We completed our meal with a mojito jelly in a cocktail glass with lemon and lime sorbet for my dining partner and tembleque for me – a creamy coconut pudding served with mixed berries and a mango puree.

Useful to know

The total bill came to £46.75 for five dishes of tapas with four fruit coolers. This is an independent review, featuring a restaurant selected and experienced by our food and wine editor. The restaurant was not told it was being reviewed.

Table Talk

Table Talk with diner Judith Dudley.

Where do you live and what do you do? I live in Suffolk and I’m a part-time nurse.

What did you choose from the menu? I chose tapas dishes to share.

Why were you at Las Iguanas? I’m here for a day to do some shopping and thought I’d stop here for some lunch.

Describe your dining experience in a phrase: Very good, lovely food and service in nice surroundings.

How would you rate the value for money? I think it was good value.

Worth visiting again? Yes, I’m already planning my return visit.

What was the best part of your visit? My mojito jelly dessert and being able to try so many different dishes all in the one sitting.

Book a table

Unit 8a The Boardwalk

Lakeside Shopping Centre

Thurrock

RM20 2ZN

01708 680 466

www.iguanas.co.uk

Side Orders - Three more Latin-flavoured restaurants

Braza London

1A Arcade Place

Romford

RM1 1RS

01708 727010

This bar-be-cue Brazilian-style restaurant keeps the food and drink coming only stopping when you can eat no more!

Las Iguanas

Freeport Designer Village

Charter Way

Braintree

CM77 8YH

01376 388463

Opened in August this newest branch, with its sizzling menu is sure to please shoppers and diners alike.

Cabana

5 Chestnut Plaza

Montfitchet Way

Westfield

Stratford

E20 1GL

0208 5362650

Do try a Caipirinha - Brasil’s national cocktail. At Cabana you can try loads of different versions of this versatile drink.

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