“ Address: 7-8 Jubilee Street / Brighton BN1 1GE / England „
We went here for lunch time in the spring, when the restaurant was quiet. I took my young son, and he was made very welcome.
The menu contains more familiar items as well as traditional street food, so I imagine most people will feel comfortable to eat here, and find something they like. You can choose to have a kind of tapas experience, or go for starters and mains. While I personally do enjoy a tapas style meal (and the choices do look yummy) On this occasion we went for mains, and I had the Xinxim, which is a traditional main, (apparently Pele loves this, although this did not factor in my choosing) It was a delicious, chicken, crayfish, creamy lime, peanut and coconut concoction.
The staff were friendly and ready to explain things to my son, and the service was unhurried but not inattentive.
Definitely try the cocktails, there are some lovely choices. But, my top tip here is save room for dessert. I know, in most Spanish / latin American restaurants dessert is not the focus, but, the Aztec chocolate fudge cake is a lovely, spiced, truffly treat.
We would definitely go back
Las Iguanas in Brighton is found Just opposite the library in the centre of town. It has the virtue of being one of the only restaurants in the area that offers cocktails at two for one for quite a large proportion of the evening....and often at lunch time, so it is frequented by all the best students!
They often have the pre-theatre crowd in, especially being so close to the Dome, Theatre Royal, and Komedia, and in my experience they seem to really push during this service so that you're served in time to get to your show, which is nice.
The decor in the restaurant itself seems a little confused. They appear to be trying to mix ethnic south American with modern chic and although the atmosphere is very welcoming, I don't feel like the decor 'gels' properly, it comes across like a rich traveller's living room, all designer furniture and niches in the walls to show off souvenirs. I think it may look a bit better if the either roughed down the edges a little and went more ethnic, or did away with some of the odder bits and pieces they have lying around.
However, who goes to a restaurant purely for the decor?
The food is mostly South American cuisine, with some Portuguese, and some African (for some reason), mostly influenced by Latin America, further south than Mexico, this isn't a Tex Mex bar (although they do serve cracking Margaritas), there are items such as deep fried plantain and crayfish, alongside the less adventurous fajita - alikes. A lot of fish, A lot of citrus and a lot of rice is on the menu.
The menu for the Brighton restaurant can be viewed here http://www.iguanas.co.uk/pdf_menus/LI_10_BRIG_food.pdf
The service has always been very friendly, albeit brisk, quite often they seem in a hurry, and I believe my most enjoyable dining experiences here have always been at lunchtime, when the restaurant isn't so packed, the staff seem to visibly relax. They do have a kids menu, although am not really sure why you would take kids there, it feel very grown up.
Also, the place always seems very clean, which can only ever be a bonus, in my book.
Las Iguanas is a chain of restaurants that started off in Bristol in 1991. However, it doesn't feel like a chain and when I first went into it in Brighton I didn't know this. The decor is bright and funky and it feels unique.
I have been there twice (Las Iguanas Brighton), both with groups of people, and I think that it is a type of restaurant best suited to groups. When we were there a lot of hen parties were there and also groups of friends. However, the restaurant felt more lively than rowdy.
The best way to kick off a night at Las Iguanas is to go early and avail of the 2 for 1 cocktails such as a Cana Royale (my favourite). The Cana Royale contains cachaca, raspberry liqueur and elderflower, and it is topped off with Cava. Happy hour is from 12.30pm to 7.30pm every day.
On the menu you can opt for tapas or starters and main dishes. Some examples are:
Tapas or a starter
Patato taquito - char-grilled tortilla filled with shredded duck & caramelised onion, with sweet chilli jam (£5.00)
Puerto Rican Paella - chicken. chorizo, squid, salmon. tiger prawn and mussels (£10.00)
Ipanema mess - guava, meringue and marscapone (£3.90)
Bottles of wine start from £15 for the white and £14.50 for the red.
The food and service are excellent and the toilets are clean and modern. They also play some Latin music in the background which is lively.
I would recommend Las Iguanas for a girlie night out, a meal with friends, a hen night or a Christmas party.
Opening Hours are:
Sun 12.00- 22.30