Festival Terrace, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX
Bringing a Latin American flavour to 30 restaurants in 23 UK towns and cities, Las Iguanas serves a tasty mix of Mexican Fajitas, Enchiladas, Tacos, Burritos, Brazilian Moquecas and more…
They recently contacted the JVS, highlighting their special “Veggie & Vegan” menu. We were impressed – it’s not often you find a chain restaurant making such an effort with its meat-free catering.
My friend and I visited the Royal Festival Hall branch in London and were guided to a table by a friendly waitress. The restaurant is large and inviting and, on this summer evening, there was music playing, fans spinning and cocktails flowing.
While all options are included on the main menu, Las Iguanas also provides a separate vegetarian and vegan menu. This eliminates the customary “veggie skimming” from the ordering process – great to see options clearly marked and all in one place.
We started with some “Holy Guacamole” served with corn chips, then – after a bit of a wait (they were busy) – went on to tasty mains of “Gringas” (grilled layered tortillas stuffed with refried black beans, salad, roasted butternut squash, sprinkles of coconut and pink pickled onions) and “Three Mushroom Fajita” (mushrooms cooked with coriander, lime, paprika, cumin, onions and peppers, dished up sizzling with soft wheat tortillas). Las Iguanas kindly gave us the Gringas recipe which you can find here. Our shared side of Crispy Black Bean Fritters was spicy and flavourful and came with a scattering of salad.
There was just one vegan dessert on offer – a trio of “Zesty Lemon”, “Real Raspberry” and “Alphonso Mango” sorbet scoops. These were light and fruity, a nice way to end the meal.
Dinner for two (starters, a side, mains, desserts, wine) comes to £60 or so, though allow more if you plan on having cocktails (£6.00 – £9.80 per glass, two-for-one during Happy Hour).
Fun, friendly and offering an extensive range of meat-free choices, Las Iguanas is definitely worth a visit. Something as simple as not having to explain “vegan” can make a refreshing change!
Review by Suzanne Barnard