Your Last Mouthful

Cardiff based food blog

Las Iguanas- A superior Chain Restaurant

Last weekend, we were invited out for a meal with some friends. As it was their ‘do’ the venue wasn’t our choice and I have to say I was rather disappointed as we entered the chain in the Bay. Although I do like Las Iguanas, with so many great places to eat in Cardiff, a chain wouldn’t have been my first choice. However, when I was doing market research for my new website, you said you wanted reviews on chains too so here you go!

As we entered we were immediately greeted by a friendly member of staff  who walked us through the large restaurant towards a round table that was perfect for the 6 of us. When there is a large party, I hate being on a rectangular table, it’ so anti-social so this was just right.

We took our seats and were presented with menus. It was happy hour on cocktails but unfortunately we somehow managed to miss this and chose wine apart from one savvy diner amongst us.

I have eaten in Las Iguanas on a few occasions but never in this Cardiff branch before. It’s bigger than others I’ve tried but the decor followed along the same lines. Bright colours, loud latin music, but it took on a more modern theme than some, maybe because it is so new.

The menu was quite extensive and included a good range of prices. After some deliberation, I chose the Pescado Fritas which was Sustainable white fish, marinated & crumbled in coconut & chilli. With mango peri-peri sauce & Sweet potato fries or Salad. This basically equated to posh fish and chips. It came nicely presented on a wooden platter but I was surprised by the size of it. As one of the cheapest mains on the menu (£7.90), I suppose I should have considered this might be the case. While a tasty dish with crunchy sweet potato chips and nicely cooked fish in a subtley flavoured coconut breadcrumb (I didn’t taste any chilli), I was left feeling rather hungry at the end of it.

I’m surprised the dish came with a choice of sweet potato chips OR salad. I think it should have really come with both, even if that bumped up the price. At least then it would have felt more like a meal.

Mr.V chose the Pescado A La macho (Squid, mussels, crayfish, prawns & cod in a white wine, seafood & paprika sauce) which was served over a candle to keep it warm and with a plate of rice and green beans. The fish was varied and well cooked and the sauce was very nice.

Although not particularly full, none of our fellow diners opted for dessert so I passed too. The dessert menu included a good variety but all were fairly standard and nothing jumped out at me.

All in all, we did have a nice meal at a reasonable cost. I enjoyed it much more than I expected to and I have to say that as chains go, I think Las Iguanas is a good one and this branch was no exception to the rule. It’s difficult to write a review here as we only had one course so bear that in mind but based on what we did have, it is going to be green spoons all round. However, although it rated highly, for me, a chain just doesn’t have the same feeling as a good independently run restaurant but this one definitely has its place.

My last mouthful was: The Pascado Fritas

Service –  

Atmosphere and decor-

Quality of food-

Diversity of menu-

Value for money-

Overall rating-

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5 responses to “Las Iguanas- A superior Chain Restaurant

  1. telerijj January 12, 2012 at 10:08 am

    I love Las Iguanas – it has got to me one of my favourite restaurants and the quality and service is consistent in all locations I’ve visited. I’ve been to the one in South Bank on a few occasions and a regular at Mill Lane and Cardiff Bay. Out of the two sites in Cardiff, I do prefer the Cardiff Bay location as it is larger, brighter and the sun just fills up the bar in late afternoon.

    When I go for food at Las Iguanas, I tend to go for the lunchtime menu deal which I think it’s good value for money, around £8 for two courses. When I have been going there in the evenings and ordering from the main menu, I do find the portions of the main meals could be a bit bigger. Apart from when ordering fajitas as they are so filling and really good at Las Iguanas, especially the steak ones!

  2. jo January 12, 2012 at 10:38 am

    When I was pregnant I went to las iguanas quite a few times as they do yummy non-alcoholic cocktails 🙂

  3. aledwynneAled January 12, 2012 at 11:01 am

    I’ve been to Las Iguanas a few times (as Telerijj above, I tend to opt for the lunchtime option which is really good value) and we’re going for a friend’s birthday on Saturday too! Haven’t been to the one down the Bay though yet, I’ve only been to the one on Mill Lane. But I’ve never been disappointed there.

    They also do quite nice mojitos!

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