Monday, 12 June 2017

Las Iguanas Review Cardiff

Las Iguanas is a Mexican restaurant chain that you can find in most major cities. You may have spotted one near you and wondered if you should visit. Read on to find out why you should. 


I was invited to review Las Iguanas in Cardiff's Mill Lane, but as always my opinions are honest and reflect the experience I have and the food I eat.

Now, honestly, I like Mexican food but sometimes, well, it looks all the same, wraps with or without refried beans, baked or fried with a sauce. Now I am sorry if I have disrespected your favourite cuisine, but you must know what I mean! So it was interesting to see what food they had on offer at Las Iguanas.

Ollie our server was pleasant, accommodating. He whizzed through the main menu with us and the lunch time offerings too, patiently responding to my questions and queries. One thing I picked up on quickly was the Happy Hour menu with 2 for 1 cocktails and coolers every day.  Now I love a good cocktail but as it was lunch time I decided to order a raspberry cooler - well two raspberry coolers for the price of one. Mr W ordered a coke, he is a creature of habit.



As you can see I couldn't wait to try the raspberry cooler, it was sweet without being too sweet, refreshing and perfect for a warm day, the raspberry really came through in the flavour. A good start.

The menu


A selection from the lunch menu

There is a lunch menu and the main A La Carte menu. The lunch menu is served until 6.30pm every day and is made up of smaller starters at £2.95 and normal sized main meals between £7.50 and £9.50.

The A La Carte menu is available at all times throughout the day. So if you visiting at lunchtime and wanted to mix and match dishes off both menus you could. Prices for starters on the A La Carte menu are from £4.95 to £7.50, and main courses are from £10 to £17.50, the latter price is for the steak.



Highlights of the main menu were 'taco planks' - grilled soft corn & flour tortillas topped with your choice of filling &  fresh taco slaw, as well as a wide range of tapas including empanadas, quesadillas, nachos and chicken wings. You can also find Mexican classics such as burritos, fajitas and enchiladas, a selection of burgers with a South American twist and Cuban sandwiches and steaks. 

Vegetarians are well looked after with a wide selection of inventive dishes including sweet potato, butternut squash & chickpea chilli chimichanga and halloumi churrasco skewers.

The food

We ordered off the lunch menu, I ordered a lamb empanada, and then the beef chilli, Mr W the nachos and then the chicken burritos.


lamb empanada

The lamb empanada was scrumptious, a crispy little pasty, hid a filling of lightly spiced lamb and onions in a tasty tomato based sauce. It came with a sweet salsa, which was great as a dipping sauce. What was impressive was the fact that the pastry was light and non-greasy and yet still crisp - no sogginess here. This smaller size portion was from the lunch menu if you have a large appetite I would suggest you order a starter from the A La Carte menu.




Mr W's nachos were yummy. Crispy tortillas, softening slightly under melted cheese with a decent portion of sour cream, guacamole and salsa. A good solid portion of nachos, again from the lunch menu, so a smaller portion and not overwhelming.

Chicken burritos

Mr W enjoyed his burritos - the chicken was mixed with refried beans, spicy but not too spicy he said. The guacamole, sour cream and tomato salsa was tasty but fairly standard, what you would expect really. What was great was the salad served with it that added some freshness and lightness to the dish.

Beef chilli

Now onto the beef chilli. I will say this and I will say this only once, this is one of the best chilis I have ever had. Why? Well, it was so flavorful, the beef was chunky and tender, the gravy rich, dark, and tasty. I could really imagine someone's mum from Peru, simmering it on the stove gently, stirring it and looking after it, really nurturing the dish.

It is served with a topping of chilli butter, adjusted to your heat and this added that perfect touch.

The spring onion rice was layered in the bottom of the bowl with the chilli on top. I liked how you had to dig deep into the bottom to get to the yummy rice, it really added an authentic touch.


Jalapeno cornbread accompanying the chilli

The chilli also came with a chunk of warm cornbread, which was great to mop up the juices and had a hint of lime and jalapeno. This was one hearty chilli for sure.


Love the decor!

Feeling as if we were going to explode we sadly left dessert. I did, however, browse the menu and can assure you dessert lovers among you wouldn't be disappointed, from the Aztec chocolate fudge cake to a delicious sounding creamy caramel cake there were some scrumptious sounding desserts on the menu.



I personally feel Las Iguanas is a great choice when you went Mexican food, their ethos is super and refreshingly simple - they want to bring authentic South American food to your table. They pride themselves on using the freshest ingredients and I feel it really shows in their food - every day they make over 30 sauces and salsas fresh by hand in their kitchens.

We would definitely return, I mean, how could I not after that chilli? With 2 for 1 cocktails and coolers, a well-priced lunch menu, authentic tasty South American food and super efficient service, Las Iguanas is carving out a well-respected niche on our high street. Recommended.
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32 comments

  1. I've eaten here before, the food is very good. Thanks for sharing

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  2. I love a good Mexican and I have been to a great one like this before - yum!

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  3. i haven't been to las iguanas in years! i remembered it being lovely and need to go back again

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  4. The food looks really yummy, I love a good Mexican! I like that the nachos have a very generous topping and the sound of the chilli, that made you feel it was made by a Peruvian mom. :)

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  5. I would definitely be ordering the triple tacos! And those drinks look really refreshing!

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  6. That chilli looks amazing, I love chill that's made with pieces of meat rather than mince. Definitely going to see if there's a Las Iguanas near us!

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  7. I have to admit I've not heard of Las Iguanas before I don't think. It sounds like a really interesting place to stop for a bite to eat though!

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  8. I love good Mexican food and I agree Las Iguanas do cater well for vegetarians.

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  9. The food looks absolutely delicious thank you for the recommendation.

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  10. The veggie options sound yummy. Just a shame we wouldn't get the 2 for 1 cocktails here in Scotland due to licensing laws.
    Great review and I love the pictures.
    V <3
    http://sirvikalot.wordpress.com

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    1. I didn't know you couldn't get 2 for 1 cocktails in Scotland! How strange

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  11. We love Mexican food and we have heard so many great reviews about La Iguanas! Must visit soon! :)

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  12. I love mexican food but eating out means I often skip it because they don't do vegan options (not actually a vegan just can't eat cheese and they put it on everything) but I think I spied some vegan options on that menu which is amazing, I'll definitely be checking them out! :) xx

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    1. Yes I was quite impressed with their vegan and vegetarian options.

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  13. I do love Las Iguanas and their food and cocktails is delicious! So glad that you had a wonderful time x

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  14. I think I'm going to search outa Las Iguanas near me now.

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  15. Ok, I don't want to come across as a know it all or a jerk but just hear me out. Firstly, Mexican food is sooo diverse, and sadly, it all looks the same here in the UK because they are appealing to the local palate (which is why wraps are seen to be the thing to define it by). There really is an abundance of foods and flavours all throughout the country (which is actually not in South America might I add, but in North America) and one just needs to be a bit more adventurous about what to try. Also, I speak with such certainty as I am Mexican myself. :) xx

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    1. Yes you are exactly right. The food we get in the UK is an homogenised version of what we think and expect Mexican food is like. I am not an expert on Mexican food, I just like eating out. I stand corrected you are right it is in North America too :)

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  16. I really like las iguana's, I need to suss out where the nearest one to me is x

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  17. Ooohh I love the sound of this place! The food looks really good! And so reasonably priced too ! xo

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  18. I visited Cardiff recently, same I didn't find this! The food and the raspberry cooler look great! I would probably want to try the triple tacos!

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    1. It's on Mill Lane, around the corner from John Lewis.

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  19. I have never heard of Las Iguanas before, but they do sound fab. Lots of choices for vegetarians which I love. the beetroot and halloumi tacos sounds delicious.

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  20. We have one in Swansea now too and they do great cocktails! I love Mexican food but haven't had a chance to eat in Las Iguanas much, must rectify!

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  21. They sounds really really good!!! I love the 2 for 1 cocktails and the raspberry coolers look great!! Shame you so full for dessert but great that you had a lovely meal regardless!!

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    1. I need to go back to try the desserts, that's for sure!

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  22. We love the Las Iguanas restaurant in Nottingham! The food is delicious, the atmosphere fab, and the service is good, although a little slow at times. I don't mind that though (unless I'm off to the theatre and want my food in a hurry LOL)

    Louise x

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    1. Sounds like the restaurants are consistent!

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  23. Mexican food is so much more than just wraps! Las Iguanas is a good option when it comes to chain restaurants, and they have a great vegan menu.

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