Las Iguanas

Meal courtesy of Las Iguanas

Written by Bisma and Justin, published by Steph

We were invited to sample the Olympics themed Rio menu at Las Iguanas and as usual we were not disappointed! The standard Las Iguanas menu is so extensive and with the Brazilian themed additions we were completely spoilt for choice. After much deliberation we chose the carioca platter and a range of tapas dishes.

Las Iguanas (6 of 12)The albondigas were simply scrumptious. Albondigas are lamb and apple meatballs in a tangy tomato sauce that originate from a region along the Argentinian/Chilean border. Several different flavours (apple, parmesan, mint, nutmeg, chilli) meshed together to tantalise our tastebuds. The meatballs were deliciously tender and the seasoning was complemented by the rich tomato sauce – which we couldn’t resist finishing off by using it as a dipping sauce with bread form the platter.

Las Iguanas (1 of 12)The chicken wings are offered three tempting marinades: honey peri-peri, BBQ jerk and flaming hot. We opted for the BBQ sauce – as wings were supposed to be! – and enjoyed the slight citrusy taste, which balanced nicely with the stickiness of the barbecue flavour. The wings paired well with the crispy nachos, the only drawback being that the nachos were not nearly cheesy enough.

Las Iguanas (3 of 12)These tapas dishes are available all year round on the standard menu but what we came to test was the platter from the Olympics menu. Pão de queijo was one of the highlights here. They are pretty simple; cheese dough balls complemented by a creamy, chipotle butter – what’s not to like?!

A all-round favourite was the dadinhos. Dadinhos are crispy, deep-fried cubes of cheese served with a chilli jam (yes, we clearly love cheese!). The jam wasn’t necessary as the dadinhos were delicious enough on their own. Nice and crispy on the outside with a smooth, gentle, cheesy centre. The plate could have used a few more, given the size of them. I would definitely order these again, and would definitely recommend these!

The platter also included several more tasty titbits which we devoured including cassava fries, sweet plantain chunks with pink pickles, and crab and prawn croquettes. Despite being a group not overly fond of fish, the croquettes were a surprisingly tasty! The potato stuffing in these was soft and delicately seasoned and the shellfish added a lovely bite without be overpowering and the entire thing was encased in a golden, crispy breadcrumb coating. The Las Iguanas chefs did an amazing job of ensuring nothing felt too greasy despite most of the items being deep-fried.

All the varied tastes and textures of the platter complemented each other delightfully with each component coming together to create an eclectic mix that transported us right into the heart of Rio.

Las Iguanas (7 of 12)As usual, the cocktails were great with generous measures. The range of ciders and beers available was also impressive; I went for a mango and raspberry cider which was delicious. The sweetness worked well with the spicy flavours and really complemented the meal nicely.Las Iguanas (12 of 12)

Hands down, our most favourite dish of the evening, which elicited many foodgasm noises from around the table was the Dulce de leche cheesecake. The cheese topping was creamy, smooth and rich, the biscuit base was crunchy enough to provide the necessary ‘bite’ to the dessert, and the caramel sauce was so perfectly made that my mouth is watering just reminiscing about it! This sinfully delicious dessert perfectly rounded off our meal and this alone is worth the trip to Las Iggies!Las Iguanas (10 of 12)