Brighton is my spiritual home. Mexican food is my favourite food. I think you can see which way this post is heading.
The bloke and I first visited Las Iguanas restaurant when we escaped the kids for a child free weekend, and loved it. The food was amazing but, hello, 2 for 1 cocktails? Never not a genius idea.
So, for the teenagers 15th birthday (yes, I am now a parent of a 15 year old, WTAF?) we headed off to Las Iguanas at Brighton Marina on a Friday night to celebrate with a little Mexican vibe. Arriba!
The Marina is just gorgeous, I think I actually prefer it at night, and in the winter, it just has that eerie, spooky feel about it. Just me? The views are incredible, there is free parking AND there’s a cinema, bowling alley and a million restaurants to choose from. From a parents point of view, it’s a win win. With, or without kids.
Las Iguanas at Brighton Marina is fairly spacious, you certainly don’t feel like you’re sitting on top of other diners, which is always a plus, I hate having to squeeze out of a tiny table gap & passed a couple that are eating, on one of our many visits to the toilets (kids, not me!) the decor is bright, colourful and really good to look at. It was packed full when we arrived, at 8pm on a Friday night, with families, couples and parties.
I’ve already mentioned the 2 for 1 cocktails haven’t I? But, what surprised me on this visit was, even the non alcoholic ones are 2 for 1! I’m pretty sure this is a rarity, usually restaurants like to make the money where they can, and kids drinks are never part of the deal. As we had 2 teenagers and the 8 year old with us, we knew we were going to get through some drinks. Anyone else have kids who down their drink as soon as it arrives and then need another for the actual meal? So, we got some water for the table (gone in a flash) plus 4 mocktails. I was being good. My No-jito was good, but it’s 100% better with rum…..
Onto the food. Oh, all the food! Whenever we go out for dinner somewhere that has what we like to call “picky bits” we always over order. ALWAYS. We had a long table that was suitable for 6 people and it’s fair to say, the entire table was covered in dishes. On a side note, they ask you as you go in if anyone is gluten free, vegan or vegetarian which is bloody amazing! It saves you having to scan through a million dishes looking for a little tick, or a marking to highlight it’s suitable for you. More time to look through the cocktail menu I’d say. Well done Las Iguanas!
The girls ordered Burritos, with a side order of chips (naturally) and Charlie chose Wacky Tacos from the kids menu, which comes with a main, pudding and a drink for just £5.90 – BUT – it’s free when accompanied by a full paying adult. So, another tick in the family friendly box!
The bloke and I went for, shall we say, a selection of goodies. Luckily, I saved the receipt so I could tell you exactly what we had. I’m a good blogger like that.
We chose two taco planks, one prawn and one beef, which are soooo good. The prawn is my favourite, garlic chilli prawns and guacamole – you can never go wrong with those ingredients! Nachos, obviously, which were shared out between the 5 of us, and was more than enough to go round. We went for the chilli con carne but the basic ones are just as good! Mmmmm, nachos!
If calamari is ever on the menu, we order it, and the Calamares at Las Iguanas is different to the usual but not in a bad way! They’re deep fried in cayenne and cassava (nope, no idea) crumb with aioli. They are so moreish and could probably do with being bigger. Or, maybe we should just order two portions….
The bloke added mussels but they were all his, I’m not a fan of spicy mussels, give me a bowl of garlic and white wine mussels and I could eat them all day. I’m reliably informed they were delicious, even though they gave him the hiccups!
We ordered the chicken wings, with vivo, flaming hot habenero sauce – these bad boys are so spicy, in the way that they leave your lips on fire. Sadly they were a little bit cold when we got them, but to be fair there was a lot of food coming out at once, and they still tasted amazing. Messy, but amazing! Another dish (I told you there were a few!) was the Albondigas, which are lamb meatballs with apple, mint, Parmesan and nutmeg in tomato, mint and chilli sauce served with ciabatta. I would never think to pair those flavours but they just work.
Last, but not least was the star of the show for a certain Swiss husband. Huancaina, a Peruvian style cheese fondue. I know, fondue in a Mexican restaurant, it’s like they knew he was coming! Melted cheese, amarillo chilli sauce with crispy patatas bravas. This was incredible! Perfect to share, and such a good idea! Everyone loved it, so it was a good job it comes with quite a big serving of crispy potatoes!
You’d think after all that food there would be no room for pudding. And you would be right! For us anyway. The kids, being never ending bottomless pits had plenty of room for Churros! The girls had 6 between them which came with chocolate ganache and dulce de leche for dunking, whereas the kids meal comes with one Churro and a chocolate ganache dip. They were really well cooked, not at all greasy, just perfect little long donut sticks as C calls them!
The staff are all friendly and quick to help, I was even complimented on how polite my kids were! It’s always lovely to hear it from someone else, especially when they have no reason to say it. Maybe we have bought them up proper after all….! C was given some funky little animals after his meal, and, on noticing that a Llama was on the list, the bloke asked if he could have it – for himself! I’m sure the waitress was rolling her eyes inwardly, but she got him one regardless. Larry the Llama now lives in his car. As you do.
We all loved the food, nothing was disappointing, aside of the slightly cold chicken wings, but that’s neither here nor there, and we will be going back as soon as, there is a Gin Ting with my name on it!
Have you tried Las Iguanas in Brighton Marina? If not – give it a go! You can book a table online here.