Wednesday, 25 April 2018 14:00

Our dinner with cocktails at Las Iguanas

Our dinner with cocktails at Las Iguanas

Las Iguanas is one of the newer restaurants in Bournemouth's Bh2 leisure complex. The restaurant may have a small frontage, with the entrance facing the gardens, but the seating area is deceptively large with a choice of booths, small tables and group areas. If you haven't been before Las Iguanas is all about fresh Latin American flavours, some fabulous cocktails and a relaxed atmosphere.

On our visit, we were served by the friendly Diego. He was happy to explain dishes and make recommendations on some course choices. The menu is larger than most, with sections for dishes from Mexico, Argentina, Peru and beyond. Drinks were ordered first to allow us time to read through the menu. Similarly to the food menu, the drinks menu is substantial with a massive choice of cocktails. The good news here is it's happy hour every hour so buy one cocktail and get another of the same free. As long as both parties fancy the same tipple then this is a bargain. We went for the Passion Fruit Zombie, made up of Wray & Nephew Overproof Rum, Lamb’s Navy Strength Rum, Havana Club 7 Yr, 3 Yr & Especial Rums, falernum, fresh passion fruit, lime, pineapple and bitters. The large cocktail is a beauty and £11.95 which would be a good price for one but here that's £11.95 for two cocktails. Bargain. A jug of water is provided for the table too.

The tapas menu has lots on offer and we ordered a couple of items from it as starters. These were Pli's Prawn Pastels, straight out of Brazil, these crispy pasties are filled with succulent prawns in a mildly spiced coconut, mint, rosemary & cream cheese sauce. These went quickly! We also had Chicken Coxinha, a popular Brazilian snack of smoky chipotle chicken wrapped in potato dough, covered in panko crumb & deep-fried. Three come on the plate served with sticky chilli jam.

For our main courses, we picked Cheesy Butternut Squash Maracana and Moqueca de Peixe. The Maracana is a vegetarian dish served in a sourdough bread bowl inspired by the famous Maracanã Stadium in Rio. The inside scooped out and filled with butternut squash, mixed peppers, palm hearts & spinach in a rich, cheesy tomato sauce. It's a hearty eat and very filling. The mix of flavours a delight with just a little heat.

The Moqueca de Peixe brings a little theatre to the table with a ceramic candle burner set first to keep the dish hot. You get a generous portion of prawns, white fish & peppers cooked in a homemade creamy coconut, fresh tomato & lime sauce with spring onion rice, sweet plantain, pico de gallo & a coconut farofa to sprinkle.

The dessert selection is varied with a few familiar faces. We picked the Dulce de Leche Macadamia Cheesecake and Aztec Chocolate Fudge Brownie. The cheesecake with roasted macadamia nuts & dulce de leche caramel sauce looked wonderful but was a touch too sweet for my dining partner and wasn't completely finished. However, the chocolate brownie, served warm was wonderful, with a spiced orange flavour and scoop of ice-cream. This was finished!

All three courses were served in very good time, the open kitchen clearly working hard. Dishes were seasoned well and we can’t fault the quality of the ingredients used, presentation and service. The total for two people, having three courses each was £49.90, plus £11.95 for the cocktails makes this meal at Las Iguanas a very good deal indeed.

With stiff competition from other restaurants within Bh2 and across Bournemouth, we the diners, are the winners, spoilt for choice.

Book a table at Las Iguanas

Call 01202 031746 or visit

We were guests of Las Iguanas for this review.