Gunwharf Quays' Las Iguanas celebrated their reopening last week after makeover with a vibrant new look. The quirky restaurant décor reflects the team’s most recent travels to South America, and guests can enjoy an invigorating space that sees comfy banquettes teamed with a backdrop of sunshine shades of yellow, sky blue and turquoise.
Diners can sit back and relax whilst admiring the big bold graphics dancing across the walls, inspired by the colourful selection of street art in Buenos Aires. They are complimented by swathes of foliage and a flash of neon here and there. The biggest change that regulars will notice is that the bar has been moved to create a more comfortable space for Portsmouth’s cocktail aficionados to enjoy.
The menu at Las Iguanas is carefully developed and served up by a team of skilled chefs who love cooking from scratch; discovering unique flavours and inspiring recipes from across Latin America and bringing them to life through high quality, fresh ingredients.
The new menu additions are no exception. Luscious new Ipanema Mussels – cooked in a lightly spiced lime, coriander and coconut sauce and served with ciabatta will tantalise those taste buds whilst the Seco de Cordero - Peruvian style slow cooked lamb shank in a golden ale, red wine and Amarillo chilli sauce, served with roasted sweet potato mash and crispy chilli and onions is a meat lover’s dream.
If meat isn’t your thing, Las Iguanas are Vegetarian Society approved and a new attraction is the Cauliflower and Corn Quinotto, a perfectly cooked Peruvian-style quinoa risotto with smoked cheese, roasted cauliflower and charred baby corn, topped with puffed quinoa and crispy chilli.
If there’s room for dessert, you can continue your journey through the Latin continent with a Banana Empanada, where traditional pastry is hand- filled with banana, sweet plantain and delectable dulce de leche. Served with vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of rum-flavoured syrup, this is relaxed dining at its best.
If truly tropical is your thing, the Piña Colada Mess will energise your taste buds; Piña Colada ice cream is served with caramelised pineapple salsa, crispy pineapple pieces and toasted coconut chips… definitely a dessert that will have you daydreaming of Copacabana.
So on to the cocktails… Las Iguanas have turned Happy Hour in to ‘Happy Days’ for Autumn, with all cocktails now available 2 for 1 ALL day, EVERY day. It’s a game changer. Las Iguanas commit to using premium spirits, including their own award-winning artisan Magnifica cachaça distilled by the de Faria family near Rio, in the Famous Brazilian Cocktail the Caipirinha, and there is something for everyone, with 14 newbies on the list.
Try Mezcal Watermelon Smash, a winning combination of Olmeca Tequila, Bru-Xo Mezcal, watermelon, mint, cucumber and lime or the Latin American take on the classic; a ‘Golden’ Porn Star Martini, compromising Gosling’s Gold Rum, apricot, Funkin passion fruit, vanilla and pineapple with a shot of cava. Celebrate spending time with people you like with a host of new sharing drinks.
Alpaca Punch will bowl you over; El Dorado 3 year old Rum, falernum, passion fruit, lime and cranberry, topped up at the table with a showy bottle of Freixenet cava for 4-6 to share. Or dive in with the new Tropical Fishbowl; Beefeater gin, Sauvignon Blanc, passionfruit, elderflower, Ting and a few finned friends swimming around for 3-4. Barrel o’ Caips is a giant version of the signature Caipirinha cocktail made with Las Iguanas Magnifica cachaça and fresh limes, perfect for 3-4 to enjoy this Brazilian classic.
The Hotlist continues to bring you exciting specials each month and if you’re feeling virtuous, there are also plenty of non-alcoholic cocktails and soft drinks to whet your whistle. From this Autumn Las Iguanas will only be giving out plastic straws on request for most drinks, as they commit to reducing usage and environmental impact with their Straws Suck campaign.