I love food, I love trying new things and I’ll quite happily pick the ‘what on earth is that’ option on the menu when I’m abroad. When I worked in Export and also when holidays took me to far-flung parts of the world, I would always enjoy trying the local cuisine. When I visit my parents in Spain, I’m always on the look out for something to eat that none of us have had before. Daddy P has learnt over the last 8 years that I’m really not a meat and 2 veg kind of girl! Well, not every day, anyway. I hadn’t been to Las Iguanas Oxford since Monkey was born, and looking at the kids menu recently, I knew he’d be fine, it was time to introduce his father to the tastes of South America!
Las Iguanas Oxford is located on Park End Street, next to the river and the male members of my family would be enjoying their first visit, just as the company celebrates its 25th birthday. With a new Spring Menu, we certainly had lots to choose from. There was a lunchtime and general menu to look through as well as menu for children aged 12 years and under. What could I tempt them with?
The restaurant is bright and airy, and there’s also a riverside terrace which I’ve enjoyed sitting out on in previous visits. I’m always a little wary with Monkey and new environments but he relaxed immediately. He had crayons and his menu doubled as an activity sheet – he was away, leaving Daddy P and I time to made our menu selections.
I’d heard good things about the Dadinhos – a recent addition to the Las Iguanas menu and knew I’d have to try them as my starter. It’s a Brazilian snack of crispy smoked cubes of cheese, served with a chilli jam. They were really very good indeed, the jam wasn’t too hot, but had a good warmth to it. Even my son, the 6 year old who doesn’t try anything new, tried one and loved it.
Daddy P opted for the Quesadilla with garlic mushrooms, chilli, thyme and cheese. We all got a taste of these too, again full of flavour and another empty plate.
With the kids menu you get a main, dessert and a drink for £ 5.90. It’s a shame there isn’t a starter option for children. The main dishes come with crispy lettuce, cucumber sticks, carrot sticks, baby tomatoes and pepper and Monkey would have really liked this as a starter. He wasn’t too pleased to wait whilst we had food. This would be my only criticism, of an otherwise, perfect meal.
There will be no surprise to anyone that Monkey went for Pizza as his main meal from the kids menu. The waitress did tell us that some children find the tomato sauce base a little spicy, but Monkey loved it, I was allowed to have a bite, the sauce was full of flavour, but not too hot or spicy in my opinion.
Monkey even have eaten the lettuce! This turn of events definitely brought a smile to the face of his greengrocer father. Never before has lettuce been eaten in our presence.
I thought Daddy P might go for the Chicken Enchilada or the Havana Club & BBQ Glazed Ribs from the lunch menu, but no, he totally surprised me, and went for the Veggie Chilli option. Packed with sweet potato, butternut squash & chickpeas braised with spiced tomatoes, served with spring onion rice, pink pickled onion & soured cream, it did look good.
Daddy P said that his choice was really flavoursome and perfect for him as he’s not a great one for anything too hot. I didn’t get a chance to taste test it for myself, it was gone.
I do love my fish so the Pan Fried Pescado was calling me, and I wasn’t disappointed. It melted in my mouth and was a great choice. Again packed with flavour.
As I’ve mentioned earlier Las Iguanas are celebrating their 25th birthday this year, and we all get to join in, with 2 for 1 offers on their cocktails. Sadly with Daddy P driving I didn’t take up this offer, but I couldn’t let a Mojito pass me by could I?
Once I’d returned from my memories of sipping Mojitos on the streets of Havana, it was time to decide on puddings. Not a hard decision for me as I’m a sucker for chocolate cake – this time in the form of Aztec Chocolate Fudge Cake. Daddy P went for the Dulce de Leche Macadamia Cheesecake and Monkey had ice cream. Three more empty plates and happy faces later.
The staff were really friendly, made Monkey feel really comfortable and helpful with menu selections. We were asked as soon as we arrived if we required a gluten free menu. Although we didn’t, it was nice to know we could go with friends and they’d be catered for too without any issues.
I have to be honest, I’d not thought of Las Iguanas as somewhere to eat with younger children before, but I’m so glad we got to try it out, as we will definitely be back. There were other families eating at the same time as us, with similarly aged children, all were enjoying themselves.
It was one of the nicest eating experiences we’ve had out with Monkey, which meant we were all very relaxed. I can thoroughly recommend the food and service. See you again soon!
You can find out more about Las Iguanas, where your nearer restaurant is and browse the relevant menus by looking at their website.
disclosure: we were given a voucher which covered the cost of our meal and drinks, in exchange for an honest review.