My boyfriend and I love to eat out at new places, but we live in different cities, and work different hours, so finding the time to eat together has been a challenge of late. On a recent trip to Manchester we decided to go for out for a bite to eat, but we didn't want to spend a lot of money, and I find it's always a compromise on price and value for money. Lest our hunger make us give in to a chippy on the way, we kept looking for a restaurant that took our fancy as we stumbled on on to Deansgate.
We both like Latin, South-American food, so it was a no-brainer when we decided to dine at Las Iguanas for date night. It has a lively atmosphere when you walk in; South-American music is playing in the background and it's a warm, welcoming venue with flecks of gold, mirrors, bronze and muted tropical colours dotted around the restaurant.
As we walked, with the bar full to our right we almost didn't know what to do with ourselves, but a waiter spotted us and seated us (in a booth) promptly. We were given menus and time to order our drinks. You will need time to decide on both, but especially the menu because Las Iguanas has such a variety of South American food.
Choose from either sharing starters, tapas, or small sides to start with such as fried plantain. There were a lot of vegetarian mains on offer like the black bean and beet burger and the epic enchilada among others, but we were feeling carnivorous.
We were faced with a large menu of South American main dishes such as enchiladas, tacos, tortillas, ribs and creamy fish and rice dishes such as Xim Xim which is a creamy lime and peanut sauce chicken dish that comes with toasted flakes of coconut and plantain on the side. I've had Bahia Moqueca in the past which is a fish and rice dish, but this time I plumped for the Blazing Bird. It's half a chicken which comes with coleslaw and either a small salad or straight/curly chips. For £9.95 you get a lot for your buck and it's a larger portion compared to other restaurants that claim to serve 'half a chicken'.
To compliment our meat feasts we tried the halloumi, cucumber and mint salad. It was surprisingly delicious and we shared a large bowl of well-dressed salad leaves, cucumber, and Greek halloumi cheese scattered with chunky avocado.
We were really impressed with the service as Las Iguanas because although it was busy our waiter remained upbeat and didn't hurry our order when we were stuck for choice.
They also have a children's menu, but I wouldn't bring little ones during the evening because it gets quite loud, and when the alcohol is flowing other customers can get quite loud.
Overall the food was better than what we remember and cheaper than expected. For a cocktail, beer, two mains, and two sides we paid £33.20. Considering the central location and quality of food I'd say not bad for date night.