07-03-2016-Las Iguanas, Manchester

Having had a spell of repeat visits, Theatre Shows, and other distractions, I finally managed to go to a Restaurant that I hadn’t visited before! As always it was a last minute decision, and it was a Saturday night, so some of my preferred choices weren’t available, but, I suppose that means they are still there to be enjoyed another day. I was however, able to book a table at Las Iguanas, 84 Deansgate, Manchester M3 2ER ( http://www.iguanas.co.uk ). Albeit, it was a late table Ÿ?? 9.30pm, nevertheless, it was a table. As you would expect, we had an earlier start in The Village Ÿ?? sampling a drink or two in New Union, before we stood at the side of the road on Princess Street with me flashing ample amounts of thigh in order to attract a black cab. Or at least, a black cab driver. It worked. We got a black cab, with a black cab driver Ÿ?? as in a driver that was black. Results all round! No more ado and he was whisking us back towards Town as best he could. I say as best he could, because I don’t know if many of you have travelled across Manchester on a Saturday night lately, but believe me, it is a nightmare. There are so many roads closed or restricted due to the roadworks associated with the new Ÿ??Travel Across Manchester FasterŸ? campaign, that by the time you get to where you want to go, you have just about lost the will to live. You have also lost a substantial amount out of your purse. Due to the detours and additional Ÿ??hanging around at junctionŸ? times, the journey cost over ô?7-00 instead of the normal ô?4-00. I feel an email to the Council coming on. Anyway, you know me, a slow journey across Town and hefty taxi charge isn’t going to spoil the night, so we laughed it off, jumped out of the cab (OK, we climbed out slowly then!), and made our way across the busy pavement towards the front door of Las Iguanas. I heard a passing lad tell his mate that there was a tranny around, but try as I might, I wasn’t able to spot her. They seem to get everywhere nowadays. In we went, and the first thing to hit us was the amount of people in there. It was heaving. There were people just having a drink, and lots and lots of people sat at tables. I really do believe it was full. Full as in no room for any more people. I was wondering if they had remembered we were coming. They had, and we were soon shown to the one available table, which was round in the main body of the Restaurant. We were furnished with menus, served drinks, and given time to put our glasses on, and begin the major debate as to what to have. It was late, neither of us had eaten, and we were hungry. Choosing food wasn’t going to be that difficult tonight. I could tell. It wasn’t. By the time the waiter returned to our table, we were ready and waiting with a list of requirements. I was going to start off with smoked haddock croquettas – Crispy panko-coated croquettas with potato, parsley, red chilli & cheese, served with salsa Ÿ??Las Iguanas’, whilst my friend had decided to try out the Lamb Empanadas – two crispy pasties filled with tender lamb braised in mint, tomato & chipotle. They were good choices, and our chatter soon quietened down to a series of murmurs, dribbles, and head nods. It wasn’t long at all before we were handing two perfectly empty plates back to the waiter along with our compliments to the Chef. A short interlude took place, before the delivery of our main course. We were able to have a good look around and Ÿ??weigh things upŸ?. It was still busy, although obviously, as it was later on, the earlier diners were beginning to leave. Everyone seemed jovial and chatty, and we were able to interact with a group on the next table who were busy taking photographs of themselves, each other, and anyone else who happened to be in the range of the camera lens. They were a young group Ÿ?? all in their twenties I guess, but certainly multi-cultural. It’s good to see such mixed groups out and about together, and it always makes me question as to why there are so many problems in the World. People on the whole are pretty good at getting on with each other, and indeed would be happy to do so if left alone by the few extremists that seem intent on stirring things up. SoŸ?íŸ?íŸ?íŸ?íŸ?íŸ?í back to the food. Our waiter was on his way back, and we made ourselves busy moving cutlery out of the way, checking our napkins, and generally making sure we were prepared for the next stage of the meal. My friend had ordered Picanha Steak Ÿ?? which was an 8oz rump cap steak, char-grilled, rested, sliced & sprinkled with sea salt, served with molho €˜ campanha; tomato, chilli, onion, green pepper, lime & parsley salsa, served with cassava fries and salad. I had stuck to my usual healthy eating regime, and opted for the Sea Bass fillet on a bed of spring onion rice with white crab, peeled king prawns in a tomato, coriander, basil, parsley, achiote, and red pepper sauce. Just to make sure we didn’t go hungry, we also ordered a side dish of sweet potato fries. As with the starters, we thoroughly enjoyed our food and only stopped rattling the cutlery around once the plates were empty. Our waiter returned during our main course to check how things were, and we also grabbed the opportunity to order more drinks. By the time we finished our main course, the evening was getting on, and the customer base had thinned out somewhat, but there were still enough people in to make an atmosphere, and our friends on the next table were showing no signs of leaving at all. They were far too busy recording their own photo album of events and informing the rest of the World what they were up to by the use of social media. Oh to be young! Once the empty porcelain had been removed from the table, we sat back and relaxed, both having enjoyed all we had eaten. It was now that slightly scary part of the evening when you sit there awaiting the inevitable. You know that really you should make your excuses, jump up from the table, pay your bill, and escape into the cold night air, but you also know that this is not going to happen. You know that in reality, you are going to be offered desserts. You know that out of sheer manners you are going to agree to at least look at the menus, and you also know that there’s a fair chance that you will order something. I class myself as being a pretty strong character, and I know that deep down I can do just about anything within my capabilities if I set my mind to it, so why do I become a quivering, wreck of a woman as soon as a piece of card with the word Ÿ??DessertsŸ? on it comes into view. In fairness, I’m pretty much reduced to a quivering wreck long before the menus even arrive. Just the sheer knowledge of the fact they are in the building is enough! As you would expect, it all went as predicted. The menus arrived. We looked Ÿ?? out of politeness of course. We ordered a Dessert. Each. I ended up sat awaiting the arrival of Passion Fruit Pave – a delicious dish of Brazilian-style tiramisu with layers of sweet soaked sponge topped with passion fruit cream, whilst my friend prepared for the onslaught of a Dulce De Leche Macadamia Cheesecake Ÿ?? a creamy vanilla cheesecake with roasted macadamia nuts and dulce de leche sauce. I have to say, despite our initial fears, it wasn’t half as bad as we expected. The puddings arrived, we picked up our spoons and started to eat them, and before long the puddings had disappeared. It all worked out pretty well really. Our waiter returned for a final time, offering us more drinks, or coffee, but we both declined, having had more than enough food and drink for the time being. We didn’t rush, choosing instead to sit and take in the last of the atmosphere before the place became pretty empty. We weren’t the last to leave, but we weren’t far off. A quick visit to the Ladies was made, and I’m pleased to say that despite the fact that it had been a busy night, they were in pretty good order. Everything was there that you needed, and all was in good clean condition. There was a bit of toilet paper strewn on the floor, but in fairness, you can only blame the Clientele for that, not the establishment. The bill was paid at the table – ô?60-75 plus a tip, jackets were put on, and we said our goodbyes before we went out onto Deansgate in search of a taxi for the return journey. This time the journey was quicker and cheaper, and it wasn’t long before we were stood in Churchill’s sipping drinks and saying Ÿ??HiŸ? to all our friends. Now the night proper could begin! Ok then, before I leave you in peace, I will, as per usual, answer those all important questions: Is Las Iguanas TV friendly? I presume so. Although I heard the lads outside say they had seen one, I didn’t spot her, so I can only presume that all was well on the TV front. I certainly didn’t see anything to the contrary. Value for money? As I said above, the whole meal including two drinks each was just over sixty quid. Even with a tip added on, I don’t think you could hassle over the price. Would I go again? I certainly would. It is a bit more Ÿ??chainŸ? than Ÿ??uniqueŸ? both in food choice and presentation, but that is more a comment than a criticism. I think for what you pay it’s more than acceptable. The staff are very friendly, the service and surroundings were good, and the people on the next table were cool!