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Cambridge England International

Las Iguanas Restaurant | Lunch

I’ve learned that sometimes when things don’t as planned it can actually work out. While in Cambridge, on a girls day out trip we decided on an impromptu lunch at an Italian spot. Seeing as how we had not made reservations a wait of 30 – 45 minutes seemed reasonable for a party of 5. However, since we had skipped on breakfast both my girlfriends and I were famished. We walked around the corner and saw Las Iguanas. Our initial plan was to grab some drinks while we waited on our table at the other restaurant. After a quick look at the menu, it was decided we’d be staying put and having lunch at Las Iguanas Restaurant.

We arrived at between 12:30 and 1:00pm and we were extremely lucky. We looked up and before we knew it, the place was packed. My unspoken rule is that if it is packed, it’s usually a strong indication that the food is good. And it was good, so I went back a second time and brought my family.

Las Iguanas Restaurant

Las Iguanas Restaurant offers Brazilian, Cuban, and Latin food options. The menu is pretty large offering everything from tapas to start your meal off right to desserts to satisfy your sweet tooth. One of the most amazing things I find about this Las Iguanas is that it digs deep and stays true to the cultural aspect. Right now they are celebrating Carnival. During the month of February you actually get the opportunity to win tickets to Rio de Janiero to go to Carnival, find out more here.

“Carnival dates back to 1723 in Rio de Janiero”

Tapas [Tah-puhs]

Tapas are Spanish appetizers and starters that can be served hot or cold. Usually if you get 2 or 3 you will have yourself a full meal. I’ll start by saying the cheesy Peru Fondue is ooey gooey delicious. Its topped with red chili pepper flakes to give a nice kick at the end. They are typically served with small potato chunks, but ask for curly fries… I promise you won’t regret it. These are great to share with others at your table…similiar to a chips and salsa kind of thing.

 
Next up are the Dadinhos, Albondigas, Smoked Salmon Tiradito, and Jackfruit Tacos. I must admit that sometimes I go a little overboard when ordering. However comma ordering tapas takes away some of the gluttunous guilt I feel because it is an easy way to taste lots of the menu in smaller portions. Many of my option choices were either vegetarian, vegan or gluten free friendly. I’m more flexitarian and I eat what I want but it’s good to know you have options.
The Dadinhos are crispy cheese cubes served with a chili jam. I Loved, loved, loved the crispiness of the cheese cubes and dipping it in the jam one by one. The Dadinhos remind me somewhat of halloumi cheese which is one of my absolute favs. They are a great option for someone who enjoys a vegetarian diet.
The Albondigas are Pantagonian-style lamb meatballs comprised of a mixture of apple, mint, parmesan and nutmeg. They then braise it in a rich tomato, mint and chili sauce and serve it with bread. The flavor hits you immediately and you know it’s not a regular meatball.  I liked it the first time I tried it; but when my kid ordered it and enjoyed it, I knew it was a winner.
Lamb Meatlballs at Las Iguanas
The Smoked Salmon Tiradito is a lot…the flavors, the textures it’s a lot. My recommendation before you order this it to ensure that you like smoked salmon. The slices of salmon are topped with sweet chili pepper pearls, pickled beetroot and onion and then dressed with a combo of fresh ginger and beetroot dressing and avocado aioli and amarillo chilli then topped with candied seeds.  Again, if you like smoked salmon you will really enjoy it.  If you don’t steer clear…that is unless you are feeling a little mettle.

Last but certainly not least are the Jackfruit Tacos. If you’ve never tried Jackfruit you’ve been missing out. I finally pulled the trigger and got a little mettle and ordered Jackfruit. I’ve been on the fence for years with trying it. It is often used as a meat substitute for plant based eaters. I’ve gone as far as picking one up at the market but never actually buying it or trying it for that matter. All of that is in my past because I am a fan! These jackfruit tacos are roasted in a smoky beetroot chipotle sauce and pulled apart almost like pork would be. Then they are topped with a avocado aioli sauce and served on your choice of grilled corn or flour tortillas.

Here are a few other tapas that we all shared. I could go on and on but some things you just have to try yourself.


By now I’m sure you are looking at me like I belong on my 600lb life but honestly, I didn’t take down ALL of these meals myself. I like to refer to it as research, I mean how else can I give you guys the best reviews??

Mains

The tapas are bunched together in one menu, but the mains are sorted out by region. You have the option to choose from the Mexican, Brazilian, Argentinian or Cuban menu. Just like the tapas menu, there are vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, nut free and diary free options. The mains menu boasts everything from curries to burgers so there is literally something for everyone. I ordered the Bahian Coconut Chicken with a side of fried plantains. The Bahian Coconut Chicken is strips of chicken breast pan fired in cumin, cayenne and coriander cooked in a creamy coconut sauce with ginger, garlic, coriander and tomatoes. It is served with spring onion, rice, shredded greens and toasted coconut. I am definitely a fan of Korean, Thai and Indian curry, so this Brazilian type curry was a first but not farfetched choice.Bahian Coconut Chicken at Las Iguanas
After eating all that food, you definitely want something to wet your whistle.  Las Iguanas offers a 2 for 1 drink menu that is basically as large as Latin America.  They’ve got Latin classics and classics with a Latin twist.  Here’s a peak at what I got from the 2 for 1 drink menu – Cactus Caipirinha,
Cactus Caipirinha at Las Iguanas
There are several other Las Iguanas Restaurant locations so if you find yourself in the London, Cardiff, Edinburgh or Nottingham area try to find one and enjoy some Latin cuisine. Here is a link to their locations.
 
 
 
Until next time, Forks Up!

Categories
England Lunch

Lunch at Bill's Restaurant

Lunch at Bill’s Restaurant

Today was one of those days that you follow through on a recommendation from a friend.  Wednesdays are usually my burger, fry and milkshake days but today I decided to stop by Bill’s Restaurant and shake up my normal lunch routine. Bill’s restaurant is located in the Rushden Lakes shopping district and boasts an amazing view of a lake with swans. The inside of Bill’s is so inviting with its shabby chic decor.  I loved looking around at the walls while I ate.
Entrance to Bill's restaurant
Bill’s has a lunch and dinner menu to include a separate vegetarian menu. Currently they are celebrating Veganuary and have an entire menu with vegan options for the month of January. I ordered a vegetarian lunch but didn’t get to order off their Veganuary menu.  Don’t worry, I’ll go back soon to bring you guys the deets.
My friend ordered the daily special which was a grilled chicken with Rosemary and Brie cheese on top, served with a side of broccoli and.  She was kind enough to let me take a picture and have a bite. I love a good rosemary chicken and the Brie on top was just the icing on the cake.
Chicken lunch special at Bill's restaurant

Vegetarian lunch options

For my starter, I ordered a sweet potato and ginger soup. I must admit I was skeptical about how the ginger would taste. I was pleasantly surprised at how awesome it was. Not only was it appealing to the eyes it tantalized my tastebuds. It was garnished with micro greens and pink peppercorns.

For my main, I opted for the carrot, cashew nut and mushroom Wellington. It was placed on a bed of mashed butter beans and served with a side of long stem broccoli. There is something about flaky phyllo dough that makes me all happy inside. The broccoli was perfectly cooked and the mashed beans were very reminiscent of mashed potatoes. Once I poured my gravy on them there disappeared..I don’t know what happened.  They were on my plate one minute and the next minute they were gone. Let’s just say mashed beans will be a thing in my house very soon.  My Wellington was outstanding!! The carrots were tender, the mushrooms melded with the cashews and created magic. I highly recommend this dish if you are looking for a vegetarian option at Bill’s. Just don’t do like I did send burn your mouth trying to scarf it down lol.

Overall it was a great dining experience and I honestly don’t know what took me so long to try it.  I’m looking forward to going back already.
Forks Up!

Categories
Dinner England

Tap and Kitchen Oundle

Tap and Kitchen

One of the most adorable towns in England I’ve been to is Oundle. At the request of one of my very best gal pals, I made the journey to Tap and Kitchen in Oundle to say farewell over dinner. I was impressed my very first time so I returned bringing along my family so they could experience a Tap and Kitchen meal. This review is a combination of both experiences which were lovely.
Tap and Kitchen is just on the outskirts of Peterborough. Right as you pull into the town it is on the right hand side and it has it’s own little wharf. Don’t go too fast or you will pass right by. The parking lot is gravel, so on rainy days be sure to have some wellies close by. When you walk inside you are transported to a homey shabby chic place. There are velvet chairs and frilly lampshades hanging from the ceiling. There is also an outside seating area but I don’t suggest outdoor seating during rainy season.
Tap and Kitchen Oundle reminds me of one of my favorite places I like to consider one of the best kept secrets in Tampa – Stein and Vine. The menu changes daily so if you see it and want it get it, because chances are it won’t be there tomorrow. The bar is stocked full of gin and other spirits and flowing from the tap are local beers. Now to the best part…the food.

Starters

I ordered something new as a starter.  Pea Kofta with minted paneer, harissa mayonnaise and pickled onion.  The harissa mayonnaise is the perfect dip for both the pea kofta and the minted paneer.  If you ever see this on the menu, order it.

These scallops were featured on my Instagram account and are quite possibly the best scallops I’ve ever had. These king scallops are served on a bed of peas, chorizo, samphire and potato puff. Not only are the colors visually appealing, the texture of the peas, potato puff and chorizo complement the scallops.

Main Courses and Sides

Ever since I had my first bite of sweet potato gnocci, I’ve been hooked. The first time I tried it was at Boca Brandon.  Anytime I see it on a menu I have to order it and this time was no exception. There is just something about the sweet, savory, melts like butter gnocchi that can not be denied. Pair it with some asparagus for that added crunch and voila you’ve got yourself a star dish. I was so convincing with my order, three of my friends ordered the same thing. I’ll just say none of us were disappointed.

On my second trip I got the pork belly for my main.  The pork belly was placed atop of wholegrain mustard mash, savoy cabbage with pan jus. The top of the pork belly was seared just right.  My husband got the salmon with roasted vegetables. The mains were simply amazing!!

I was initially skeptical when I ordered the zucchini, tomato and chorizo side.  I must say that I was pleasantly surprised.  Somehow it worked.  The zucchini was still firm and the chorizo gave it just enough kick.

Desserts

One of the most common desserts in the UK pubs is sticky toffee pudding.  As you can see from the picture below, it’s a monster of a dessert.  If you haven’t had sticky toffee pudding, visit Tap N’ Kitchen for one of the best around.

Me and my one of my best gal pals as we say see you later.  She is the reason that Tap and Kitchen is forever a part of my life. Thanks Brook!

Forks Up!