las iguanas – nottingham

I was kindly invited by Las Iguanas in Nottingham to check out their interior makeover and try their new menu, I’d been to Las Iguanas before in Leicester, but I was never blown away by the food or the service. I was hoping that Nottingham’s branch would be different, and maybe change my opinion.

As soon as we walked into the restaurant there was an incredible jazzy, fresh vibe, and who doesn’t love a bit of jazz on a Wednesday night?

It was such a clean, cool setting. I can’t wait for the Leicester branch to up their game!

STARTERS 

Bread board

“Sliced ciabatta, jalapeño cornbread & pão de queijo with dunking chipotle butter, olive oil & balsamic”

I am ALL about bread, even if my digestive system isn’t. I loved everything about this starter, the smoky dip, the corn bread, and I’m a sucker for balsamic and oil. The dough balls had a little surprising of cheese which left me wanting more, this starter was the perfect size to share between two people.

“These dough balls are as good, no, better than Pizza Express” – Nat Ling, 2018

Tortilla chips & dips

“Spice-dusted corn chips with roasted tomato salsa, habanero & pepper salsa & green tomatillo & jalapeño salsa”

I was pretty underwhelmed by the tortilla chips I hate to say, mainly because they lacked cheese which to me makes the nachos. After checking over the menu for this review, I realised I accidentally ordered the vegan ones!

I imagine they will taste much better topped with the dairy dream. The dips were lovely, the green one was full of chillis and super spicy, so if you’re into the heat this is for you!

 

 

 

 

 

 


MAIN COURSE

I’m not going to lie – when my plate hit the table I wasn’t overly impressed. Don’t get me wrong, the presentation was top notch but thinking about cauliflower and sweetcorn, I don’t think rich and tasty. Boy, was I wrong. Adding smoked cheese to any vegetable is a good way to go, but I enjoyed this so much that I saved some to take home, just to I could experience the first bite again! This was recommended by the host, and I’m going to find it pretty hard to not order it every single time I go!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


COCKTAILS MASTERCLASS

Caipirinha

We were also kindly given the opportunity to make our own Caipirinha, I can’t believe how easy they are to make!

All you need is Magnifica Cachaça, lime, sugar and a lot of ice! I was unlucky enough to be driving to this event, but I can’t wait to make some at home for my next girls night, insanely delicious and so cheap to make too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Huge thanks again to Las Iguanas for having us, I cant wait to go back and order the quinotto again!

I was invited by Las Iguanas to review their new menu in return for a honest review. Images and words are all my own.
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Black Iron – Winstanley House

Black Iron – Winstanley House

Something that definitely helps me to get through my 9-5 lifestyle during the winter months is having a dinner reservation, trust me, there’s nothing better.

Surely everyone I know must feel the same satisfaction I do knowing you’re going to get a top notch dinner, with no cooking preparation or cleaning after! IT’S HEAVEN!

I’d never been to Winstanley House, and after arriving I was so disappointed that I hadn’t gone sooner. I never imaged that in Braustone, Leicester this beautiful manor would be tucked away ready to feed me some incredible treats 😍

As soon as we got there, we were led to a bar area whilst our table as being prepared. I never thought the decor of a building would be make me feel so incredibly underdressed, and I had actually made an effort! The decor was exquisite. I felt like I was in a film, or like a celebrity, a successful business woman all rolled into one. I sat down with my grapefruit gin and ginger beer wondering what could possibly make me feel any happier, and then we were called to our table!

Starter: Beetroot salad with honey & hazelnut

This was incredibly refreshing, so flavoursome which I really didn’t expect. The walnuts complimented the beetroot perfectly, giving it a rich at satisfying flavour, I felt if I’d had any more it might have ruined my main! Beautifully balanced!

Main: Courgette flan with cauliflower purée, ash baked sweet potato & roasted vegetables

Ahhh I loved this so much, when I first saw the dish I did think “omg I need twice this much” because I’m a little piggy, but the flavours were incredible. The courgette flan was actually rather hearty, and paired with the potatoes and roast vegetables I was in heaven. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten a meal so slow, I wanted to savour every bite.

Dessert: Tea & Cake victoria sponge cake, strawberries & earl grey ice cream

Considering I’m a savoury over sweet type of person, this dessert was my favourite part of the meal. The early grey ice-cream was so interesting, I wish you could buy it from the shop! (if you can and I’m unaware someone please tell me). I always find tea flavoured things quite underwhelming, but there was no denying that this tasted like earl grey, and it wasn’t sickly which was my first fear. I would 100% go back just to have this again.

Overall, I really enjoyed this meal, it was nice going to quality over quantity for a change, as I tend to be the girl that likes a huge portion for under a fiver! I’d definitely recommend Black Iron for an anniversary meal, birthday celebration or a treat yourself day.

Considering the location, presentation and quality of the food Black Iron’s pricing is incredibly fair. All this for the small price of £22, and you get to feel super fancy just being there for free!

 

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Chutney Ivy – Leicester

Chutney Ivy – Leicester

The Cultural Quarter of Leicester is one of the best areas of the city. It’s got bars like Manhattan 34 and The Exchange, entertainment from the wonderful Curve theatre and a number of gems in between.

So I was more than keen to visit the quarter’s local restaurant Chutney Ivy to take its new menu for a spin, and thought I would bring my lovely boyfriend as company. I was especially excited as Chutney Ivy bagged the prize of “Best Restaurant of 2017” at the Curry Awards – given Leicester’s renowned Asian heritage, this can’t have been an easy feat – so I was itching to sample the reasons why!

Chutney Ivy offers Indian cuisine that respects its heritage but isn’t afraid to innovate – Shaf the co-owner’s enthusiastic insight into the kitchen’s culture attested to this. The restaurant isn’t afraid to take on the features of a swanky bar either, so don’t hesitate to go even if it’s just for a cocktail! Interested? Read on…

Berry Mojito – Chutney Ivy

Starter

Indian Tapas Platter

“A combination of Siek Kebab Stacks (kebab with sun-dried tomato on a nan square), Aloo Tokki, Paneer stacks and Fish Pakora.”

This platter is a perfect companion to after-work cocktails with a gal pal or significant other, but be warned, it will leave you wanting more. The catfish pakora stood out as the showcase portion: its sweet, rich seasoning was so delicately paired with a light batter that made the texture so irresistible. The Akoo Tokki is worth a mention too – the crisp of the potatoes was heavenly and gave a great earthy balance to the dish. Nat and I agreed that this platter was a well-thought-out way of exciting the palette and prepping the appetite – it was light, flavoursome and moreish in a way that really set up for the mains.

Dim Bhajee Salad

“Boiled eggs, sautéed in caramelised onions, roasted jeera and turmeric. Served on a bed of greens.”

This is something I want to attempt at home as a snack salad that has some character to it. I would never have thought the combination of boiled eggs, jeera and turmeric would be so powerful! This dish complemented the platter well, providing a crisp alternative to the hotter flavours.


Mains

Because I’m a little fusspot that lends herself to the pescatarian style of living, I wasn’t able to try the new mains. Fortunately though my human vacuum of a boyfriend is, in his words ‘a conscious meat-eater’, or in my words ‘a part-time, zero-hour contract vegetarian’, so he permitted himself to eat what I could not.

Muragh Jaal Qurma

“Roasted chicken from the Tandoor gently cooked in sweet spices of cinnamon, Bay leaves, green cardamom, milk, yoghurt and a hint of green chilli. Garnished with caramelised onions and fresh coriander.”

Now it’s very rare that I ever wish that I had meat on my plate, but this was genuinely a struggle. This is a Bangladeshi Korma, which Shaf was keen to differentiate from the slightly saccharine, cream-centric Korma we’re used to in the UK. This dish is made with milk and yoghurt rather than cream, making the dish a lot less sweet, and while it takes longer to cook, the flavours were richer for it. Nat described it as more complex than kormas he’d had in the past, with a welcome heat that gladly superseded the general theme of sweetness he was used to. That isn’t to say this wasn’t mellow and accessible to those with a more sensitive tongue though – these flavours are indiscriminately pleasing. The aroma alone wowed me.

Capsico Keema Mattor

“Juicy bell peppers chargrilled in the Tandoor; stuffed with spiced minced lamb, paneer and peas.”

Another chef-favourite that challenged Nat’s capacity after the Korma, the pairing of paneer with tandoor spice was a harmony that explained Shaf’s enthusiasm for the dish.

There was “a lot of interesting tastes at play in this dish,” with Nat describing it as a “introspective lesson in flavour,” (yeah he’s that guy) that required quite a few mouthfuls to really get to the bottom of.

Sea Bass Bangla Massala

“Whole sea bass fillets gently infused with a blend of caramelised onions, tomatoes, fresh garlic, turmeric and lemon juice. Garnished with spring onions and fresh coriander. The favourite dish of the Bengal.”

I, hand on heart, think this might be one of the best fish dishes I have ever had.

Shaf explained he uses sea bass as it’s a dark fish, and one that is most similar to the Bangladeshi fish that is traditionally used. The fish was beautiful, it melts in your mouth and the sauce made a lasting impression. The lemon juice played a huge part in this dish, teaming up with the spring onions and coriander to deliver one of the most refreshing curry dishes I’ve had the pleasure of trying. Needless to say I didn’t leave one bit.

Dessert

Kalajam 

“sweet milk dumpling, marinated in ghoor.”

After the feast we’d just had, this dessert was welcomingly humble, but not at the expense of character. I’m a big fan of the very similar gulab jamun thanks to my colleagues, as they often bring Indian sweets into work. I was told I needed to try them warm with vanilla ice-cream so this felt like a sign! Kalajam has sugar added into the batter, and after frying the sugar it caramelises, giving it the name kala jam or “black jam”. This did not disappoint and lived up to my work pal’s recommendation. I’m normally an apple crumble kind of girl, but this sweet little beauty is always going to be top of my dessert list given the option!

 

I had a lovely time exploring this new menu, and I will definitely be back! If you want fearless food in a relaxed open space (the whole front of the restaurant can be opened up!), visit Chutney Ivy.

 

To book in and try Chutney Ivy’s new menu, call 0116 251 1889 or head to their website.

 

I was kindly invited by Chutney Ivy to sample their new menu. The views are my own, as are the images unless stated otherwise.

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Salvador Deli – As good as it sounds

Salvador Deli – As good as it sounds

Are you from Leicester?

Do you know Queens road?

Have you been to Salvador Deli?

If your answers aren’t YES YES YES then GTFO! I’m joking, but please do visit if you can.

Salvador Deli is my home away from home, seriously, they feed me and give me laughter and comfort. I wish I could sleep in their toilets and be there always, because I am so well fed it makes my heart swell.

I bloody love it there, and not because my friends work here (I loved it before them) but because the food and atmosphere is incredible to say the least. I drive here every lunch time on a Friday, sometimes Thursdays too if I’m feeling saucy; which happens more often than not!

It’s a beautifully quaint delicatessen with a family orientated vibe AND the widest variety of breads in the land.  But don’t just take my word for it, take a look at their menu! P.S CLICK AND COLLECT WOOOO!

Once you’ve stuffed yourself to the brim with a prawn and avocado ciabatta with chilli jam (my fav) or chickpea casserole with hot sauce and bread (also my fav) with a hazelnut soya latte (you guessed it, my fav), you can take a leisurely stroll around Victoria Park which is a mere stone throw away. I know. What dreams are made of right?

Also every time I have gone there has always been an adorable dog outside, and if that doesn’t sell it to you as well as the AMAZING food, I don’t know what will, we probably shouldn’t be friends.

If you do decide to go to one of my favourite places on the planet, please do tell them I sent you. You might get a freebie* and major deli cred!

 

 

 

*It’s all lies, you will not get a freebie.

 

 

 

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