Las Iguanas has started serving a vegetarian/vegan/gluten free meals and we got the chance to sample some of the dishes from them on Friday in the Trafford Centre.

Holy Guacamole

Holy Guacamole

The last time I visited Las Iguanas, I was still eating meat, so I was eager to find out how they have accommodated their menu for those who prefer to indulge in vegetables.

I was really impressed that there was a separate menu for vegetarians and not just a menu with the option to make it meat free. It made the whole experience easier for me because everything was in one place. All of the vegetarian dishes could be made vegan so it is friendly for both.

The restaurant chain is making efforts to keep up with the growing need for vegetarian and vegan choices. I am saddened when I eat somewhere that doesn't provide such options and it feels like you are inconveniencing the waiters and chefs by asking for a dish sans animal products. Not here. I ordered, asked for the vegan version and that was it. No fuss, no quizzical looks and no dashing off to the kitchen to check on ingredients. This should be commonplace but it's not yet. Thanks to eateries like Las Iguanas, hopefully the other food joints will get the message that change is neccessary or their business will suffer.

I had the Triple Tacos- Three corn and wheat, lightly charred tortillas with coconut squash and pink pickled onion. This is not for the faint hearted as it's got a real kick to it. The coconut squash was very fragrant and the pink pickled onions were shredded rather than whole to give a subtle tanginess against the creaminess of the coconut.

My mum is gluten intolerant so she was thrilled to find that there was also a separate menu for gluten free customers. She opted for the Coconut Chicken: Chicken pan fried in cumin, coriander and cayenne and cooked in a creamy coconut sauce with ginger, garlic, tomatoes and coriander. Served with Spring onion rice and shredded greens.

We also ordered a side dish of sweet potato fries to accompany our main dishes. Again; not many places serve sweet potato anything, so it was a surprise to find that we could indulge in chips with a twist!

To finish the meal we each had a dessert. I enjoyed the Alphonso Mango Sorbet- three scoops of homemade sorbet. This was very welcome after the heat of my main course as it cooled down my palate and satisfied my need for something sweet.

My mum has the Berry Mexican Mess- Strawberries in Hibiscus Syrup, mascarpone, yoghurt and crushed meringue. Simply put- a Mexican version of Eton Mess. Sadly, I couldn't try any of hers but the cocktail glass it came in was thoroughly scraped by her spoon- so I'm guessing it was a good sign- and who can go wrong with fruit, gooey meringue and cream?!

Second time around, I was just as impressed as I was on my first visit. It is the ideal place to go for lunch before you start shopping for an energy boost or to dump your bags at the end of the day and enjoy great food and drink while resting your feet.

If you're nosy like both me and mum, the restaurant's open plan design is great for watching fellow shoppers pass you by. The tables are soaked in natural light from the glass doors of the centre's main entrance so if you go during the day and the sun is shining, for a moment you doubt that you are in the middle of Manchester.

Since turning vegan this, without a doubt, has been the best restaurant I have eaten in. I hope that other places will follow suit, however for now, if you are meat/gluten free then it's a no brainer- Las Iguanas is the place to go!

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