I’m a big supporter of independents and local produce and don’t tend to write about chains usually, however, I felt compelled to make an exception in this case. Home to fresh and authentic Latin American food, I was invited to Las Iguanas in my hometown of Norwich for #WorldVeganDay to sample the restaurant’s new veggie and vegan menu.
I’m a big advocate of businesses that do their part to give more choice to veggies and vegans. So on Tuesday, I headed to Las Iguanas on a mission to convince two of my good meat-eating pals to swap meat for veggie options to mark the day.
My relationship with vegetarianism is complicated. Well actually it’s pretty straightforward. I’d be a much better vegetarian if there were better options in local restaurants. (No, mushroom risotto isn’t a worthy option, sorry.)
Both my Dad and brother are vegan and veggie respectively and coming from a Buddhist family, it’s been a part of life for some time.
However, I’m a big foodie and always have been – I have a connection with food that’s very visceral and sensory. I love meat. I love fish. I love seafood. Making vegetarianism much harder for someone who loves her food very passionately. But I also want to do right by animals at the same time, so I do what I can and I generally limit meat and fish to when I’m out for a special occasion – unless the veggie options are good.
So good on ya Las Iguanas. I LOVE that you have a special dedicated veggie and vegan menu. (There’s also a comprehensive Gluten Free menu too!). Let’s hope more chains, independents and medium-sized eateries across the land take a leaf.
Between us we tried the following veggie and vegan dishes:
We all shared the OLY GUACAMOLE Make your own & season as you choose, with spice
dusted corn chips. £3.95. This was a deconstructed gourmet guacamole experience. The homemade corn chips were very good.
My friend Lucy had BLACK BEAN & BEETROOT BURGER. A “very veggie black bean & beetroot burger”, in a toasted brioche bun with melted emmental, sliced beef tomato, tomato gherkin sauce & baby gem. Comes with creamy slaw & your choice of fries or salad £8.95
I had the MOQUECA DE PALMITOS: Butternut squash, palm hearts & spinach in a creamy coconut curry with charred red peppers, garlic & fresh tomatoes. With spring onion rice, sweet plantain, pico de gallo & a coconut farofa to sprinkle. £11.95 The portion was HUGE. It was delicious. The thing that worked very well was the amount of textures in the curry – the palm hearts, fresh spinach, sweet squash and crunchy peppers – combined with the soft fried plantain, crispy coconut farofa and fresh and zingy salsa to boot. That’s what every veggie searches for – variety, not only in flavour but textures too. This dish ticks all the boxes.
BURRITO: Wheat tortilla stuffed with sweet potato, butternut squash & chickpea chilli, chipotle rice, refried beans, crunchy slaw & cheese, with salad, soured cream & garlicky chipotle sauce. £9.95, There were lots of affirmative noises from across the table – the burrito was packed with veg, beans and tangy rice and the sides really offset the spice.
Click on the Las Iguanas link to check out the full veggie and vegan menu at Las Iguanas.