Las Iguanas Cocktail Deck, Old Spitalfields Market, London E1 6EW
I have discovered a place in London that does happy hour ALL day and night! Well, all day Sunday to Wednesday.
Las Iguanas in Old Spitalfields Market is amongst an array of other chains, but this branch boasts a little cocktail deck overlooking the market. Multi coloured lanterns adorned the balcony, the only thing missing was a little bit of background music.
The main dishes that we tried weren’t very remarkable, the ironically named The Extraordinary Xinxim £11.90 was described as Exotic, creamy, satisfying. Lime chicken in a crayfish & peanut sauce with rice & fine green beans. Toasted coconut farofa to sprinkle, sweet plantains for fun. All we could taste was sweet coconut, and the chicken was stringy and dry, I couldn’t finish it.
Thank god the starters were great. My friend Anna and I shared a few tapas dishes from the overwhelmingly long menu – which is a fusion of native Latin American Indian, Spanish, Portuguese and African influences. I am always slightly wary of such a long menu, and of somewhere that does such a range of different cuisines.
The Cha Cha Chorizo Smoky pork & garlic chorizo, braised slow & lazy with onions in red wine, tomato & smoked jalapeño sauce £5.00 was great, tender and rich, satisfying when mopped up with the chunks of bread. Chicken Wings £5.70 were big and juicy, slathered in spicy barbecue jerk sauce. The winner was the Pato Taquito Rich shreds of roast duck & caramelised onion rolled in a flour tortilla & char-grilled, with sticky chilli jam £5.80. Delicious toasted parcels of duck, shame there we didn’t get two each.
Cocktails were good, but not amazing. Their signature Caipirinha Whole lime chopped, muddled with sugar, folded with their own Magnifica cachaça £6.40. This was made with whole ice cubes, not crushed ice as it should be, and as was stated on the menu. It still tasted good, but is one of those annoying drinks that only last for a few minutes.
The longer cocktails were better, such as the Dark ’n Stormy™ Goslings rum & lime topped with fiery ginger beer £7.50 and the Cherry Fizz Cherry brandy, Plymouth gin, elderflower & lemonade with cranberry and lemon juices £6.20, which was like drinking a glass of liquidised Haribo (that’s a good thing).
We skipped dessert as we were so full, happily sipping on our cocktails we were told ‘shall I get the bill then?’ by our waiter. We took this as our cue to leave, our relaxed moods rapidly changed into bad. Shame, as he has been so friendly and helpful earlier.
The abrupt waiter and mediocre main courses aside, it’s an ideal budget venue when you’re strapped for cash, you can never go wrong with an all day happy hour.
1 Horner Square
Old Spitalfields Market
Telephone: 020 7426 0876
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 10.30-22.30 (last food orders)
Sun 10.30-19.30 (last food orders)
Old Spitalfields Market closes at 23.00 daily, 20.00 Sundays
Happy Hour: 12.00-19.30 daily & all day Sunday to Wednesday
Nearest tube: Liverpool Street