Friday, 21 December 2012

Las Iguanas - "Would you like eyes with those prawns?"

"Here are your prawns Miss" said the Waiter who I later discovered was called Felix.

Felix was from Scotland. I only knew this because earlier that day I'd watched a repeat of blubbering Andy Murray's speech (if you can call it that) at this year's Wimbledon final and of course, me being me believed it necessary to ask, "Are you from Scotland cause you sound just like Andy Murray?" thinking it would be a fantastic conversation starter. Although the comment fulfilled its purpose, the content of said conversation became inevitably awkward.

"Yeah I live on the border, you know the border between Scotland and England?"

Alright Felix, I know I'm blonde but really, please enlighten me as to which other border Scotland shares? Understandably the conversation came to abrupt end with Felix scuttering away most likely confident in the fact that whilst he'd had to make small talk with a bunch of cocktail-tipsy 22 year olds, he'd just successfully managed to pocket himself a nifty little tip. Little did he know that he was serving 4 students who would later struggle to pull 80p together.

And then there they were.

They were facing me.

I was facing them.

Our eyes met.

Four of the biggest prawns one will ever see. (An exaggeration...probably). They're eyes still firmly in place. The eyes that once looked lovingly into those of their Mother's. The eyes that gazed hopefully towards the misty ocean unknown. The eyes that stared frightfully into those of the fisherman's net.

Those eyes were now looking deep into mine and it wasn't a welcomed sight. If pupils could talk, these most certainly did.

Considering my love for food that are, at best, extras from the Little Mermaid, began no longer than a year ago, my experience of consuming fodder with facial features were little to well...none. You see I don't 'do' things with eyes. Or heads. Or anything that looks like it could jump right up off of my plate and saunter away with an attitude that better belongs on a Marc Jabob's catwalk. (FYI I also don't 'do' baked beans, onions, pickles, olives, basically anything in a questionable looking sauce).

It was my first experience at Las Iguanas, a Latin American restaurant and I'd been enjoying my first of two Happy Hour specials 'Iguana-Wana's', chosen simply because of their name. After about an hour of attempting to determine the difference between burritos, enchiladas and quesadillas and Felix's fourth attempt at which to take our order, I'd decided to opt for the Tapas option, Albondigas (minty lamb meatballs), Chunky Fungi Champinones (mushrooms) and of course Gambas (very large prawns), opting also not to attempt to the read the dishes given names which prompted our dear little Felix to comment upon my non-existent attempt to read in Spanish.

Soon enough however, our food arrived and wishing not to cause a scene that would rival Helen Flanagan on I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, I held my breath and began tackling the fishy fodder. And do you know what? I liked it. I really really liked it. Once I'd pushed aside my fear of prawns with eyes (literally to the opposite end of the plate), the whole tapas experience was truly delicious. The food, whilst somewhat mouth-wavingly spicy, was full of flavour, I liked that I could fuse all my favourite dishes into one. I didn't know which plate to jump to next!

My visit to Las Iguanas will be the first of many although admittedly, I may think twice about ordering the Gambas in the future. Or maybe I'll just make a request as to how I'd like my prawns.

"Without their shell, limbs or eyes that scream 'I died tragically in an under-water warfare! Thanks Felix.'

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