A taste of Latin America in Glasgow
Las Iguanas has settled into restaurantville on West Nile Street. A few years ago there weren't many places to eat here, now there's a wealth of chains including Riverhill, Carluccios, Côte, Giraffe, Bills and Patisserie Valerie etc. Unlike most of the others Las Iguanas has outdoor seating and brightly coloured tables and chairs, bringing a splash of colour to what is quite a boring looking building! Given its location in the city centre and proximity to the two main train stations, bus routes and a multi-storey car park it's also an ideal location for an office get together, family party or a relaxed and casual evening meal. We visited for the latter.
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Inside the decor is modern 70s with a mix of funky lighting, comfy seats and a relaxed atmosphere.
To celebrate their 25th birthday, 25 cocktails are priced at £3.90 each so we had to celebrate!
For our starters we went for ceviche, as you hardly ever see it in Glasgow and dadinhos as we had no idea what they were and fancied trying them!
Ceviche (£5.95) is generally raw fish marinated in citrus juices which "cooks" the fish. So don't be scared thinking that it's slimey raw fish, it doesn't taste like that at all! The presentation of the ceviche wasn't as appetising as we have seen elsewhere but it tasted really good! Fresh fish, zesty citrus, plenty of fresh coriander and those pink Mexican/South American onions. A pleasant saltiness and a warming heat from the ceviche "juice" rather than the cute little red peppers. This was a really good ceviche.
Dadinhos (£4.95) The portion size looked a bit poor with so much white space on the plate and an oversized tub of chilli jam. We discovered that dadinhos are little cheesey tapioca cubes. Crisp and crunchy exteriors but chewy inside and actually rather moreish. These would make a great beer snack or party appetiser.
For the mains Mr Foodie had the Havana Club & Jerk BBQ glazed pork ribs at £17.95 which is a bit costly but it was a full rack of ribs so a huge amount of moist meat covered in a gooey rum and barbecue sauce glaze. You could get them with mash, fries or salad. We went with curly fries and it was a meal and half so if you're ordering this a doggy bag is recommended!
Moqueca de peixe (£14.95) is prawns and white fish in a coconut, tomato and lime sauce. Served with grilled plantain, onion, rice, salsa and coconut sprinkles. This tasted very Thai-like with the spicy coconut broth (it's actually Brazilian). A good amount of prawns and "white fish" in the portion served as well. Lots of sauce, so it was like a fish soup with a side of rice. Very tasty and another big portion that we needed to finish at home courtesy of a doggy bag.
Churros (£3.95) with dulce de leche. Crisp churros dunked in caramel must surely be heaven?
Mrs Foodie also had a Cortado condensa (£2.95), as she hadn't eaten enough sugar! This went down nicely.
Mr Foodie only had room for a light dessert so opted for the Mojito jelly (£5.00) followed by a Hazelnut con leche (£4.95). The mojito jelly was served in a margarita glass topped with a refreshing and palate cleansing lemon & lime sorbet. The hazelnut con leche is coffee mixed with Frangelico. It certainly tasted boozy but the hazelnut taste was lost within the coffee.
We have no idea how authentically Latin American the food is at Las Iguanas, but we've enjoyed both of our visits there (see our previous review here). The food is really tasty, making good use of a lot of the "simple things" we love to cook with like fresh coriander, red onion and zesty lime juice. Main course portion sizes are big and taking a doggy bag home is not a problem. The atmosphere is to our tastes though the music was a bit loud and the staff were friendly and helpful, making a few suggestions on this visit. Toilets are downstairs, or there's a disabled one at ground level. They were clean and in good order during our visit.
+ Really good ceviche and dadinhos, and one of the few places to find them in Glasgow
+ Big main courses
+ Funky atmosphere
+ Friendly, helpful service
+ Clean toilets
+ Handy central location
- Music volume could come down a notch
- Up that dadinhos portion!
Las Iguanas, 16-20 West Nile Street, Glasgow, G1 2PW
Telephone 0141 248 5705
We received £50 off our meal at Las Iguanas but Fred vouches we diz telling the truth.