When Las Iguanas opened I was invited to their opening party. I was so excited for it because I had a feeling that it was going to very similar to Barrio East in London which was a similar set up: Latin cantina and cocktail bar. I wasn’t having a very good day and had to pull out of the opening party in favour of my couch and blanket. When they contacted me and asked me to come in and review them I was thrilled!
On my visit I went for some cocktails and tapas rather than a sit down meal. The venue certainly had the same feel to it as Barrio East – bright colours, quirky accessories and brick walls. It’s a lovely big space and right next to Glasgow Central station, so it’s absolutely ideal for a night out.
I’ll start with the cocktails!
This was lovely, but pretty disappointing. My first cocktail is usually my favourite because you’re excited when it’s delivered and then that first drink after a long day is usually the one that gives you the ‘ahhhh’ feeling. No garnish, at all. It just looked like a milkshake. It tasted lovely, but again, pretty plain and it felt more like a milkshake than a cocktail.
Jam Slam Daiquiri
Blackcurrant jam & dry cherry liqueur added to the classic daiquiri of lime, sugar & Havana Club Especial rum. Again I felt that the standards – or maybe it’s inexperience – had slipped a little here. Daiquiris are served either frozen or neat in a martini glass. This was served in a tumbler with ice which ended up watering it down. It was nice, but when it’s watered down I didn’t really notice the effect of the jam.
Absolut Berri Açaí vodka, triple sec and pomegranate juice with a squeeze of lime & a dash of grenadine. This was absolutely gorgeous, I LOVED it. It’s very sweet and similar in taste to daiquiris.
Whole lime chopped, muddled with sugar, folded with our own Magnifica cachaça & crushed ice. This was given to my mum free of charge as a treat (how lovely?) because it was a Mother’s Day outing. I don’t actually like Caipirinha cocktails too much but I really liked this one because it tasted like a Mojito. It was lovely and refreshing.
Absolut Mango vodka, triple sec, orange & mango juices, topped with lemonade. I didn’t enjoy this cocktail, but it was just my taste rather than anything wrong with the cocktail. I can be a bit of a lightweight when it comes to strong tastes of alcohol, and this one certainly gives you a kick up the bum!
Las Iguanas Magnifica cachaça, passion fruit syrup & mango juice, topped with Cava. This was beautiful and refreshing. I’m funny with anything containing wine/Prosecco/champagne/etc despite enjoying them served on their own, but this was really nice and fruity – perfect for summer!
Generally, the cocktails are nice and there is certainly nothing wrong with them. The photos will speak volumes to those of you who are cocktail drinkers – they are plain, boring and there is no character. I’ve passed this feedback to Las Iguanas already and I’m going to go back soon and see if it has been picked up!
The tapas are worth checking out – there were some seriously tasty numbers that we tried, and there were several on the menu that we wanted to try but didn’t have room to order!
There was one issue that I had, and it was a tiny one that makes a big difference: heated plates, or lack thereof. The plates weren’t heated, and as the restaurant was air conditioned some of the dishes, which were served piping hot, were cold by the time we came to eat them. That’s a big deal to me, but a mistake easily made and easily corrected. The food itself was beautiful.
Cha Cha Chorizo
Smoky pork & garlic chorizo, braised slow & lazy with onions in red wine, tomato & smoked jalapeño sauce. With bread to dunk & munch. I tried a similar dish recently in The Station Hotel in Shotts, and this was very similar. This version was served without cream and was equally gorgeous: meaty, smoky and rich, and served with crusty bread to mop up the sauce.
Nachos with Tinga (Mexican smoked chipotle chicken)
This was a huge serving, and I’d come back purely to just order this. The huge bowl of grilled tortillas with cheese is topped with generous piles of salsa, guacamole and sour cream. The separate dish contains tender, smoky, spicy chicken in a thick sauce. It was absolutely to die for.
An authentic Patagonian recipe; mouth-watering lamb meatballs with apple, mint, parmesan & a pinch of nutmeg. Braised in a rich tomato, mint & mild red chilli sauce. Sprinkled with grated parmesan. I did enjoy these meatballs but they weren’t perfect – the sauce was very thin and the meatballs crumbled apart. Despite consistency issues, both tasted absolutely beautiful. I ordered tapas that didn’t particularly go with this dish – something with potatoes would be perfect for these meatballs to mash it all up and soak up the sauce!
Spectacular Fish Tacos
Crackly battered sustainable white fish caught in soft wheat & corn tortillas, topped with a corn & sweet chilli salsa. These were incredible. The homemade sweetcorn salsa and chilli dressing was so sweet and sticky, I really loved it. Some of you will remember Harry Ramsden’s which used to be THE fish ‘n’ chips restaurant to go to as a child – well, the battered fish in the tacos tastes EXACTLY like Harry’s! I loved the tacos and I’d definitely order them again.
Rich shreds of roast duck & caramelised onion rolled in a flour tortilla & char-grilled, with a spicy cranberry salsa. These were really, really nice. I usually avoid cranberry sauce, but I must be growing to like it as I couldn’t slather enough of their sauce into these! The duck wasn’t at all fatty and was really moist in a nice sauce.
Churros with Chocolate Ganache & Dulce de Leche
These. Were. AWESOME. Usually you need to pick a dip, but I really wasn’t sure which one I wanted. I had a feeling that chocolate was the right answer, but I hadn’t tried churros with dulce de Leche before. I found that a combination of the two sauces is the perfect solution. Amazing.
Berry Mexican Mess
Strawberries in hibiscus syrup, mascarpone, yoghurt & crushed meringue. The minute I saw this on the menu I knew my mum would order it – she’s obsessed with Eton mess. This was a Las Iguanas twist on the classic which made the dessert a bit fresher and the yoghurt made it tangy rather than the heavy indulgence of whipped cream. It was really beautiful and summery!
This seems like a really mixed review, but it definitely isn’t in larger part. The service was fantastic, the food was really nice and so were the cocktails. All my complaints were in regards to my personal taste/small details. If I was looking for a couple of drinks and tapas, I’d recommend that you try Las Iguanas!
16-20 West Nile Street
(0141) 248 5705
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