The spirit of Latin America arrived in Glasgow's West Nile Street last week with the launch of new restaurant, Las Iguanas.

Two Tropicana dancers in full carnival costumes kicked off celebrations at the restaurant, surprising lunchtime diners with a demonstration of Brazil's famous samba dance moves.

Loading article content

The restaurant is located in the former Aspecto retail unit and was designed by the world-renowned Martin Brudnizki Design Studio.

Featuring a vibrant open-plan space, the centre-piece of the restaurant is its kitchen which allows diners to watch their meals being prepared. Offering seating for 200 people both inside and on the outside piazza, it also has a cocktail bar serving classic Latin tipples and their signature Caipirinhas.

The launch of Las Iguanas, which was founded in Bristol in 1991 and is now the UK's leading Latin American restaurant chain, has created 70 full and part-time jobs in the city.

Manager Kyle Steel, who helped launch The Corinthian, Mansion House and Alea, said: "Our aim is to deliver the best fresh food restaurant in Glasgow specialising in Latin American cuisine; with a specific focus on the highest level of passion, customer service and quality of produce.

"The reaction we have had from local people so far has been absolutely amazing, lots of people who have walked past have come in and asked us when we were opening and wished us luck!

"I have been involved in a quite a few launches in the city centre but I can't remember anything like this - Glasgow is definitely ready to Samba and we have lots of bookings already.

"Having the outside seating in the summer months will be fantastic, as there will be a real fiesta atmosphere in West Nile Street."

The Glasgow Las Iguanas is only the second in Scotland and follows the success of its Aberdeen restaurant, and there are plans to open restaurants in other key locations in the future. 

All dishes are made using the freshest ingredients by head chef Anshul Gurung and his team and the 30-plus sauces and salsas are home-made in the kitchens every day.

The menu reflects the diverse mix of Spanish, Portuguese, African and native Latin influences that make up South American culture, featuring traditional dishes from across the continent including Mexican classics like fajitas and enchiladas, Brazilian specialties such as Xinim (a creamy peanut lime chicken) and flame-grilled steaks, as well as exotic salads, burgers and a selection of tapas.