Lasan owner invests £1m in new Leicester venture

Jabbar Khan of Lasan Group

A landmark Grade II-listed building in Leicester, close to the site where King Richard III was
discovered, has been redeveloped into a £1m Argentinian bar and restaurant, creating over 35 jobs.

Sonrisa has been created by Jabbar Khan, a multi award-winning restauranteur from Birmingham. He shot to food fame when his inaugural restaurant, Lasan Indian Restaurant & Cocktail Bar, won Gordon Ramsay’s F Word contest beating off 10,000 restaurants to be crowned as Best Local Restaurant.

Since then, he has gone on to build portfolio including Fiesta del Asado; the long-established Indian cafe, Raja Monkey, and his new Portuguese-Indian venture, Estado da India. Sonrisa represents Khan’s first foray into Leicester.

He said: “We are thrilled to launch Sonrisa into Leicester. In Buenos Aires, ‘Buena Onda’ refers to good food, good times and good company. It’s a catch-all phrase for anything that puts a Sonrisa (smile) on your face, and we can’t think of anything that makes people smile more than ‘buenos aires’ (good air), delicious food and fine wine.
We know from experience that Leicester is a city of many cultures and cuisines, and we hope to build on that premier league reputation for sensational food and give you plenty of reasons to smile from the inside out.”

“There’s something special about Latin dishes and delights that tempt, tease and leave you hungry for more. Arrive early for a light, lingering lunch, a delicious coffee perk-up, or stay late into the night, grazing on the colourful sights, musical sounds, small plate delectables or large sharing plates. This is Comida Argentina done right.

“There’s no other city like Buenos Aires. Between its ability to breathe life and fire into its culture and its chic neighbourhoods like Palermo Soho and San Telmo, Buenos Aires has a way of winning over people’s hearts. So, we created Sonrisa, a modern café-bar haunt that makes the perfect spot for social gatherings — Buenos Aires-style. Kick back with a cocktail, meet friends old and new, or order a strong cup of coffee. We promise you won’t ever want to leave.”

Simon Jenner, director of BID Leicester, said: “Leicester has fought hard to create a reputation, among foodie circles, as being one of the hottest cities on the culinary map.

“That our unique city has attracted the attention of one of the industry’s most talented
restauranteurs to launch this brand-new concept is thrilling and testament to the growing confidence of the city.”