Regular raving about Salt Yard earlier this year so it was only right that we get around to visiting sister restaurant Dehesa. Located in the heart of Soho, just off Carnaby Street, it excels in the same style of elaborate modern tapas as Salt Yard and Opera Tavern, the third in this holy trinity mini-chain.readers will remember that we were
Inside, the venue is small and intimate and it’s not unusual for two small parties to share a table. The confines of the space do help to generate a buzzing atmosphere though with an electric mood throughout the restaurant, helped in no small part by the quality of the food. Regulars at Salt Yard and Opera Tavern will recognise many of the items on the menu already, but when the standards are so high that is no bad thing.
We kicked off our meal with a selection of Spanish cheeses and padron peppers – small salted peppers that look like chillis but are not at all hot and instead have a bitter taste. There are rumours that one in a hundred are hot – we’ll leave it to you to decide whether this an urban legend or not. The first dish to arrive was the courgette flowers stuffed with goats cheese and drizzled in honey – if you only order one dish make sure it is this. The crispy outer coating is sweet with honey, the inner is soft vegetable and within that is melted cheese.
Swiftly followed by cod croquettes with an impossibly smooth and creamy interior of fish and mashed potato, and huge prawns sauteed in garlic and chilli. Chunky and meaty, the spice permeated right through them. Next up came tender steak onglet served rare on leaves with balsamic dressing which melted on the tongue, and mini lamb chops – small but perfectly formed pieces of delicately soft lamb that yielded to the knife as if it was butter. The final dish to arrive was the chorizo, without which no tapas meal would be complete. Authentically Spanish, it was piquant and zesty, served on a bed of sauteed onions.
To round off the meal, we sampled the torrijas, a traditional Spanish dessert like a part-fried doughnut. It is served with a semi-cooked centre giving it a viscous texture, unusual but not unpleasant. Anything sugary and fried is OK by us! The service here is discreet so your meal is not constantly interrupted by staff, but when service is required it can take a while to get their attention! This is a very minor fault though and Dehesa is a restaurant that we will certainly be returning to.
Dehesa, 25 Ganton Street, W1F