Dehesa @ North Canal Road – The Further From The Norm, The Tastier

When it comes to uncommon food, Dehesa is the winner on our list. A 6-minute walk from Raffles Place MRT, Dehesa is located deep within the central business district. Dehesa’s a great place to enjoy an evening meal, sipping wine and trying out some bold Spanish flavours. What do we mean by bold? How about Dehesa’s Signature Crispy Pig’s Head.

Bringing Chef Jean-Philippe Patruno Spanish vibes into the kitchen and onto our plates, we were impressed by the spread that he served up.

Starting off the night with Croquetas ($14++). The croquetas were crispy on the outside, smooth and mushy on the inside; with just the right amount of accompanying flavours to complement the ball of potato. A wonderful beginning to dinner, these croquetas were a preview of the flavours to come.

If you like tripe, you would love Dehesa’s Crispy Tripe ($14++). With the chillies and garlic at its side, it really gave a beautiful punch of flavours. And with the dollops of creamy condiment, the tripe’s plate was wiped clean by all of us.

That right there is Duck Hearts On Toast ($14++). The duck hearts received a good amount of gasps and jaw drops when it was being served (only because we didn’t expect to be eating hearts on our innocent Monday night). If you’re an adventurous eater and has yet to try out duck hearts, Dehesa’s version does not scare the palate. Being open to trying new flavours, I found myself enjoying the duck hearts, though, everyone just stopped at the first heart.

Next up: Dehesa Octopus ($28++). Served with lard on top, the waiter would torch the dish to melt the lard on the table. 4 dishes in, it was very obvious that Chef Jean-Philippe was excellent at putting flavours together. This octopus dish was so fresh and chewy; everything that came with it complimented each other so well.

Carabineros Carpaccio ($34++). This dish is definitely NOT FOR SHARING… because it was so good that you had to eat it all up yourself – but that’s if you’re a big prawn fan like I am. It was fresh and juicy, balanced in flavour and tasted of the ocean.

The next interesting dish we had was Crispy Pig’s Head Dehesa Signature ($28++). The outer texture of the meat was the perfect amount of crisp and had a lot of flavour to it; the texture inside reminded us of patties. Though on the saltier and more jelat side, this crispy pig’s head ranks high on my dinner list.

Warning: It gets your mouth really black (of course). Arroz: Squid (Serves 2) ($28++). The texture of the rice comparable to risotto, but it was light in flavour and could definitely be filling. If you’re willing to immediately have black teeth, the chef’s generous amount of squid ink would be something worth trying.

As for desserts, we had the Gin Panna Cotta ($15++). The gin was surprising unhidden and strong – stronger than the red wine I was having. And take note not to put a big spoonful of berry compote in your mouth, because that is where all the alcohol is. The panna cotta base was actually light and so smooth that it melts in your mouth.

Though only 2 out of the 8 dishes we had were out of the norm, don’t worry because Dehesa’s menu has more unexpected items. If you want to have an interesting dinner, Dehesa won’t fail you.

 

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Summary

4Score

If you consider yourself to have a 'posh' palate or if you're adventurous, this restaurant is something that you will enjoy. But for people who prefer normal looking menus, there are items on the menu that will definitely serve up your appetite. However, if you don't want to splurge on food, the prices in Dehesa will not attract.

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