The Place Located along North Canal Road, Dehesa is a casual Spanish concept by Chef-Owner Jean-Philippe Patruno, previously Executive Chef of UNA at Rochester Park. The restaurant name actually means “grasslands” in Spanish, which spots a laidback and intimate ambience, and an open concept kitchen to catch all the culinary action.
The Food While the menu offers the usual Spanish tapas and mains, there is also a strong emphasis on using all parts of an animal for the dishes for Chef JP. Expect the signature cold platter of meats to have exotic parts such as pig’s head, for instance. We started with the Jamon Croquetas (S$14), a must have for us in any Spanish dining. The presentation is simple, but these crispy balls are probably one of the better ones we have had.
Next up was the Pimientos De Padron (S$14), Spanish green peppers which are charred and cooked with sea salt. I love the crunchy notes here. This is a dish which looks simple yet very appetising.
If you have a chance to dine here, do request for the Truffle Sandwich (price unavailable), an off the menu item which regulars of Chef JP will be familiar with. It was not so much about the truffle, but the sandwich itself was amazing in terms of flavour and texture.
The Cured Meats Platter (S$42) is ideal for sharing amongst three to four diners.
Another of Chef specials we tried was the Dehesa Bravas Potatoes (S$12), which was a total surprise and delight for me. I didn’t imagine potatoes could be this good. The huge chunks of potatoes were deep fried and prepared with garlic aioli, with a very crispy texture and basically putting all other potatoes I have had before to shame. This is a must order dish.
For mains, we had one of the daily specials off the menu, the Beef Short Ribs (price unavailable). This was really tender and simple in terms of presentation, yet so satisfying.
Our last savoury dish was the Arroz with Squid (S$28), good to share for two. We understood from Chef that this is a wetter version in terms of texture as compared to UNA’s version previously, as Chef personally feels that squid ink loses flavour when it gets too dry.
For desserts, don’t miss out on the Chocolat (S$15), a combination of rich chocolate ice cream with olive oil and sea salt.
Rants The space of Dehesa feels cramped. There are some outdoor tables while the indoor capacity probably fits less than twenty diners. As a lunch option in CBD, it is easy to feel the pinch on the wallet, which is a challenge for the restaurant.
Will I Return Again? Dehesa is a great dining option in Raffles Place. The food is delicious with no fancy gimmicks, and is easily one of the best casual Spanish dining restaurants in Singapore. Prices are mid-range for Spanish food, and our recommendation is to come with a group of friends to try more dishes on the menu.
Make your reservation instantly at here.
This was an invited tasting, though all opinions expressed are our own.
Taste bud: 4/5
Hole in the pocket: 3.5/5
Overall Experience: 4/5
Monday to Friday: 11.30am to 230pm
Monday to Saturday: 5.30pm till late
Ranted by The Ranter