Two streets away from Boat Quay, Dehesa at North Canal Road is a small, cozy Spanish nose-to-tail restaurant, helmed by chef-owner Jean-Philippe Patruno formerly from UNA. Although Fergus Henderson in UK has popularized nose-to-tail eating, that is you eat the whole animal including offals, Singaporeans haven’t really taken to the concept. Sure, we have kway chap, but the pretty good Wolf restaurant, the first nose-to-tail dining in Singapore, did not survive.
Cold cuts ($10)
Compared to Wolf, Dehesa is more focused and knows what it wants to achieve. It doesn’t serve paella; it doesn’t want to be known as a tapas joint although the food comes on small plates, suitable for sharing; and it doesn’t cook offal well-done.
Duck hearts on toast ($10)
Pulled pork sandwich ($18)
Seafood rice ($22)
Although the lunch menu is tight, there are different types of meats and offals. The duck hearts on toast ($10) taste almost like chewy mussels in a Chinese oyster sauce. Pulled pork sandwich ($18) uses the pork shoulder—rather good. Seafood wet rice ($22), not paella, is a nice mushiness.
Caramel flan with candied bacon
All in all, the food is pleasant. Although nothing stands out for me, there is a play of textures and flavors in each dish. When you first hear “offal,” it may sound like an episode on Fear Factor, but at Dehesa, it’s a safe bet; the food doesn’t appear gruesome, and it won’t disappoint.
12 North Canal Road, Singapore 048825
T: +65 6221 7790
M-F 11.30am-2.30pm, M-Sat 5.30pm till late
Service: NA (tasting)
This is a hosted meal.
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.