Sunday, 11 January 2009



Epic three hour lunch with MsMarmitelover. Her highly readable review here.
A near all-veg blowout plus the odd fish or two. We were well looked after by the Aussie front of house, Maddie and her staff. Excellent Sunday.

Clockwise from top-

Guindillas, Chargrilled Country Style Bread with Aioli and Olive Oil, and Padrón Peppers

Clockwise from left-

Trio of Goat's Cheeses, Salt Cod Croquetas with Romesco Sauce and Courgette Flowers with Monte Enebro and Honey

Grilled English Asparagus with Egg Yolk Ravioli Truffle and Parmesan

Roasted Baby Peppers Stuffed with Spring Vegetable Pistou and Pinenuts

Chargrilled Mackerel Sardine with Crispy Fennel and Caper Mayonnaise

Turron Parfait with Poached Strawberries

As stated by Yvonne, the coffee here was very good.

By the end of the meal and after six glasses of wine, the resilient Marms remained a lot more sober than I was. I wrongly identified Maddie as a Belgian!


If you do come here, you'll find that Dehesa is managed by an excellent chap called Jorik. No wonder regulars keep coming back because of his hospitality and astuteness. Thank you Jorik.

Popped in here for a spot of brunch during a break from the Taste of Spain event on Regent Street. Tapas is great for solo diners like me but the place was packed with couples today and I stood out like a bloody goosepimpleberry!

Char-toasted sourdough and olive oil

Spanish meatballs cooked in Manzanilla with caramelised onion, spinach and salsify


Chargrilled mackerel with crispy fennel and caper mayonnaise

Just as well I came alone, how can anyone share this? Perfect.

Not cheap for one but worth every penny


Dehesa is a relatively well kept secret in sshhhh!

Preliminary review.

Scroll down for more up to date pics.

I’m somewhat reluctant to discuss Dehesa, let alone review it. It’s now my regular Sunday haunt; this is where I can turn up in my hole-y jeans together with the Sunday Times to let the pleasure dictate the rest of the afternoon. This place is quite often deserted on Sundays, a blessed gratification for all those solo diners (like myself) who abhor being gazed at; which is why I want to keep (rather selfishly I may add) this restaurant to myself. Then again it needs more patronage to justify its Sunday opening, so I’ve reluctantly done my bit to encourage you folks to turn up and enjoy your newfound Sunday sojourn.

Organic Pancetta with Fresh Tomato and Basil Sauce and Poached Organic Eggs

Sundays here mean brunch and tapas are served till the late and lazy afternoon, so the ideal location within Carnaby Street is perfect for walking off the acquired excesses. The ambience is relaxed and warm. The efficient service reflects the said ambience.

Although the offerings at Dehesa are inspired by the cuisine of Spain and Italy, I can’t help but compare my findings to both Barrafina and Tierra Brindisa. I can confirm that Dehesa is certainly the cheapest of the three and the quality of its food sits between the two. This is one of those restaurants where you’ll want to come back again and progressively eat the entire menu. The food here is simply stunning.

Santiago Tart with Apricot Purée and Cardamom Ice Cream

At the time of writing one can easily have a decent meal for less than fifteen a head to include well served tap water and no intoxicating grape juice. I’m indebted to Dehesa for I’m genuinely smitten.

PS Least you can do when making an appearance is to order the cinnamon dusted churros with thick chocolate from the weekend brunch menu; I’m beginning to think they are the nonesuch and the best in London.

25 Ganton Street
London W1F 9BP

Add Pics-

As of 17/01/09

Pork Paté of with Crostini

Padrón Peppers

Jamón Ibérico de Bellota, Castro y Gonzalez, Salamanca

Roast Guinea Fowl with Tarragon Gnocchi and Truffle Vinaigrette

Squid and beans

Courgette Flowers with Monte Enebro and Honey

Chorizo a la Plancha



Char Grilled Sour Dough with Aioli- simple and wonderful!

Roast Breast of Wood Pigeon with Soft Polenta, Blackberry and Merlot Vinaigrette-
The pigeon was gamey and wonderfully delicious, however the polenta tasted of regurgitated sick!

Lemon and Rosemary Cake with Seville Orange Ice Cream- amazing and gorgeous.

Great cup of coffee that's up there with the rest.



kerstin said...

Ah so Sunday is the day to go there is it?
I went before with a date who couldn't be bothered to wait, so we had to go next door. As we entered he said "ooh thai food, dead spicey isn't it?".
I never saw him again.
Someone I can enjoy food with, well, that's a dealbreaker.

bellaphon said...

Dodgy dates! Most of the stuff here are hardly vegan though; testing at best.

kerstin said...

I know it's quite meat based. But the courgette flowers and the padron peppers look divine.
I'm not a vegan actually, I'm broadly veggie but do eat fish.

bellaphon said...

Thank goodness for that, I was worried about the goat's cheese.

kerstin said...

Goats cheese is my absolute favourite...mmm.

Spanish cheese isn't all that though is it? Manchega, that's about it?

bellaphon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bellaphon said...

You're right there. On a different note, I find it quite intimidating that most folks harp about Stilton being the King, my own unrefined (only perhaps) taste is primarily partial to Gruyère.

Lisa said...

So how was Taste of Spain? Keep meaning to go and check it out but I've missed another year. Thanks for sharing this gem - can't wait to try it and promise not to share with too many people... ;)

Unknown said...

I was at the Spanish festival along Regent Street and if only I knew of Dehesa's location! Would have popped in. Ended up having Japanese at Sakura instead. Was looking for milk bar too but didn't have exact address on hand. Dehesa is on for next Sat. Thanks for all the wonderful recommendations. What are some MUST EATS at D?

bellaphon said...

Lisa- Thumbs up.

Yvonne- Thank you for stopping by. Everything is good but the puddings at Dehesa; they're to 2 die 4. The service at Sakura is apparently worse than the entire fleet of BA combined! Hope you came out unscathed!

Unknown said...

Hi B, made it to Dehesa today and service was great. Had the meatballs, mackerel, and a great stuffed roast pepper dish but was TOO FULL for pudding. Another reason to go back then. :) and yes, the coffee was pretty darn good but I am still smitten with Lantana. What do you think of the food at Milk Bar? Up there with Lantana or a better bet for the coffee?

bellaphon said...

Yvonne- Dehesa has to be one of the most logical choices to eat out in London. There's simply very little wrong with it. You're right about the coffee at Dehesa, it's very good.
I personally think that the Milk Bar makes the prettiest cup of coffee in the capital, its Flat Whites are perhaps too smooth for me; I prefer the take no prisoners approach to coffee that is found at either F&W or Taylor St

Unknown said...

Haha, now I am craving Dehesa AGAIN. Pudding this time...
F&W (Beak) was very good. Had the pasteis de nata, mortadella and prosciutto ciabatta AND I gave in to their ('sorry, no skimmed milk, only full cream milk') flat white. mmmm--mmmm. ;)

bellaphon said...

Yvonne- Flatties made with skimmed milk are ever so pseudo! Try the St.Anne's Court branch of F&W, less crowded and more the world's your oyster there.