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25 Ganton Street
Like its big brother Salt Yard, light-footed Dehesa flits between Spain and Italy, embracing the best of both worlds. The selection of “dreamy little small plates” allows for a magpie approach, and diners can zigzag their way across the Med, taking in tortillas and pork rillions (“naughty as hell”), then maybe tender ricotta and spinach malfatti, before alighting on zesty ‘nduja croquetas with guindilla alioli. Charcuterie pits Spain’s acorn-fed finest against Italy’s famous Parma, while desserts feature deep-fried milk with cinnamon (“a revelation”). The regional wine list makes inspired reading, but don’t miss the “crazy Salvador Dali brandy in a melting bottle” urges one fan. Dehesa’s corner site is pretty – and well-positioned near Liberty’s;
it also wins friends by taking bookings.
Best Spanish restaurants in London
From: 19 April 2018
To: 19 April 2020
Look for the "£" icon when booking (offers only available on certain days/times)
25 Ganton Street
Oxford Circus Tube Station 305m
Piccadilly Circus Tube Station 471m
Kingly Street 16m
Mon-Fri 12N-3pm 5-11pm Sat-Sun 9am-11pm (Sun -10pm)
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 4
Amazing tapas dishes, loved the beetroot and taleggio gratin and shaved wind dried tuna. Not 100% sold on the Chocolate Mousse with Mascarpone, Quince and Honey Waffle desert, though the Warm Almond & Clementine Cake looked great. The Karmis, Contini 2010 went well with the food and was reasonably priced.
I will definately be going again.
I love Dehesa. I've been here a few times now and it's been excellent each and every time. Having to book in two hour slots is a bit frustrating, but even with a largish group on my last visit, two hours was plenty to eat ourselves silly and to enjoy a huge variety of the menu.
Starting with arrival – once you get in the door past the ever hopeful last minute drop-ins who crowd the doorway, it's cosy, friendly and welcoming. I prefer to sit at the bar or at the back, finding the long tables near the front a bit impersonal and lacking in privacy but have had a couple of good meals there too so can't really complain. Dehesa is particularly welcoming on a cold night – with golden light, warm wooden tables and a bar that shouts, “have a drink, you deserve it”.
Servive is generally good, mostly friendly and very efficient. Which is particularly appreciated if you've been told you have to leave by a certain time.
But it's the food that I love. Even the simple bread and aioli is incredible with the bread fresh, lightly toasted and with just the right amount of olive oil. And it just gets better from there. I always have to order a portion of the courgette flowers, goatscheese and honey for myself as I am simply too selfish to share. On the meat dishes, the pork belly with beans is a classic and while rich, is absolutely delicious and if you like your meat pink ( I do) the onglet is suberb. I've had duck here on previous visits but I think it was a smoked version. Nonetheless, it was fantastic and I have no doubt the roasted duck currently on the menu will be as good.
A salad of aubergine, walnuts, tomato and goats curd went done extremely well on my last visit, as did the squash ravioli.
Of course, the ham is not to be trifled with. I admit to balking slightly at paying £13 for a plate of meat, but it's generous and whether you go for that or the cheaper version, it's delicious. Similarly, the cheeses are fantastic and the quince jelly (or whatever it is) perfectly accompanies it.
And then dessert. I can only swoon. The chocolate and hazlenut cake is simply heavenly while if you like fruit desserts, you can't go wrong with the grilled figs.
Total cost seems to vary a lot depending on amount of alcohol consumed and number of people – I find the large the group, the smaller the bill per person. I've spent as little as £30 a head and as much as £45. But every time I've come away feeling it was money well spent and that it was worth every penny.
What hits you when you walk in to Dehesa is not only the immediate warmth but the sense of buzz this little dining room has. No sign of ageing wood and rustic tiling here, Dehesa has taken a modern canteen approach complete with Scandinavian style furniture. Not quite a venue to get up close and personal with your date (unless your lucky enough to bag one of the two window booths), but perfect for a catch up with friends or a quick meal.
The menu continues the contemporary approach with clean and crisp versions of authentic tapas fare. Dishes are ample and include plates of superbly cooked food, such as the crispy courgette flowers with monte enegro and honey, tender and tangy prawns, juicy and spicy chorizo as well as a few surprises – the sea bass with creamy leek carbonara and broad beans was a particularly refreshing and well thought out dish. What stands out here is that each dish is made and presented with care, almost tapas meets haute cuisine.
Service is swift, accommodating and polite and I particularly liked when our waitress asked if we'd like three courgette flowers at no extra cost (one for each of us) as the dish usually only came with two. A special mention also goes to the soft and rich chocolate cake and frangelico ice cream, in a word, yum! Certainly one to go back to again and again.
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