By Riona O’Shea
In recent years going for tapas in London meant ordering deep fried, oily food in noisy restaurant chains where only a watered down jug of sangria could drown out bad Salsa music!
At last however a top quality restaurant has opened just off Regent Street that reminds us why Spanish food is still ranked the finest in the world and it`s name? Dehesa!
This latest venture from the owners of Salt Yard Fitzrovia and Opera Tavern Covent Garden manages to combine the concept of tapas (casual, social, little bit sexy) with top quality food and fantastic service. For starters, take the decor itself that`s at once rustic without being twee due to just the right amount of cool steel and black leather.
My friend and I nestled into our little alcove feeling suitably cosmopolitan and it wasn’t just us, if you turn up on a weekday you’ll see tables packed with local advertising execs and various media types propping up the bar. These achingly soho kids are notoriously unforgiving when it comes to picking a lunchtime destination but Dehesa needn`t worry, their menu lists all the favourites (tortilla, chorizo, cava) plus some real taste sensations.
We road tasted some of these in our visit including the ‘Courgette Flowers stuffed with Monte Enebro’. Imagine piping hot salty cheese laced with sweet warm honey and some floral notes – a beautiful way to wake up the taste buds.
I’d also recommend ordering one meat dish, they have their own charcuterie ranging from ‘acorn fed’ Jamón Ibérico to house cured duck breast, both perfect when accompanied by their manchegos with quince and a glass of cold Fino.
Food is seasonal so expect the menu to change from time to time; right now for example lemon doughnuts are on the desert menu that you dip into `Blood Orange Curd, Caramelized Blood Oranges and Whipped Cream`. That`s one you won`t in the fridge at home!
As expected, Dehesa is also about the drink as much as the food with an extensive selections of Spanish cava, sherry and wine from around the world as well as some good quality cocktails. For an ideal place to come with or without a huge appetite be it a meal out, a first date, or a business lunch, this place is for you.
The restaurant also boasts a beautiful private dining room with bespoke wallpaper if you`re looking to book a large group although personally I’d not take too many friends- the downside of tapas is that you have to share and when it comes to lemon doughnuts, I’m not feeling that generous!
25 Ganton Street London W1F 9BP +44 (0) 20 7494 4170
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