Dehesa is an offal-tapas restaurant in Singapore, specializing in animal off-cuts. It opened mid-December 2015, and is currently only in its first month of operation. Despite this, the food is assured and much better than the run-of-the-mill tapas joint in Singapore. Each dish is either delicious or has a creative twist. As a casual restaurant, it is a gem.
The chef, Jean-Philippe Patruno, is a Spaniard raised in Marseille. He has been cooking in Singapore for quite a while, at Una restaurant located in the far Western part of Singapore (Rochester Park). However, the old restaurant is very out of the way for people living in the East like me, so I never made it there. I am glad however that he is putting his own twist on the usual Spanish small plates.
There were intelligent touches of using popular Singapore ingredients (tripe, lala AKA Venus Clams ). For instance, the tripe was fried, and the venus clams was done in the moules and frites style of stewing them in an olive oil/alcohol based sauce [specifically, moules mariniere]. The cooking is not fussy (the dishes are assembled using a skeleton kitchen team of 3 people when I was there).
It’s a small kitchen. Apparently the show kitchen is the only kitchen, so all the action really happens in front of you (if you have a bar seat).
Crispy Tripe / White Peppercorn / Chilli Padi (4.75/5)
An excellent dish of fried tripe (stomach lining, usually cow). Despite the Singaporean love affair with tripe, I’ve never had fried tripe. This was excellent, with a mildly spicy white peppercorn sauce that had the alluring bitterness of roasted peppers.
Duck Hearts on Toast (4.5/5)
Frit Mallorquin (4/5)
A regional dish of Mallorca, this is also a typical Lebanese/Middle Eastern dish of an offal stew with mashed potatoes.
Ox Tongue / Celeriac / Anchovies (4/5)
Lala / Chillies / Sherry (3.75/5)
Done in the moules and frites style. (sans frites)
Chocolat / Olive Oil / Salt (5/5)
We were on the fence about ordering a dessert, but the quality of this dessert just crowned our experience. Thin slices of sourdough bread were dipped in caramel and then hardened, forming a savory crisp that was very addictive. An excellent conception.