Dehesa, which in Spanish translates to “grasslands”—home of the Iberico pig—is a Spanish restaurant nestled in North Canal Road that is quite unlike any other.
Priding itself with being the only front-runner of the nose to tail eating revolution in Singapore—meaning to say, they use every part of the animal—what you can expect from Dehesa Restaurant is a tantalising array of edible treats that will leave even the most squeamish of diners satisfied from head to tail—literally.
Duck hearts on toast and lamb sweetbreads are just some of the things one can look forward to here and Chef-owner, Jean-Philippe Patruno, who has over 20 years of culinary experience, makes it his personal commitment to use modern techniques to delight your taste buds despite how off-putting the idea of animal innards may be.
This 50-seater restaurant features a long bar top that overlooks directly into the open kitchen, long communal dining tables as well as an alfresco area.
For the ballsy, consider the Crispy Pig’s Head Dehesa Signature (S$28++).
This dish may resemble a meatloaf from taste to texture but little did we know that the contents of this breaded and deep-fried parcel are made up of the odds and ends of a pig’s head. Yes, we are talking about the ears, the snout, and for good measure, possibly a touch of brain as well.
Contrary to what you may think (or feel), this dish was the bomb. Expertly butchered and brined for several days, the semi-finished product is rolled in breadcrumbs and deep-fried. Robustly flavoured with a series of interesting textures, this is one dish that got us nodding in approval.
If offal really isn’t your thing, scuttle back to a more familiar territory with their Dehesa Octopus (S$28++). This dish adopts the ’whole animal’ philosophy as well by making using of thin strips of lard that is blow torched and melted over a tender octopus leg.
Although we should admit that this was not the best (nor most visually appealing) octopus dish out there, we must give the chef credit for his technique and for sticking true to his philosophy of using every part of the animal.
Despite experiencing some hits and misses, we were pleased with our meal here. For palates unaccustomed to offal, our advice is to put aside your misgivings and dive right into their stellar array of unconventional cuts. Because if there is one place that champions the goodness that is an animal’s insides marvellously, it’s Dehesa.
12 North Canal Rd,
Tel: +65 6221 7790
(Closed on Sundays)
Mon to Fri: 11.30am – 2.30pm, 5.30pm – 11pm
Sat: 5.30pm – 11pm
Nearest Station: Raffles Place