Although my favourite is Ember Yard, Dehesa holds a soft spot for me as it has been a go-to for me and my friends post-shopping along Carnaby/Regent/Oxford Street. Truth be told, I rarely shop myself but girl friends like taking me shopping with them because I am rather more patient than their boyfriends. Just give me a smartphone and a chair to sit on and I’ll indulge you. I won’t be shy to say “That makes your ass look ginormous!” or “Your boobs look perky in those.”
You can’t go to a Salt Yard Group restaurant without ordering their signature courgette flower stuffed with goat cheese (£4.5) Drizzled with honey, it’s the best of its kind in town (and I can’t tell you how many stuffed courgette flowers I’ve eaten to find the one). Non-greasy, firm, and bursting with delicious tartness, it’s great.
I really like the chargrilled Cornish hake with poached artichokes and Vin Santo & broad bean salsa (£8). The fish is cooked nicely and everything else had a great balance of flavour. I could have three servings of it. It’s a must order for fish lovers.
For the beef lovers, they’ve got a grilled Basque onglet (£9) served with sprouting broccoli, radish salad and a mushroom jus (£9). The dish is what all your protein-laden dreams are made of. The onglet is served rare to medium rare and the jus lets the beef flavour shine.
We tried the Cornish crab & coriander brik with fennel, watercress, chilli and radish (£8.5). I like the fact that it had a heap load of actual crab meat, but there was some sort of Mediterranean spice that did not sit too well on my palate. It wasn’t my favourite as it tasted rather salty.
For pudding, try the chocolate, almond & olive oil cake (£6.5) served with chilli peaches. The cake is surprisingly moist, light and not too rich. I’m not sure what the chilli peaches were there for (perhaps to add a bit of acidity?) but they weren’t too hot and I wasn’t too keen.
Rounding off a pretty satisfying meal, my favourite affogato with Moscatel raisin and Pedro Ximénez ice cream (£4.5). One of the best light desserts I’ve had in town, I always opt for this in Dehesa.
Overall, Dehesa is another reliable great restaurant from the Salt Yard Group and if you’re around the area looking for a decent place to refuel after a day of shopping, avoid all tourist traps and head down there – you won’t regret it (but go with a warning: you might just love the food so much and won’t be able to fit in those new pair of jeans…)