Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Dehesa, North Canal Road

This was an eve of the eve Christmas dinner at the newly opened Dehesa (12 North Canal Road, tel : +65 6221 7790) helmed by a Joe Pantoliano-esque (Cypher in the kitchen!) chef/owner Jean-Philippe Patruno. Apparently, they are claiming to be the first nose to tail dining in this country and I'm giving them credit for it. This restaurant kicks lupine ass for what it's worth!

Dehesa platter

There's was a board of cold cuts. Everything was made in house from the pâté to the pig head in vegetable aspic and the saussision or even the lardo, chorizos and pork scratchings. The pickles too. The only exception was that bodied nutty sweet/salty Joselito Paleta Iberico de Bellota. 

With so much delicious cold cuts, we couldn't pass on the vehicle to transport them into our mouths. As the dinner progressed, we discovered that they came in very handy for mopping up some of the amazing sauces.

duck hearts on toast

This. Is. Seriously. Good. Well, that's in reference specifically to how the duck hearts were tender and juicy yet firm with a bite; also - that sauce that came along with it. I don't pretend to know what went into that sauce which reduced me into some 'mmms' and nods of approval but if I had to venture a guess, red wine and honey perhaps. We mopped the plate dry with more bread.

I'd eat this again in a duck's heartbeat.

crispy pig head / egg yolk / capers

Yeah, breaded up pig's head with a egg yolk and mushroom ravioli on top.

Here be the gratuitous porn of the molten yolk.

This was good. Crisp on the outside while the interior of the pig's head scraps were moist and tender, bolstered with that tasty mushroom ravioli enriched by molten egg yolk. Notice those cubes of lardon on the side for even more bite and flavour.

cherry tomatoes / burrata / fennel

This was probably the least interesting thing we had, but it was decent burrata and the cherry tomatoes were skinned and sweet. But nothing to get excited over.

tortilla / spinach / jamon

It's not apparent from this picture, but the potatoes that went to make this tortilla were very thinly sliced, not the normal thicker variety. The insides were moist and tender, but no spinach were found.

ox tongue / celeriac / anchovies

Ox tongue was thinly sliced, tender and delicious with the mustard based sauce and green peas. We were starting to get stuffed at this point, but it was still good that we wiped the plate clean.

milk-fed lamb sweetbreads / capers / parsley

This was possibly the most generous portion of sweetbread I've ever had on a plate. The offal was pan fried to a medium doneness and tender on the inside. Nice char aroma on the exterior paired with a mild livery flavour. Unctuous would be a good word to use here. The yellow stuff at the bottom was potato puree/foam with another sauce which made us wipe the bowl clean with bread.

chocolat / olive oil / salt

Dessert was a bitter chocolate gelato, made in front of us. Very smooth and nicely paired with coarse salt flakes and drizzles of an aromatic olive oil which we requested for extras of.

This place trumps Wolf at the nose-to-tail dining game. As much as the latter attempted to be a trail blazer in that arena locally, it ultimately did not gather enough tenacity to immerse themselves rather than attempt to try so. In the end, they reduced themselves into a transmogrification of glorified pork chop sellers. I sure hope Dehesa doesn't go down that path and I'll be looking for an excuse to come back.

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