Dehesa: Meat-Lovers Nirvana

The past F1 weekend reached fever pitch in the city with each revving and screaming of tires. Similarly, a wave of primal craving rises with each juicy, succulent offering from Dehesa - home of the complete nose to tail experience, right down to the finish line.

Chef and owner Jean-Phillippe Patruno, one of the innovative forerunners of this culinary revolution in Singapore, commits his craft to whole animal usage in his alternative cut and offal delicacies. The price of which is kept very low at only $28++ per head, with each new lunch set menu primed for a quick yet deliciously sinful experience.

Gearing up to dinner, the expectation is kicked up another notch with the carnivorous dishes of the signature meat offerings. The food chef has surprises galore; with the entire Crispy Pig's head ($28++) brined and prepared immaculately without the eye, is slow cooked for three to four hours. Served with heart-stopping egg yolks and fresh capers, this well plated dish had us spellbound on end. Rest assured that the offal taste as already been regulated with expertise.

With the previous offal offering, the one-two combo of the Spanish inquisitor continued with the Iberico Pork ($40++) cooked 48 hours over slow flames, and served up with fresh greens and special potato mash. This results in an unrelenting assault on the palate, but honestly I would be just as satisfied if said meat were the only invaders in my mouth. Carb overload is one huge struggle at Dehesa, but who is really complaining for such value?

Remembering that this menu is really a rally of the carnivores, the special mains of Chef JP make their spectacular appearances. First, the maestro prepares the wagyu beef sirloin - it is show-stopping. The prized striploin is thrice cooked, served with spuds and garnished with garlic salt and thyme. The medium rare bourgeois meat is gorgeous to look at and decadent on the tongue, a welcome addition to the meat festivities.

Like every zany character in a market, a wild menu items appears to delight. The Cotes De Boeuf Rib ($170/kg) served alongside a radish salad piqued the interests of my dining companions. Kohlrabi (Kohl - cabbage; Rube - turnip), a seasonal vegetable in Germany, makes a spectacular entrance in this dish. A distant cousin of the cabbage family, it can be cooked as well as eaten raw. Milder in acidity and sweeter than its cabbage counterpart, it acts as a foil to the fatty cuts of the ribs, a conversation between two spheres in your mouth.

Besides the young veal cutlet that left waves of indelible sensation, the other recommended specials include the grain-fed Angus beef sirloin aged for 150 days, and the lamb stew which was cooked with chickpeas, onions and spices.

Finally we go to chow down on the Secreto Iberico Pork ($44++) Decked in all its glistening glory, this was the climax of the meal. From beginning to the end, this meat revolution has us all groaning for more space in our bellies. However, the initial inhalation of the sauce and the sight of the affable sizes of the thin but juicy slices got us all raving for more.

These one-time only "JP Specials" will only be available on the tasting menu on certain days, which means that diners would have to enquire early and reserve seats if they wish to savour from Chef JP's gutsy repertoire of delicacies. One caveat though - bring more meat-lovers if you wish to try more of everything.

Dehesa is open from 11 30am to 2 30pm from Mondays to Fridays with dinner service from 5 30pm to late even on Saturdays.

12 North Canal Road
t: 6221 7790

Operating Hours:

Mon - Fri: 11 30am - 2 30pm; 5 30pm - 12am
Sat: 5 30pm - 12am
Sun: Closed

Written by Sim Yi Kai. Pianist by day and foot-massager to his better half by night. Mister Sim takes food and travel seriously. Drop him a message on @thedrinkseekers to talk about craft beers.

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