Having tried Ember Yard of the Salt Yard Group I have been eager to try more of their restaurants. Working in Soho gave us the perfect opportunity to visit Dehesa on Ganton Street off Carnaby Street. The cuisine is probably best described as fancy tapas with presentation playing a big part of Salt Yards offerings.
The interior of Dehesa is simple with plenty of outdoor tables and wooden tables indoors. We were plonked on a small circle table for three right adjacent to a staircase leading down to the toilets. Not the best table for three of us but we let it slide. Onto the food, the dishes come thick and fast and we started with a Spanish charcuterie selection of Chorizo Ibérico de Bellota (Castilla y León), Salchichón de Vic (Catalunya) and Lomo Teruel (Aragon). Good fatty cuts of cured meat for a reasonable price.
The tapas soon flowed but the table was way too small to accommodate our plates, drinks and tapas. Scallop a la plancha with amatriciana, cumin yoghurt and crispy jamón was fine without being exceptional. More successful were the plump chili prawns with morcilla purée and apple, pomegranate and samphire salad.
We chose the Iberico pressa special and having had similar in Ember Yard it was a no brainer. However what came bore no resemblance in size or quality, no big meaty satisfying chunks of pork but small slivers of unremarkable flavourless meat. The next dish of confit old spot pork belly with rosemary cannellini beans also lacked in the size and flavour department, two small cubes of pork belly for £9 was scandalous. I would have been disappointed if given this for starter elsewhere let alone a tapas dish.
Our last dish of grilled chorizo with pea purée and crispy red onions worked but only due to the produce and quality of the chorizo. In the end we were all scrambling for the patatas fritas with romesco sauce and alioli and tortilla which is a shame as I really enjoyed Ember Yard.