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The UTW (“Under Ten Words”): Spanish, hearty and gloriously pig-centric, nose-to-tail, occasionally adventurous comfort fare.

The must-orders (if any): Carabinero Arroz, Gin Panna Cotta

Summary: The chef previously headed the kitchen at UNA at One Rochester. Dehesa is proud of its nose-to-tail concept (choice extract from their website: “robustly flavoured alternative cut and offal delicacies, as well as succulent classic cut specialities with a commitment to whole animal usage”), which makes for some adventurous dishes such as the Crispy Pig’s Head (not an intact one with glazed cherry eyes, mind) and Figatelli Pork Sausage, which includes pig liver and intestine amongst many other parts in the mix. Whilst the pig-romantic may be drawn to these highly meaty offers, the highlights of the evening for me were their Carabinero Arroz (rice with deep-sea giant red sweet prawns), which is immediately my favourite arroz quite possibly ever (and I have had my fair share in the past few months) and the boozetastic Gin Panna Cotta.

Pimientos de Padron - Dehesa SingaporePimientos de Padron ($14). Sweet and crunchy pepper freshness ahoy with alluring char, with very distinct salt crystals that offer pleasurable salt shocks.

 

Monkfish Liver - Dehesa SingaporeMonkfish liver on toast ($16). Imagine rich mackerel oil crossed with soft salmon mash.

 

Figatelli Pork Sausage - Dehesa SingaporeFigatelli pork sausage ($17). A terrifyingly meaty endeavour – upon my first bite, a wave of thick oily richness rushed towards the back of my throat with the speed of those Dementors from the Harry Potter books, and took every inch of my entire mouthly cavern completely under siege, not letting go easily even when I tried gargling with red wine. With this dish, your mileage may vary depending on your love for oinky meats.

 

Dehesa Bravas Potatoes - Dehesa SingaporeDehesa Bravas Potatoes ($12). Essentially a feel-good, millefeuille-esque hash brown dish, with the inspired inclusion of chilli padi bits which scythe through the grease like sparks of red-hot fire.

 

Croquetas - Dehesa SingaporeCroquetas ($14). Steamy, hot and creamy within, with chewy ham that possessed good bite.

 

Carabinero Arroz - Dehesa SingaporeCarabineros Arroz ($36, serves two). This was the top dish of the evening – the rice was comforting, spicy, salty, umami and the right amount of wet all at once, thoroughly steeped in the gloriousness of oceanic essence. The rice alone was already magnificent, but then you also have the plump and positively regal carabinero prawns, which made for some darn pleasurable bites ,tasting every bit their premium prestige.

 

Crispy Pig's Head - Dehesa SingaporeCrispy Pig Head Dehesa Signature ($28). An intimidating concept to stomach. The tender flesh within – interjected occasionally by the odd gelatinous bit – was strongly, oinkily perfumed, while the exterior titular crisp reminded me strangely of McNuggets.

 

Chocolat - Dehesa SingaporeChocolat ($14). A bitter, cocoa-heavy encounter, with the honeycomb supplying sweet relief.

 

Gin Panna Cotta - Dehesa SingaporeGin Panna Cotta ($15). Using Monkey 47 and some negroni (!!) in its production, this wobbly wonder was remarkably boozy, and essentially a Gin & Tonic in creamy form. Marvellous.


Grade: Easily mid to high A2.

This was a hosted meal, courtesy of Dehesa Singapore.

Dehesa Singapore
12 North Canal Road
Singapore 048825

Author

Shawn began documenting his food experiences since he started reading Law at the National University of Singapore. Initially he turned to food for solace from the rigours of university life, and food eventually became his safe haven away from the horrors of legal practice. However, it dawned on him one day that he has become sufficiently enlightened about the magic of discovering new and good food, and that it was time to share his findings with others. Instead of aligning himself with the vast sea of vanilla foodie influencer-style of writing, which would admittedly open more doors in terms of free meals and public relations love, Shawn decided to approach food writing by way of satirical humour, turning the don't-ya-wanna-eat-what-I'm-eating-cuz-I'm-a-public-figure self-importance/self-indulgent gravitas of Instagram foodie-ism in Singapore on its head and conveying his thoughts about food in a manner which is decidedly obscure at times and on others, frankly nonsensical. The rigours of legal practice and desire for a form of indulgent escape led to Shawn's second passion - experiencing and writing about new and luxury hotel properties. Secret Life of Fatbacks is an extension of Shawn's Instagram account (@Larvitar). For intellectual property reasons, he is unable to name the website anything related to the titular Pokémon character. Feel free to ask him in person what "Fatbacks" refers to. Shawn is not a professional critic, blogger or photographer. He is simply a guy who loves food and luxury hotels very much and (likes to think that he has) a quirky sense of humor. Shawn is presently a full-time lawyer, and when he is not premature ageing due to stress and vicious deadlines, he is somewhere spending an exorbitant amount of money trying out new dining places and hotels.

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