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Dehesa, West End

Kingly St has just had very protracted facelift to turn from a grimy back alley of Regent St to a pedestrianised lane more in keeping with it's neighbour Carnaby St. It has always had several restaurants down it. In fact one of my firm favourites "Ramen Seto" which is fantastic value can be found there. There are also a few more upscale places along there as well. I had a few work bits to go through over lunch with a colleague so we decided to pop out and give "Dehesa" a go. I had frequently passed by and the hams in the window always looked enticing. The restaurant itself is quite small with seating in booths or up on shared tables. We were shown to a shared table but there was still plenty of room. I was a bit surprised no one took our coats there were certainly enough staff milling around.

Once settled we ordered a classic tapas 101 selection: cured meats, croquettes, fried chorizo, tortilla, pattatas bravas, bread and a couple of glasses of the house wine. The food was passable the croquettes were very nice but the meat was a bit insipid, the patatas were more like chips seasoned with parika and after a long wait a very poorly seasoned tortilla turned up. It really wasn't as good as I was expecting. I do worry that places that don't get this right will get into an awful mess with some of the more esoteric offerings on the menu. They need to cover off the classics before trying to be "El Bulli". It is a shame as the room itself is nice, the dark interior gives it a classy but cosy feel. The two guys next to us were well into their second bottle of wine when we left.

The service was a bit hit and miss our waiter was a bit unsure, he didn't know a lot about the house wine he served us and he called me mate at one point. Our bill camd to £44 which was OK I suppose but we hadn't had loads. I was hoping this could become a new tapas haunt but I think I will stick to my trusty "El Piratas de Tapas" in future. I still have reservations in general about eating in Soho. The restaurants tend to be small so you can imagine even smaller kitchens which will affect what they can get out.

Friday, January 28, 2011
Overall rating
Food 5 | Service 5 | Atmosphere 6 | Value for money 6

Wright Brothers, Soho

The Mall Tavern, Notting Hill, yet another local