25 Ganton Street, London, England, W1F 9BP, United Kingdom

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The new, slightly more casual, offspring of Salt Yard offers a similar formula to its parent, but with the unwelcome twist of a no-booking policy. While I am sure this makes life easier for the restaurant it certainly does not for anyone who is hoping to plan their evening.   Moreover, my experience waiting this evening was rather like one of those flight delay situations at airports, where they initially tell you the flight is going to be a bit late, then gradually eke out the delay in instalments to stop you switching to another airline. Having arrived around seven I was told that we would be seated “ within 20 – 40 minutes” but we did not sit down for well over an hour. You can at least have a drink (standing in the narrow gap between one set of tables and the stairs) but it was a frustrating experience. 

The best dish sampled was some excellent chorizo (14/20) which avoided the chewiness that so often afflicts this sausage in London restaurants. Pata negra (£13) was good, but not at all as good as the perfect version from Joselito I had at Cambio de Tercio recently. My dining companion, who is sufficiently well versed in pata negra to have a whole leg sitting in his kitchen right now, felt the main problem in this case was that the ham was sliced too thin. I find a plate of ham, however good, very hard to mark, so I am not going to attempt to; it was certainly of good provenance and was enjoyable, but as I say it can be even better than this. Slices of duck breast were pleasant and correctly cooked (12/20). 

Sourdough bread with aioli has been mocked elsewhere for its cost (after all, this is just a bit of toast) but used good bread and, which is perhaps the point, came with a really excellent aioli (13/20). Salt cod croquettes were crisp and tasty, served with a not very spicy (13/20) Romesco sauce. Mackerel with a quince, apple and pear aioli was a couple of flavours too many for me (11/20). A similar issue for me happened with wild chicory with grilled blood orange and salsa verde. Most of the tapa dishes are £3.25 - £7 each.  

The wine list is quite pricey, though it does have a couple of cheap options; we had the excellent Fagus at £45 (which retails at about £16). There is a long selection of fine wines from Spain and Italy for those wishing to splash out. Service was friendly at all times despite the bustle, but the no reservation policy means Dehesa is probably best tried for lunch unless you don’t mind waiting an indeterminate time for a table.


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User comments

  • Tiffany Hall

    Although half the restaurant is set aside for non-bookers, the rest can now be booked. Online, even! And I'm told they do wine-tasting evenings some Mondays, with tapas accompaniments.

  • Alex Chambers

    A pleasant meal, but not in the same league as Cambio, Fino or the Salt Yard itself. The no bookings policy irriates me immensely given the lack of waiting room- I found it far less tolerable than at Barrafina. Good but by no means great.