A table at Goodge Street restaurant Salt Yard had been booked approximately two months in advance as a festive reunion for myself, C and L, two of the most fabulous people I’ve ever had the joy and hysteria of working with. We’d been to Opera Tavern together before (a sister restaurant, which does, amongst other incredible things, a simply outrageous foie gras slider) and, separately, eaten here too. We knew it was good stuff, and perfect for a pre-Christmas-gluttony blowout.

It was rammed, as it so often is, but our table was right at the back, away from the worst of the madness. We had to look at the menu for at least 20 minutes to ensure that we were ordering the right things.

Despite thinking that every dish was quite small, it turned out that some of them were actually quite big, or at least quite (very) filling. The fact that we ordered about 12 things between us meant we left incredibly full. Oh well.

But everything was absolutely delicious, and well worth the £54 per head it cost. In no particular order, we had:

Chargrilled Country Style Bread with Alioli or Olive Oil with 18 month cured Serrano Ham, from Teruel D.O – you haven’t lived until you’ve stuffed your face with chargrilled sourdough smothered in olive oil and topped with exquisite, almost see-through, silky soft slices of amazing ham.

Chargrilled Chicken, Smoked Aubergine, Pomegranate and Mint – this was just insane. The smokey flavours of the aubergine and the chicken complemented each other perfectly, while the pomegranate seeds and mint added a delicacy to a rather earthy dish.

Jamon Croquetas with Manchego (x2) – well, you can’t just have one portion, can you? Basically posh chicken nuggets, except with fine Spanish ham and melty, tangy cheese.

Courgette Flowers stuffed with Goat’s Cheese and drizzled with Honey – L is addicted to these. Addicted. And I can see why, although they are incredibly rich. But that’s no bad thing. Some of the best things in life, as well as some people, are, indeed, rich. Apart from me.

Truffled Macaroni Cheese – this may have been overkill. By the time it arrived we were all feeling a little bit of the strain in our stomach regions. But by god it was awesome. Macaroni cheese. With truffle oil. Way to go, Salt Yard!

Patatas Fritas with Bravas Sauce and Aioli (x2) – In retrospect, two of these may have been one and a half portions too many. SO bloody good though. The Bravas sauce tasted like smoked chipotle, the aioli a garlicky delight.

Under Blade Fillet of Beef, Florentino Tomatoes, Farro and Mint – this was almost indescribably good. Tender, rare slices of rich red meat worked well with the farro (a tasty grain more people should be eating, I reckon).

Crispy Baby Squid, Gremolata and Saffron Aioli  – yup.

This was all washed down with two bottles of incredibly delicious Urbina, Bodegas Benito, Crianza (Tempranillo, Rioja 1999).

I don’t really remember getting home. Merry Christmas!!