I let Sophie do her top ten dishes on the blog last year, directly under my top ten, the top ten that people set yearly reminders for and openly weep in public about if they are so lucky to be involved. I let her do it because I’m a considerate lover, an extremely considerate and thoughtful lover, and also because she kept her own ten long before I waltzed in and sprinkled her life with fairy dust. Mostly the latter in truth. I’m not considerate at all. You can find her top ten directly below my top ten here. Whilst mine is a carefully thought out list of flavour bombs in an order used to curry favour for catering at my wedding, hers is a list of almost entirely crab and aubergine dishes.

You can expect to see the crab flatbread on her 2024 list. Mine too, in all likely. Straight off the grill and on to the plate; soft, pliable, steaming, charred, washed in chilli and garlic butter, and filled with more crab than I saw in one week in Northumberland. I don’t get a look in; well, I do, I see a corner of it, and drag it through the oil that’s seeped out of the bread, now tasting a little like pil-pil. Wherever it ends up on the list next year, it’s earned its spot.

Rewind an hour and the meal starts downstairs in Bodhi’s Bar, Kray’s new space for wine and cocktails. There’s a very good negroni and something called an elixir which is straight-up booze. We get a plate of house cured salami, melon infused with sake, and a little pot of cheese spread with crackers that have more than a hint of crustacean.

Back to the restaurant and the crab bread has gone. In a similar wave we say goodbye to bread that’s reminiscent of mantou buns and a link sausage which looks creole but tastes like sai oua, the spicy northern Thai sausage that whacks of chilli and galangal. And apologies about the pictures; much like the upcoming beef, it’s food that is so incredibly inviting I invited myself to tuck into a slice or two before taking a picture. I know of someone in Birmingham who likes to say “the camera eats first!”. Not in my world. Not in this restaurant.

We get langoustines. I say ‘we’. She gets the sweet langoustines, I get the head juices. It’s a good compromise. Then caviar off a ceramic tongue, a bit True Detective season four. I laugh before doing mine, surely the sign of a good lunch. Then the beef: a bone-in tomahawk cut that’s all smoke and deep bovine flavour, just like at Nestor. Oh Nestor. Comparing a lunch to one of my favourite places on the planet must be another sign of a great meal. It’s served with crispy spuds seasoned with spritely salt and vinegar powder, hispi that’s sweet and pleasantly burnt, and a peppercorn sauce that doesn’t hold back on the cognac. Best is a bowl of pulled lamb – I think neck – that reminds me of haleem without the grains. Kray is a magpie, taking elements of culture and applying his own spin.

We finish with barbecued cherries, which sits as intense foreground for a light riff on Bakewell tarts, before a big glug of good whisky to see us on our way. Now the bill. It doesn’t matter for once, because as it happens this is the last service of the a la carte before a move back to tasting menus as of this week. I’m told many of the dishes we had will still feature, including, hopefully that crab flatbread. Regardless of what’s served, this was easily the best meal I’ve had at 670g. We’re already booked to go back next month.