Some people say they like winter.

I don’t think they’re lying but mistaken. Lighting a fire, and wearing a woolly jumper isn’t ‘liking winter’, it’s ‘liking trying to get away from the effects of winter by staying indoors in the warm’.

Anyway,I don’t like winter, so staring down the barrel of four and a half months until mid-March, I needed to get some southern sunshine in my life. Failing that some Mediterranean food.

In a way I didn’t want to review Los Gatos. I’d never been there, but it was surely too well known.

But I was desperate and I’d promised my dining companion a decent meal (else I’d have to put those shelves up in the back bedroom) and well, Los Gatos it was.

Good. Choice.

Especially as a bit of the warmth and cheerfulness of Andalucia was just what was needed after getting caught in a cataclysmic hail storm an hour earlier (Pro-tip, when the heavens tips a couple of tonnes of ice chips on your head, close your mouth. Hail hurts the teeth and stings the tongue).

First impressions of the small space in Devizes Street were good. It looks and sounds authentic - tiles on the walls direct from the factories in Seville, those little napkins holders on the tables, Sherry advertising placards.

All that’s missing is the hams hanging from the ceiling. Oh, an old boy in the corner win a flat cap with a cigarillo on, dropping napkins, ash and sunflower seed shells on the floor. You can’t have everything.

Here’s what we chose: berenjenas fritas – chunky ‘chips’ of fried aubergine drizzled with honey, coliflor al azafran – cauliflower florets with saffron, pine nuts and raisins, patatas bravas – you know what they are, tarrina de berenjenas – a sort of slab of pate of aubergine, red pepper and cashew nuts with sourdough toast, jamon serrano and the fried sea bass – lubina - with saffron mash.

Oh, and sherry. Starting with the manzanilla fino for my dining companion and the heredad fino for me, which I’d never had before.

Mine was lovely, but a little nondescript compared to the La Gitana manzanilla aged next to the Atlantic Ocean. It had all the tangy, salty dryness you could ask for.

And it was perfectly complemented by the salty, tangy roasted almonds we had while choosing the rest.

Now, patatas bravas. I first ate them 20 odd years ago, and found a recipe where you simmer baby new potatoes in a spicy smoky tomato sauce for hours.

It’s great, but nothing like the patatas bravas you get almost everywhere – cubes of fried potato with a gloop of spicy pink mayo on top.

(I think it’s easier for portion control, and quicker, and they fired potatoes do equally well for patatas alioli)

Los Gatos definitely gets an extra mark for making them like I do. Slow cooked potatoes in spicy sauce.

Brilliant. The ham was plentiful and generously cut, and as good as you’d expect but will come as no surprise to anyone who’s ever eaten it before.

Next time, (and there will be a next time, but on my own dime, I’m afraid) I’ll pass and test the chefs a bit more.

Because they’re good.

The seabass was beautiful, even to me who tried a just little bit - although the yellow mash- which looked more like a mango kulfi - showed the influence of saffron, but didn’t taste of it. It just tasted of… mash, really.

The cauliflower on the other had really tasted of saffron and had a lovely crunch.

As did the toast which was very lightly browned to carry the terrine. Which was surprisingly delicious. I’d ordered it to be, not daring exactly, how scary can cashew nut paste be, but off-piste. And it was really good. Slightly tricky to eat with most of it a sort of pate with some layers of pate and aubergine, but savoury and sweet and a real success.

The star of the show, however were the aubergine chips. In a jenga stack like chunky chips in a gastropub, they were magic. Crisp on the outside, and sweet with honey while salty with, umm, salt, they disappeared in the mouth into softness and air, and just the essence of flavour.

The DC said she’s had fried aubergines in honey before and they were the best she’d ever had.

They were sensational.

As was the Napoleon Amontillado (it’s another sherry) I was drinking to accompany the course, with the DC again choosing the manzanilla.

Dessert? Oh, go on then. The chocolate croissant pudding with cream, brandy and ice cream for me and the mini-dessert of soft cheese, with raisins in a sweet sherry syrup on top and an espresso on the side.

That was terrific, though small, but a real complement to the meal.

The chocolate pudding was massive- a slab of rich, dark chocolatey bread pudding really. And stodgier and gloopier than either of us had expected. But the cortado coffee was perfect.

So, in nine dishes there were one and a bit misses (chocolate stodge, mash that glowed saffron but didn’t taste of it) four perfectly decent things, three and three-quarter delights (the aubergine terrine, the fish, the patatas bravas, the mini pud) and one absolute smash of Hamilton proportions - the aubergine chips.

But it’s a long enough menu that’s there’s lots more to explore on return visits.

Oh, and for those of you less interested in drinking your way through the sherry list- there’s plentiful wine and beer and loads of gin. If you like that sort of thing.