Tom Kitchin and Dominic Jack have named their latest Edinburgh venture Southside Scran, which strikes me as an odd choice. Yes, Tollcross is on the south side of the city, but southside to me means areas like South Clerk Street and Causewayside. Disorientation apart, that low-brow word ‘scran’ flags up a ‘food is only fuel’ mentality that swaggers or staggers alongside that other ugly Scottish word ‘swally’, as in a swallow (of alcohol). You’ll never find me romanticising the sadder aspects of Scottish culture, like alcohol abuse, or our death wish sentimental attachment to fizzy drinks and assorted ultra-processed junk. More fundamentally, the name ill matches the place. It’s an upmarket establishment where, unless you’re careful, you’ll spend quite a lot. Crowd pleasers- beef burger (Waygu beef), fish and chips- come in at £14 and £12.50 respectively, but otherwise main courses start at £16.50 and climb to £25. Starters are £9.50-£14. Down-to-earth, humble ‘scran’ this isn’t.

Expectations adjusted, we find ourselves enjoying the place, a snug, modernist take on a well-curated Parisian brasserie, with a rotisserie as its unique selling point. It even has a certain Parisian gruffness. The Maitre D has the blunt, slightly intimidating air of a musketeer. “Ready to order?” “What do you want?” Or, to the women at the next table who’re trying to get attention, “Something wrong?” He doesn’t bowl me over with charm.

There is reasonable, if unexceptional baguette, a tiny bowl of textbook chicken liver parfait with a rose pink, velveteen centre that reeks of alcohol. The only bad thing about the starter of Borders game Pithiviers is that for £12.50, it’s slight: two large mouthfuls of immaculate flaky pastry and sausage-like filling which judiciously blends lean, pungent game meat with enough herby fat to render it irresistible. It’s accompanied by quince purée scented with Christmas-y spices, and a syrupy, sublime gravy that tastes like reduced essence of dark meaty juices baked onto a roasting pan.

For the same price, the octopus carpaccio just doesn’t cut it. It’s a stunner to look at, like antique Italian terrazzo flooring, but there’s nothing really to relish about it, other than the classy extra virgin olive oil dressing, because the octopus itself, shaved breathtakingly thin, possibly using a mandolin, needs salt and retains only a memory of fish flavour, so that is drowned out by acidic lemon flesh, croutons, and capers.

My main course John Dory, on the bone, as ordered, has been char-grilled. Its topping- capers, lemon, croutons, again- repeats the dressing on the octopus, save for the odd bit of diced tomato flesh, olive, and three shavings of fennel. Isn’t it the job of the person taking the order to point out unforeseen overlaps? Shoulder of Highland lamb arrives dark-crusted from the rotisserie spit, fragrant from its pre-seasoning of rosemary, cinnamon, paprika, and more. Once more its relish looks like an afterthought: capers (again), olives (again), tomato pulp (again), and too much spring onion. So, fantastic meat, but inadequately thought-through accompaniments. We dig into the Boulangère potatoes, but top-heavy with sweetly browned onions and under-salted, they are nowhere near as compelling as they look.

£8.50 for poached pear, or slices of what looks to be the equivalent of half a large pear, is steep, especially when the gorgeous looking fruit has no pear scent, is hard, and tastes more of lemon than pear. Its almond and pistachio packed granola has the gritty, sweet stickiness of those praline peanuts you get in French fairgrounds; it’s not unpleasant though, albeit I don’t appreciate the rancid pecans. I guess the sorbet must be pear, but its flavour is anonymous.

Chocolate tart is vastly superior, an exceptional filling with a consistency somewhere between mayonnaise and mousse, unimpeachable pastry that’s thin, nicely golden, and evenly baked, flanked by a quenelle of simple, clean-tasting milk ice cream.

No alcohol, no coffee, yet with service our bill for two comes to £105. For that money I don’t expect under-ripe fruit, or capers-with-everything casualness. If Southside Scran maintains this ambitious pricing, performance will have to match it.

Southside Scran, 14-17 Bruntsfield Place, Edinburgh 0131 342 3333

Food 7/10

Value for money 5/10

Atmosphere 8/10

Service 5/10