My objections to “small plates” menus are a matter of record, but I have recently been reminded me of another: you inevitably eat a larger number of ingredients than you would in a conventional three-courser, not the best formula for the digestive system. Like tasting menus, small plates can add up to a recipe for a restless night of gastric discomfort as your body fights to process a miscellany of ingredient combinations. This digestion issue is likely to be even more pertinent when a series of small plates is served in close succession, and we are lab rats in one such experiment at Public House by Nico.

Nico is a popular chef who challenges the culinary wisdom that “less is more”. Counting all the elements in a typical Nico dish is feasible, but identifying the ingredients that contribute to each of those elements is an impossible mission. For Nico, more is more. Many people appreciate such intricacies. I’m not one of them.

We’re greeted by a waitress who epitomises the best Glaswegian characteristics: friendly, relaxed in her role, eager to please without a hint of obsequiousness, on-the-ball, an easy communicator. Almost instantly we are dipping rice crackers thinner than a poppadum into smooth house-made ricotta, and a solid salsa verde that has a vinegary edge from capers, charitably priced at £3.50.

Close on their tail come two really lovely, fish-packed Arbroath smokie croquettes, accompanied by a glossy substance with the colour of a Caucasian prosthetic limb, looking like a swirl of Instant Whip. This is “brown butter and miso hollandaise”. It reminds me of those ‘shrimp’ chews we ate as kids: a bit foamy and sweet. We sample it gingerly, but we don’t come back for more.

Fortunately we’re at a table large enough to accommodate a sea of plates, because the pace, set by the kitchen, not us, is speeding up. Cut to the chase: we’re served seven dishes in the space of an hour. Our meal from start to finish takes 1.15 minutes. Pass the dyspepsia tablets.

Fish with cheese? It can work. But what about “crab, smoked mackerel and crayfish rarebit”? Despite the tangible chunks of salty, fleshy crayfish, the overall taste isn’t particularly fishy, or cheesy either. The striking thing about this dish is how sweet it is for something you’d assume would be savoury. The sweetness comes from soda bread that perhaps owes its darkness to treacle as well as stout, and lots of apple compote. It’s not a bad dish, just strange.

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There’s a lot going on too with the “chestnut gnocchi, sprout tops, smoked pancetta, sage” but the one thing I can’t really pick out is any flavour of chestnuts, probably because their smokiness is crowded out by other things, the dark burnt acridness of the aggressively seared sprouts, too much grated cheese that’s matting together, more salsa-type squirts and something unidentifiable with the consistency of stuffing mixture. Hispi cabbage- brassica of the moment- is also decisively darkened, slathered in butter, and under a snowstorm of grated cheese. Call me lily-livered but I just can’t eat the shiny, viscose, brown mayonnaise-consistency substance that comes with it. The menu suggests that its main component is black garlic, but that Nico sweetness is in there again; a queasy mix.

Lamb “faggot” has a reheated taste and collapses in a winey, sticky sauce. Its mint sauce is once again, quite sweet. Hasselback potatoes that flank it are excessively salted and haven’t crisped up as they ought to deliver the promise of this classic potato dish. Curried coley is the star, its gingery heat smoothed by an emollient, creamy sauce. It sits on a glutinous “pilaf rice cake”, another Nico over-complication, and not, to my mind, any improvement on straightforward rice.

Coconut panna cotta, rubbery from too much gelatine, a consistency sacrificed to presentation, makes another clutter. It’s chopped into bits, mixed up with coconut flakes, incongruous but fashionable honeycomb, a little mango and passionfruit, under a landslip of banana ice cream and another of those unidentifiable, shiny Instant Whip substances.

We emerge in record time with tastebuds tingling, vowing to eat simple, plain food for the next three days.

Public House by Nico, 333 Great Western Road, Glasgow 0141 339 3701

Food: 7/10

Value for money: 8/10

Decor: 7/10

Service: 9/10