Cullen skink pie £5.25

Scallops £7.95

Fish and chips £9.50

Red Mullet £16.00

Chocolate brownie £4.50


Bottle Chenin Blanc £18.50

Total £61.70

I heard a whisper that I just had to investigate.

There was a new restaurant in town serving up Cullen Skink Pie.

Now Tec likes Cullen Skink and Tec likes pie. So this had me eager to head straight there and check it out.

When I offered to pick the Moll up in the Buick something strange happened. She said: ‘It’s fine I’ll meet you there’.

What could cause her to decline an offer to be chauffeured door to door, I wondered.

On arrival the shoe box gave it away. Shopping. I though of asking how many pairs of shoes does one woman need?

Then I thought Alan Turing and his enigma machine would have struggled to crack that one.

Mharsanta is in the Merchant City, in fact it’s Gaelic for merchant.

The menu promised much in the way of Scottish fare, particularly seafood and we were both getting a good feeling from this.

Sure enough, the rumour was true and the mystery was solved.

Cullen Skink Pie was a starter. So that was my mind made up. When it arrived it looked huge in an individual dish topped with lovely golden puff pastry.

When I cut through into the pastry the steam was inviting me to tuck in. However the sauce was congealed. If this was served as Cullen skink on its own it would have been a disaster.

The fish was tasty enough and the pastry was very good but with fish stuck in the gloopy soup it just didn’t work.

The Moll had gone for the scallops, which came perfectly presented with little strips of crispy bacon and chunks of black pudding.

The scallops were very good, she said, but the bacon was beyond crispy it was hard, brittle.

Like the Cullen skink, it seemed to have been overdone and spoiled what should have been a very good dish.

On to the main course and the seafood was what tempted both of us. The Moll had the Peterhead battered fish and chips. Again, something just not quite right here.

The batter was thick and dark and a fraction away from being burned, so the fish got lost.

My choice of red mullet from the catch of the day was faultless. The fish was perfectly done and the potatoes, capers and asparagus a good accompaniment.

The portion was ample but it was so good I could have eaten more of this red mullet.

We decided on a chocolate brownie to share for dessert but the same problems returned.

It was hard, again overdone. Although the ice-cream was delightful.

This could be a really good restaurant. The menu was enticing and there were aspects of each dish that were quality.

But the red mullet apart, there was something significantly wrong in each that spoiled the enjoyment.