I wasn't wearing a Red Nose when I reviewed the new Mark Greenaway "signature" restaurant.

A critic should always be incognito and draw as little attention as possible, that's a given. Likewise I don't buy into the cult of the celebrity chef, even when their efforts are focused on heart-warming projects.

Mark Greenaway has joined their ranks following his performance in the Scottish heat of the Great British Menu. I say ranks, but more specifically, I should say second division. There's still a step up the ladder, that's to judge the work of fellow professionals, rather than be judged by them.

Ultimately, you get promoted to the Michel Roux Junior category, the chef's equivalent of a Mary Berry Lifetime Achievement award. You become a "national treasure". Documentaries are made about your life. Your bank account swells with performance fees. Publishers who previously cold-shouldered your book proposal knock on your door. Cookware firms want your branding on their newest line. Your attendance at the BBC Good Food Show becomes obligatory, where people (mainly women, but a fair representation of young men) who fill hours of their lives absorbing the gladiatorial diet of TV chefs pay hefty entrance fees just be in your presence. Last but not least, your restaurant bookings swell with diners who whisper: "Look, that's him!"

Personally, I prefer my chefs stood at the stove, not in front of the camera, the distant, publicity-leery chef whose work routine is not at the behest of the commissioning editor, the chef more occupied with the verdict of peers than that of peak-time TV viewers.

Still, I was looking forward to eating Mark Greenaway's food again, having been impressed by his past performance. His new restaurant is certainly very smart, continuing the fondness for dark walls, this time set off by dramatic brass chandeliers. And the menu includes several old favourites, such as the 11-hour slow-roasted Clash Farm pork belly and the "jam jar" rice pudding.

But on this occasion, with the exception of the desserts, dishes sounded better than they tasted. For instance, I was wooed by the idea of "confit duck pavé with hot orange jelly, crispy skin, walnut mayonnaise, micro basil", but let down by the reality. What tasted like leftover cooked duck, straight from the fridge, was wrapped in thin slices of barely seasoned cold beetroot and the jelly brought sweetness, but not much else. The other promised elements of the dish were present in such minute amounts that they barely registered with the taste buds. If a dish only uses tiny quantities, those elements must be full of personality to get noticed.

Another starter, featuring citrus-cured bass in a sort of gravadlax treatment, fried squid and pickled langoustines, was effectively three disparate items. The bass tasted of little, perhaps because it too was extremely cold. We were glad of the hot squid, but these three fish ingredients would have been better served individually with accompaniments tailored to each one.

Of the main courses, pan-roasted hake fillet worked the best. The fish was hot and fresh, and its ginger-and-spring-onion broth had character. A small lobster tortellini that came with it was nice, if superfluous. Perhaps the quenelle of purple potato mash was there for appearance's sake. It was certainly incongruous in a dish where the dominant inspiration seemed to be Asian. The other main course, roast sirloin, was borderline overcooked, its bone-marrow crumble dry, and its red wine jus too sticky. Only the braised short rib truly pleased.

Chocolate "tart" in the shape of a knot, with salt caramel and kumquat purée, showed skill and understanding of ingredients, and by working that fruity chocolate riff, had the unity and central organising principle the savoury options lacked. The peanut caramel shortcake, extemporising on the nutty, buttery, toffee theme, hung together effortlessly, demonstrating a unifying logic that made sense in the mouth as well as the head. Time for that same sure logic to be trained on the savoury options perhaps?

Restaurant Mark Greenaway

69 North Castle Street, Edinburgh 0131 557 0952

Lunch £13.50-38 Dinner £13.50-65

Food rating 5.5/10