Various pressures make it tough these days for restaurateurs: steeply elevated food costs, the Brexit effect deterring staff from abroad, and of course, Westminster-imposed austerity.

So they’re having to find formulas that allow them to make ends meet and pull in the punters. De-formalisation of the more conventional course-after-course format has been a tactic for a while, and we’re witnessing many restaurants presenting themselves more as affordable cafés. There’s nothing like the smell of coffee and a counter of cakes to rope us in. We can kid ourselves on that we’re only really going in for something snacky, gullibly believing that we won’t end up spending too much. But it doesn’t always turn out that way. The new Finn & Bear on Leith’s waterfront is a case in point. It looks like yet another casual café in this already oversubscribed neighbourhood, but it’s not that easy to spend less than £20 a head here if you have a savoury dish, cake, and coffee.

The ‘brekkie’ menu as it’s juvenilely called here, isn’t a steal. True, the sausages are rare breed, the bacon dry-cured, the eggs free-range, but a full Scottish costs £10, before you add on £1.50 for black pudding. The babyish moniker for Bear & Finn’s porridge, served with house-made hazelnut and peanut granola, Greek yogurt, Nutella, and pistachio-‘Ferrero Podger’- costs a very adult £7. For that money I can knock up my own grown-up version at home.

At lunch, we’re ordering from the all-day menu- lots of things in buns and on toast- so very typical of this contemporary style of outfit. As is the decor, that now familiar assortment of reclaimed wood, distressed walls, mismatched furniture, lightbulbs suspended from cords, all punctuated by trendy copper, the latest decor must-have.

Our food is painfully slow to come, we’re getting hangry, but the first-up offering softens our hearts, the ‘Dalai hoagie’. I’ve stopped squirming at the jejune names because although it might look a bit like something from Subway, its tastes are surprising. The bread is focaccia-like, filled with dal made from yellow split peas, which have retained their shape rather than degenerating into a mush. Crisp kohlrabi, cut into Julienne strips and dressed with yogurt and fresh mint, provides a cool counterpoint to another element that’s chilli-hot. Improbable though it might sound, soft soaked raisins add a welcome sweetness, toasted pine nuts import oily richness. The whole package stacks up to be just about interesting enough for its £9 price tag. Mind you, that’s quite a lot to pay for what is essentially dal on bread.

‘Sunshine on Leith’- why not throw in every obvious reference in the book?- disappoints me. Nothing wrong with the sweet potato rosti, the oven-dried tomatoes, the griddled courgette, but the poached eggs are on the firm side, and the ‘Venezualan guacamole’ generates as much firecracker Bolivarian spirit as a Hugo Chavez broadcast with the sound turned off. It’s tamely plain- no coriander or tomato. Even the Poblano chilli sauce isn’t potent enough to import some oomph.

Irritating alliteration apart, the ‘brazen belly of pork’ is a creditable effort at an Asian noodle bowl, but its chicken broth- the hard bit to get right- lacks depth, although its livelier kimchi slaw, scattering of toasted sesame seeds, and fresh mint compensate somewhat. There’s a big chunk of rather nicely cooked pork in it, which is hard to eat; you can’t cut up meat in a bowl.

We’re chasing the ‘smashed crab’ in the eponymous dish, which is really more accurately described as avocado on toast with a dusting of crab meat. Here’s another poached egg. Love them, but Finn & Bear does seem excessively dependent on them. The Mexican pico de gallo (fresh salsa) that comes with also seems to have had a chilli bypass.

Dessert marks a return to pre-hipster café-land: dully predictable buttercream-iced sponges: chocolate, carrot cake-like, and so on. We toy with a dry slice of one with a Lemsip taste and the odd pistachio through it, then call it a day with coffee. We’ve managed to spend getting on for £50 for two. In retrospect, this wasn’t the savviest food expenditure ever.

Food rating 6 and a half/10