Ransacked Black Oven? I can tell you now that I’m not going to remember that name, intriguing though it is. It’s forever going to be ‘that place with a wood fired oven, behind the Festival Theatre, at the corner of Bristo Place, along from the mosque’. After all, the wood oven is what’s memorable, what distinguishes Ransacked from the plethora of busy, casual eateries in this area that cater for the student pound.

Ransacked started off last year with a van selling Middle-Eastern food “inspired by our worldwide wanderings and our love of Persian street food”, setting up at festivals and markets. Now this is its permanent address, where Wildman Wood pizza came and went, leaving its enviable legacy of a biddable wood fired oven that continues to fills the air with its warmth and Bonfire night aroma, a mood enhanced by black walls, clunky wooden furniture, rattan lampshades. This isn’t a dingy black hole though, thanks to its expansive windows onto the street.

Ransacked isn’t a place for a three-course meal, unless you want repetition, but there are several interesting permutations. Sourdough flat breads and gram flour rotis are the core components. Our manoushe, a Lebanese flat bread strewn with za’atar, becomes perhaps just a little bit too hard as it cools, but it’s still easy to enjoy this offering with its pockets of airy blisters. The za’atar (the celebrated seasoning made from thyme, sea salt, toasted sesame and sumac) is first rate, up there with Zaytoun’s Palestinian one, and that’s the tops in my book. There’s good quality extra virgin olive oil to dip it in, and a brilliant home-made dukkah, that’s full of hazelnuts, earthy with fragrant coriander seed and cumin, and suitably salty.

Our freshly made gram (chickpea) flour roti has the squidgy softness of a crumpet. The cosseting chickpea taste comes through underpinned by an underlying sourness that suggests fermentation. Ransacked’s ‘peacamole’ is a joy, a more environmentally sane alternative to guacamole made from imported avocados. The peas have a thicker, mealier consistency than avocado would, and the pea purée, which already has more intrinsic flavour than any avocado, has been spiked with chilli and cumin. I’ll be nicking this idea to make at home.

The description ‘baked sourdough nachos’ sends us down the wrong track, down Mexico way, thinking of maize, not wheat. We’re actually talking fatteh, an artful Levantine way of using up stale bread. We’ve chosen to have these hard-baked shards of flatbread with spiced goat (a sort of dry curry), which is so tantalisingly close to being excellent- it’s adeptly seasoned- that it’s frustrating to find that some cubes of the meat are tender, while others are a bit tough. I could do without the rocket leaves that come with this dish; apart from anything else, its aubergine purée and dab of labneh (soft cheese) is infinitely better, and much more consistent with the Middle Eastern theme.

For our ‘savoury’ kebab, we’ve chosen the salt cod, chilli, and lime fritters, to come with a flat bread, spiced cabbage and mango salad, and tahini spread. The fritters border on stodgy and we’re not picking up the lime and chilli. The cabbage is cut so coarsely that it’s ungainly to eat, but once again, the seasoning and dressing is good, delivering a refreshing hit to the plate that keeps the fattiness of the fritters at bay. And the tahini dip, like the peacamole, is a winner, sour with lemon and sumac perhaps, with a pinkness and taste that suggests the presence of smoked paprika.

An ice cream pro would probably fault the homemade chocolate brownie ice cream for its gritty texture, but it is properly chocolate-y and not too sweet. Blueberry coconut ice cream is weird though: it looks like lilac-grey putty and has a faint taste that reminds me of well-worn wooden spoon. Raisin amaretti cashew ice cream has the gentle nuttiness of an Indian kulfi.

So Ransacked has some great ideas. The breads and dips are sound; some other dishes are not quite there yet, but given this place’s welcome affordability, you can’t complain too loudly.

Ransacked Black Oven, 27-29 Marshall Street, Edinburgh 0131 667 7001

Lunch/Dinner £8.50-18

Food rating 8/10