I’m always searching for good food when I go out to eat, a sprawling, catholic term capable of wrapping itself around all types of cooking from informal to fancy, and every culinary tradition on the planet. But finding food that not only pleases, but also resonates with my own particular palate? That would definitely be selfish and wholly unreasonable, clearly too much to hope for.

But then we sit down on an uncomfortable banquette in the long, low-ceilinged spread of the new Five March restaurant in Glasgow, amidst on-trend decor (lots of pot plants, formica, 1950s health clinic chairs, stoneware ceramics). The wine list is old world: Europe and the Middle East. Several of the wines are organic. All of them are available by the glass, and like the food, commendably affordable. Browsing the fashionable menu – Middle Eastern/Mediterranean, plenty for "plant-based" people, small dishes for sharing – I’m expecting more of the same, not food that’s going to tingle my pleasure zones down to my toe tips. But the signals that this meal is going to do just that start coming thick and fast.

First up, five (referencing the restaurant name?) thick generous slices of Freedom Bakery’s fantastic sourdough bread with its sticky, dark crust and airy grey crumb. We dip it into the white bean hummus, salty, its long, pure bean taste accentuated by toasted cashews, along with juicy and bitter leaves of Belgian chicory; a combination that really works. Then small cubes of "panisse" appear, inspired by the Provençal chickpea confection, a savoury cake related to Sicilian panelle, and Ligurian farinata. But they’re made with coconut flour – a substitution that, once again, really works, in a beautiful, appetite-stoking presentation that includes a Spanish-style Romesco dip (made with aubergine not peppers), dinky turmeric-tinged pickled cauliflower florets, nicely picked frisée endive and radicchio, radishes so thin they’re see-through, and a tangle of coriander and dill.

Along comes the sticky lamb shoulder, exquisitely soft, its skin crisp and lacy, with onion purée that has an angelic gentleness, freshened up with crisp lettuce hearts cooked with peas in the "petits pois à la Français" manner. Contrasting textures, well-judged. "Roast cauliflower with pickled grapes, pomegranate, hazelnuts, dill, sumac"? Could be a fiasco. But no, the charred facets of al dente cauliflower, served at blood heat, on smooth cauliflower purée, are compelling. And here’s another dish that looks stunning because, despite its necessary beige, its cleverly juxtaposed with gleaming pomegranate seeds, wisps of dill, mint leaves, and the comely debris of the sumac and crushed nuts. Know anyone who finds salads boring? Show them Five March’s "zucchini salad with pea, quinoa, almond parmesan crumb" and watch their prejudice dissolve. What is essentially fine, raw courgette spaghetti, aided and abetted by watercress, frisée, mint, peas, a lip-smacking dressing and the addictive crumb, becomes utterly compelling.

Where does the chef hail from, we wonder. There’s a refreshing liveliness and a world traveller depth to this cooking that suggests someone who has looked beyond this parish. Turns out there’s an Australian presence in the kitchen, hence the cosmopolitan mastery of ingredients, the sunny, southern hemisphere brightness and upbeat freshness.

And just how gorgeous is my dessert? A luscious roasted peach – whisper those sweet nothings in my ear again, I beg you – with opalescent cubes of almond jelly reminiscent of Asian puddings meets broken-up, oven-fresh sponge faintly scented with rosemary, invigorating ginger pulp (stealthily hanging out somewhere I can’t trace), and a cracking pastry cream. As for the "chocolate parfait, blueberries, peanut butter granola", which is like a stiff, dark chocolate mayonnaise, it has been anointed with maple syrup, and strewn with an fistful of toasted nuts in a sticky embrace with sesame seeds. Well put it this way, I’m not sharing it with anyone, so don’t even ask if you can have a bit of mine.

So here we have a relaxed but attentive chef who really understands, either intuitively, or through experience, family trees of ingredients, their flavour potential and limits, someone whose interventions make food better, not worse.

Five March, 140 Elderslie St, Glasgow 07714 005933

Lunch/Dinner £15-£22

Food rating 10/10