Apparently, Kengo Kuma, Japanese architect of the V&A in Dundee, designed the exterior to evoke the dramatic cliffs of Scotland's coastline, but everyone sees what they want in it. We dash inside in a downpour that would drench you in 100 yards, so our impressions are fleeting. My partner sees a great ocean liner. Me, I’m minded of the Armani logo, an inverted Chichen Itza, Star Wars. I’m all over the place, but we’re sure of one thing: we feel happy to be in the building’s protective folds. Shelter apart, and somewhat counter-intuitively, these slate-like strata of grey concrete make the V&A Dundee welcoming.

You can quibble that vistas from the museum over the River Tay, which today has the hue of dull, unpolished silver, are limited, but its Tatha restaurant has the best views in the building, if you ask me. So look sharpish and book if you want a table during the day. In the evening though, it’s relatively quiet, so we can appreciate its clean, calm, modernity, Japanese in feel but freed from the associated space constraints. The restaurant is filling up with families and the sleek openness of this place is conducive to eating out with young children. The acoustics seem to soak up noise; a tranquil environment that brings out the best in kids.

Our waitress is chirpy with that engaging Dundonian confidence, enthusiastic about the place and food. We sense the intention to do better than your gallery average here, so the hummus option here is rather fancy as hummus goes: one half made from peas, the other predictable gallery café hummus. Effort has gone into presentation, blanched peas, pea shoots, a sprinkling of good quality chopped black olives, a few roasted walnuts. It’s just let down by the thin toasts, which are tough. Our other starter, described as pork cheeks “caramelised with kimchi, peanuts, pak choi and chargrilled pineapple” is more prototype than perfection. Any heat in the fermented cabbage hasn’t transferred to the profoundly plain-tasting meat. The pork needs taken on a more immersive Asian journey.

As a main course at £11.50, I can’t lie, the Arbroath smokie tart disappoints. Pastry, fine, but I’m hunting the fish in the filling, which is firm to a fault. I search for the much anticipated smoked Anster cheese and don’t find it. The salad that flanks the tart has been plated up dutifully, without any love or flair for the category. Fudgy tomato, dull boiled beetroot, cucumber, radish, the inescapable floppy rocket, all nude and undressed. Tatha makes a bit of a thing about its suppliers, and I’m enjoying the deep-flavoured chargrilled buffalo steak, well seasoned with Tellicherry peppercorns, from the well-respected Puddledub farm in Fife. The mash that comes with it has been enriched with the addition of bone marrow, and there’s another heap of, for me, redundant rocket. Racking up the greens, we’ve ordered broccoli dressed with garlic, sherry vinegar, and toasted hazelnuts, but unfortunately, every second nut is rancid.

Seems to me that spins on Eton Mess are the latest Scottish restaurant must-have. Here Blairgowrie raspberries, soaked in Yuzu, the sour Japanese citrus that inhabits taste territory somewhere between grapefruit and lime, send waves of excitement through the creamy mass and powdery meringue, but I can’t identify the promised white chocolate, and the toffee, dotted with uncooked quinoa is too thick and tastes burnt.

Visually, the chocolate avocado cake is disturbing, black, shiny, sinister, like a dominatrix clad in PVC. Avocado is always a wimpy ingredient, so perhaps it’s holed up in the cake topping which has the consistency of mayonnaise. It might as have well have scarpered, so little impression has it made amidst this pile-up of contemporary dessert clichés: salty popcorn, shards of thick pistachio caramel with what looks to be sesame seeds, or quinoa again, that don’t merit the description ‘brittle’- “I worry for my teeth” says my dining partner- berries that are barely in season, and anonymous white ice cream.

So, enjoy the view and as gallery food goes, Tatha is definitely better than most. But it could easily improve by stripping out its fashion victim pretension.

Tatha, V&A Dundee, 1 Riverside Esplanade, Dundee 01382 411611

Lunch £13.50-£45 Dinner £24-£45

Food rating 7/10

Joanna Blythman is the Guild of Food Writers Food Writer of the Year 2018