Kinneuchar Inn, 9-11 Main St, Kilconquhar, Leven

The newly transformed Kinneuchar Inn is one of those restaurants with a website that does nothing but lead you to a restaurant booking site. It relies on an inadequate Facebook page with the usual ragbag of photos and unreliable reviews, but no menu. That's the first bit of information I look for when I’m weighing up whether it’s worth visiting, and I don’t do Facebook.

Fortunately, when the food is as good as it is here, word gets out by other means. A restaurant PR flags up that "the menu will focus wholeheartedly on the integrity of the ingredients without over-complicating the plate". Sounds good. She talks of foraged and organic foods, a growing area and on-site butchery. Better still. She name drops the pedigree of the team involved, their connection with highly rated London restaurants, notably Rochelle Canteen. But much more reliable than that, a friend whose food judgement I trust tells me me I must get over to the Kinneuchar Inn. He thinks I’ll like it. And I do, from the word go.

The restaurant doesn’t have the same cosy aesthetic of the pub, it’s more Icelandic: inky blue panelling, a cool Northern light, sleek chairs carved from local wood. Sourdough bread, springy-centred, crusty, appears along with butter that tastes as if it’s been made with ripened cream. So we have a chef who takes bread seriously, which speaks volumes.

This isle of Jura scallop – athletic, sweet, a specimen that has patently not been plumped up on water and phosphates – immaculately fried, two amber-ringed crusty sides, succulent inside perched on minuscule cauliflower florets doused in lemony, parsley juices flavoured with the smoky piquancy of N’duja – cements the impression that this is much more than proficient cooking. Shetland squid arrives in abundance, rings and tentacles coated in biscuity batter that seems miraculously oil-free. We dip them into skordalia, an emulsified version of the traditional Greek potato, garlic, and vinegar dip.

There's magic in these words, "pappardelle with Cora Linn cheese", the prospect of homemade pasta, hare (a rarity), and this handmade sheep’s milk cheese made by the Errington Company, which can easily compete with Italy’s top Pecorino. Another generous plateful with its well-made, correctly timed pasta, coated in the rich, faintly mineral, strands of sticky meat, the flavours rounded off nicely with the gently mature Cora Linn. It could do with being in a hotter bowl, that’s my only quibble.

Descriptions name-check ingredients. "White beans, roast squash, sage and goat’s curd" might all too easily reflect the wishful thinking of someone tasked with dreaming up a credible vegetarian main course. But I am awed by the reality. The smell, hot butter infused with sizzled sage, makes you want to dive in. There are various aspects to it. These creamy little beans, interesting wilted greens below, which could be beetroot or purple kale stems, molten onions as soft and sweet as you’d need to make French Soubise, not the standard butternut, but a chestnut-like variety, earthy rather than cloying within its roasted skin, and minty salsa verde that drips down over the creamy cheese. This dish is much more than the sum of its parts.

When the quince and brown butter tart is set down before us, my expectations, based on what has gone before, are high. I’m no longer surprised by the technical ability. I’m just taking for granted these fragrant, lightly spiced chunks of blushing quince, marooned in their unusually dark, and therefore deeper-tasting frangipane and pastry. But the ice creams – salty malt, sticky, plummy prune and Armagnac – there’s no ignoring them. Somehow they manage to be more about their named flavours than sugar. Their consistencies are sumptuously rich and satisfying: they stick to the spoon.

If the Kinneuchar Inn had its menu online I’d be checking it out regularly to see what seasonal delights it was offering that week. But it looks as though its unerring focus to date has been on getting the ingredients and cooking just right. First things first.

Kinneuchar Inn, 9-11 Main St, Kilconquhar, Leven 01333 340377

Food: 10/10

Service: 10/10

Atmosphere: 8/10

Value for money: 9/10

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