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April 8, 2019

Called Haar after the sea mist that sometimes rolls in from the North Sea, the new venture promises 'to change the fine dining experience'.

The cooking is designed to let the produce speak for itself. Along with top British ingredients, the menu contains plenty of flavours from further afield and techniques from all over the world will be used to prepare them in Banks' kitchen.

Globe-trotting flavours

The current menu is split into four sections: snacks, sharers, large dishes and desserts. Snacks might be smoked cod roe on toast, British charcuterie or, more simply, hot bread and toast. The sharing options include Fife pork belly with a kimchi purée and the intriguingly named Smoking Arbroath Smokie.

A large dish might be the smoked St Andrews lobster with foraged herb butter; Scottish duck breast with a Korean glaze or Goan curry cauliflower with dahl. You might choose to finish your meal with a seasonal trifle, banoffee or a local cheeseboard.

Scotland's most prestigious restaurants

Born just up the coast from St Andrews in Arbroath, Banks has been cooking since he was fifteen. After a stint at Rick Stein's Seafood Restaurant, he returned north of the border and worked in many of Scotland's most prestigious restaurants.

He has also worked in high end chalets in Europe's ski resorts, a job which meant he could go travelling during the off season. Banks has the stamps of more than 40 countries in his passport which goes some way towards explaining the globe-trotting nature of his menu.

MasterChef The Professionals

Last year, Banks threw his chef's hat in the ring for MasterChef The Professionals and made it through to the final three. The raised profile this provided seems to have provided a springboard to opening his own restaurant.

For this blogger, the menu reads very well and we suspect that we might be setting the SatNav for Kinnettles Hotel on St Andrews' North Street before long.

We wish Chef Banks every success but can't help emphasise with his frustration at the growing problem of no-shows. Over the weekend, he tweeted that a table of eight failed to show up on opening night.

Ever wondered why so many restaurants crash and burn? Some chefs reckon that no shows cost them around 20% of their potential turnover.