Desserts are generally weak too, including something called Desserts' Heritage that is too similar to a warm cheng tng, with its barley, dried longan, bird's nest and housemade fruit vinegar.
These hiccups are, however, overshadowed by the successes.
Soy Bean Skewer, comprising housemade tofu with soya bean reduction, caramel and topped with crisped black moss, promises a good start to the meal with its play on textures and balance of flavours.
This mild-tasting dish is followed by something totally different - a tart slice of pickled pumpkin served with mint leaves, dill and pumpkin reduction called Origin Pickle.
It wakes up your taste buds, not with an assault, but through more gentle sensations of pumpkin and aromatic herbs.
Another dish to keep is 21st Egg Tart, with a wonderfully crumbly tart shell filled with raw Japanese corn, raw carrot and cornflakes that magically transform into wonderfully full flavours in the mouth.
33 Ingredients is my favourite. Although the server cannot name all the 33 - nor do I want him to because it is more important that I eat the dish before it gets cold - the plethora of textures and flavours makes this a palate pleaser.
The base of the dish is a timbale of diced ingredients, which include various types of mushrooms; grains from Japan, Cambodia and Thailand; sea cucumber; and fish maw. On top is a piece of deep-fried lotus root, tempura-style, which provides the dish with its principal character.
With some dishes, I am still sitting on the fence.
An example is Fish On Fish, which is more striking for the beautiful fish-shaped plate the dish is served on. The red garoupa fillet served with flower clams, goji and a touch of wasabi is decent, but the various ingredients do not come together, leaving one to wonder whether they need to be put together at all.
Restaurant Ards is not perfect - yet. But its potential is unmistakable and I can only see it improving as the two chefs grow in confidence and build up their network of food suppliers. Their next menu will be one to watch.
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• The Sunday Times paid for its meals at the eateries reviewed here