- National Restaurant of the Year 2022
- Best Restaurant in Wales 2018, 2019, 2021 & 2022
Located just south of Snowdonia National Park on the western edge of mid Wales, Ynyshir is surrounded by rhododendron bushes and undulating yet carefully trimmed lawns. Yet this is not your typical country house hotel, as its black painted brickwork hints at.
Those that venture inside will find a massive chef cooking a multi-course tasting menu of uncompromisingly edgy, Asian-influenced food. That chef is Gareth Ward, a protégé of the Nottinghamshire-based Sat Bains.
Run by Ward’s partner Amelia Eriksson, the small dining room is stripped back and a little Scandi in feel with a fully-open kitchen where diners can watch the brigade at work.
The food itself is described as ‘ingredient led, flavour driven, fat fuelled and meat obsessed’. This is an entirely accurate description, but one that doesn’t quite do justice to Ward’s explosive cooking. His approach is strikingly different to the norm – a peculiar but effective marriage of top-quality produce, Asian flavours and unusual technique served in a succession of tiny bites.
To dine at Ynyshir is to have more than a meal, it is an experience unlike any other on these shores. The in-house DJ (surely the only two Michelin-starred restaurant in Europe to employ one?) keeps things lively, playing a set that reads the vibe of the room, with a glitter ball put into action as the night unfolds. Anywhere else this might not work, but at Ynyshir and under the spell of Ward's supreme cooking, it's something to savour.