Lunch at Ynyshir Restaurant and Rooms

Lunch at Ynyshir Restaurant and Rooms

with Neil Walker at Ynyshir on 29 September 2018
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Meal Views

Now sometimes even I get surprised.
There we are, travelling up to east coast of Great Britain on an eating trip organised by my friend Neil (@Achefabroad), arriving at an old Manor House in the middle of nowhere for a lunch. I had no clue what to expect.
And then there was Gareth Ward, a North English natural phenomenon from County Durham, but now literally cooking up a storm in Wales.

He and his young team took over the Manor House Ynyshir and converted it from a Hotel with rooms, to a Restaurant with rooms. He only sells you his rooms for one night only. It is meant to be a resting place for dinners and not for vacationeers.

The most choice he offers to his guest in this tasting menu only restaurant is the location of where to eat. There is the restaurant, a dining room with five tables, the kitchen table, a communal table seating up to 10 people eating together inside the kitchen and last but not least, the Pass Bench, an elevated bench for two, right in the middle of the kitchen. Luckily, my friend Neil (@achefabroad) choose the latter.

Once Gareth starts his full-on assault with his 20-course menu, you just need to lean back and indulge. His food is ingredient driven, with a heavy emphasis on meat, melting local and Japanese influences into a flavour thunderstorm. Some of his dishes are super creative and somewhat molecular, but always perfectly executed.

My favourite dish was the Welsh Wagyu Burger & Salt Wagyu Rib Shiitake Seaweed. It is small, 2-3 bites only, but I was begging Gareth to give me another one. Sublime!

After the meal, we were so overwhelmed that we asked to stay on for dinner. And again the flexibility of a place which does not have an industrial ensemble line approach to their menu came through. Not all, but a lot of the dishes in the evening were different.

What a place? The one star in the Guide Michelin can only be an oversight, blame it on the remote location, but in my book Ynyshir is worth a journey.

Forget Fäviken, if you want a road trip, go there!

Modern British
10 / 10