This Welsh restaurant has just been named the best in the UK

It’s won the award for the second year in a row

Amy Houghton
Written by
Amy Houghton
Contributing writer
Ynyshir restaurant in Wales
Photograph: Courtesy of Gemma Bell and Company

A hearty Sunday roast or some deliciously greasy fish and chips are all well and good, but sometimes you want a dining experience that’s a bit more out there. That’s exactly what you’ll get at Ynyshir, this year’s winner at the Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards 2023, which brings together the UK’s leading chefs, restaurateurs and food writers to find the country’s finest places to eat.

On the coast of Wales, the two-Michelin-star restaurant was awarded the coveted top award for the second year in a row thanks to the experience it offers guests. With a tasting menu influenced by Japanese cuisine, a resident DJ and the guidance of head chef Gareth Ward, the restaurant combines a ‘thumping soundtrack with a succession of tiny plates, cooked over fire and served directly by the chefs to the diners’ tables’. It also has rooms that diners can stay in to fully immerse themselves in the Ynyshir experience. Given how remote it is, you almost have no choice. 

Stefan Chomka, editor of Restaurant Magazine, said: ‘Ynyshir really is a restaurant like no other – where fun and fine dining combine for a truly remarkable experience.’   

‘Gareth Ward’s singular vision for what a restaurant can be, and his willingness to break down boundaries, are to be applauded. He leads by example by never missing a service, and he and his team are very worthy winners of this title again.’

Moor Hall in Lancashire came second for another year, while third place went to Da Terra in East London, which climbed 18 places from last year. Ox in Belfast was named Northern Ireland’s best restaurant and The Glenturret Lalique Restaurant came out top in Scotland

While a Welsh and northern venue nabbed the two top spots, only three of the ten top restaurants are from outside of London and more than half of the top 100 restaurants are in the capital. 

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