SY23 is a restaurant in Aberystwyth with a simple philosophy: excellent local produce cooked over a fire. Whether it’s foraged, farmed or fished, you can be sure it’ll be prepared in a truly inspired way, to celebrate the nuances of the ingredient. Preserving is also a big focus at SY23, to minimise waste. The pared-back interiors feature sleek spruce tables, tan leather chairs and blue-grey walls, creating a relaxed ambience. The soundtrack and bustling downstairs bar, meanwhile, keep things lively.
The open kitchen is the focus of the dining room, where the charcoal grill is used to turn out a nine-course tasting menu. The cuisine is modern, featuring concepts from Europe and Asia, crafted with the finest British produce. A sample menu demonstrates the elegant simplicity that has won the hearts of diners across the UK. Expect winning combinations like local grains with cultured miso butter, scallop with seaweed and burnt butter or crab with preserved elder at the start of the evening.
This is typically followed by heartier creations like turbot with cockles and broccoli or lamb with black garlic and mushroom. There is an optional cheese course available for a supplementary fee, and then dessert follows. The sweeter end of the menu at SY23 follows the themes of the preceding courses with entries like strawberries with elderflower and cultured cream, lemon meringue, 64% chocolate with grains and sour cream, cox apple with wood sorrel and granola or burnt butter fudge with chocolate and salt.
The outside dining area is a more casual setting, with all-weather tables and built-in fire pits. Breakfast and a small plate menu are available here, again featuring excellent produce cooked over fire. Head chef Nathan Davies also featured on Great British Menu in 2022, and SY23 has earned numerous awards, including Michelin opening of the year.