British, Japanese·
Gold Award

SquareMeal Review of Ynyshir

Gold Award

For all that has been written about this idiosyncratic groundbreaker, there’s not much that prepares you for your first visit to Ynyshir. Gareth Ward’s cooking is famously uncompromising, advocating complete dedication to Ward’s cultish cooking mantra - ‘Ingredient-led, flavour-driven, fat-fuelled and meat-obsessed.’

There are no half measures here - if you’re coming to Ynyshir you’re here for the full ride. Dinner starts at 5pm and continues for a good five hours. After a quick drink and a snack in the lounge, tables are walked one-by-one into the dining room. We’re sat theatre-style facing the open kitchen, where Ward stands, his six foot two frame silhouetted by sparks as he fans the flames of an open grill. Behind us, a DJ soundtracks the evening, evolving his set from jaunty liquid funk through to tribal house. Ynyshir’s live theatre isn’t just a gimmick - it genuinely builds to moments of euphoria throughout the meal, and Ward and his team are clearly having fun doing it, hitting you with round after round of fat-fuelled haymakers.

Sourcing, prep and cookery all play key parts in Ynyshir’s magnificence. A huge range of the meat and fish served on the menu has been aged in Ynyshir’s purpose-built Himalayan salt chamber, adding new dimensions to already impressive dishes. An early course of bluefin tuna belly is doused in peppery Spanish olive oil and paired with dabs of jalapeno puree and yoghurt - it’s fresh, hot, peppery, sweet. Utterly brilliant. A great central ingredient is often presented in different ways across multiple dishes. Later on we get two courses of lobster from the nearby River Dyfi: the first is raw, bringing gentle sweetness to a prickly nahm jim dressing; the latter is barbecued and nested in a blanket of satay sauce.

There are favourites across the meal, but that Ynyshir delivers 30 courses without a single dud is proof enough of just how exceptional this restaurant is. Service is extremely amiable and fun throughout the night, so much so that the time flies, and even at the end of the meal, you’re sad to be leaving.

Unconventional and uncompromising, Ynyshir exhibits the signs of true genius. Ward’s restaurant is unconcerned with passing trends and fads, and in being so, it may well come to blaze a trail for a new generation. This is a restaurant not to be missed.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - Over £80
British, Japanese
Cool, Cosy, Dark and moody, Fine dining, Fun, Lively, Luxury, Quirky, Unique
SquareMeal UK Top 100, Two Michelin stars
Food Occasions
Alfresco And Views
Great views
Special Features
Chef’s table
Perfect for
Birthdays, Celebrations, Special occasions
Food Hygiene Rating


Ynyshir is a restaurant with rooms in Wales run by chef patron Gareth Ward, who cooks a unique, 30-course tasting menu of pyrotechnic creations, heavily influenced by Japanese cuisine, with meat front and centre. The only two Michelin-starred restaurant in Wales, Ynyshir is regularly in the conversation among the very best restaurants in the country, and also boasts an attached four-star hotel where guests can stay over after dinner, which often clocks in between four and five hours.

A typical menu at Ynyshir is a true culinary journey, typically consisting of about 30 micro-courses. Aside from meat, there is also a focus on seafood. Earlier entries may include raw lobster tail with nahm jim, shrimp green curry and a chilli crab bun. These lighter bites then slowly blend into slightly meatier ones, like scallops with duck liver, aged bluefin tuna belly and miso-cured black cod with shiitake.

Moving to the meat dishes, you will typically see the likes of a duck larb, pork char siu, Welsh lamb spare rib or chicken katsu, before beef takes over. In this section, you can expect A5 beef (the wagyu of all wagyus). It could take any shape: a single-bite burger, ribs with black bean or sirloin with ponzu and caviar. Dessert is also usually spread across multiple tiny courses, which could take the form of buttermilk whey with Thai spices, Bramley apple with duck custard or tiramisu. 

The wine list is extensive and surprisingly reasonably priced, with a paragraph for each highlighting its background and best use. The back page of this list features fortified and sweet wines, but the whole list is only a few pages, showing Ynyshir's confidence in its decision-making. 


Does the restaurant have a Michelin star?

Yes, it has two Michelin stars.

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How much does a meal here cost?

Lunch or dinner at Ynyshir is £380 per person. You can add a room to your booking for £290 per night.

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Can you stay at the restaurant?

Yes, there are ten bedrooms and, because of the restaurant's fairly remote location, most people choose to stay.

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Does the restaurant cater for dietaries?

No, the restaurant isn't able to cater for food allergies, intolerances, and dislikes.

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How long does dinner at the restaurant take?

The restaurant suggests that dinner last between four and five hours.

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Meet the team

Gareth Ward

Chef Proprietor

Gareth Ward is the head chef and co-owner of Ynyshir in Wales, which is widely regarded as one of the best restaurants in the UK. Gareth has made regular TV appearances, featuring on popular programmes like MasterChef to showcase his unuique cooking style. The chef’s first big name on his CV was Michelin starred Hambleton Hall in Rutland, working under Aaron Patterson. His next big break would be working under Sat Bains at the chef’s eponymous restaurant, a steppingstone that led him to opening his own restaurant. Now at Ynyshir Gareth showcases his passion for live-fire cooking and Japanese flavours - a combination which has earned him two Michelin stars.


Eglwys Fach, Machynlleth, Powys, SY20 8TA

01654 781209 01654 781209


Opening Times

All day
Mon Closed
Tue 17:00-23:00
Wed 17:00-23:00
Thu 17:00-23:00
Fri 17:00-23:00
Sat Closed
Sun Closed


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2 Reviews 


28 December 2022  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5

This is food at another level. The team under Gareth Ward are so creative and the results are mind blowing. On arrival, you get an immediate understanding that these guys are very serious about what they do whilst at the same time giving you a very relaxed experience! 

Mark B

23 November 2022  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5

Probably the most single-minded restaurant in the country. Excellent at what it does - protein heavy, highly flavoured single bite dishes. A long tasting menu, great sound-track, interesting wines. 
Very expensive, but that reflects the labour of love that goes before you sit down to eat. 

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01654 781209 01654 781209

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