British, Japanese·
Gold Award

SquareMeal Review of Ynyshir

Gold Award

Manicured grounds, luxury rooms, courteous service and the peaceful surrounds of an RSPB nature reserve have long been a lure for VIPs and those after some Welsh R&R – although the star attraction at this glorious restaurant-with-rooms is the “awesome” cooking of chef/patron Gareth Ward.

Leisurely meals unfurl over four hours of 20 doll-sized courses; lunch takes less time, but with nothing but the glorious Welsh countryside for miles around, where else would you be rushing off to? – except, perhaps, one of the 10 individually designed bedrooms, three of which are out in the garden.

From the first taste of the home-baked bread with cultured butter through to the final sampling of strawberries with elder and yuzu, meals are shot through with intense flavours – not surprising, given that wunderkind Ward trained at high-flying Restaurant Sat Bains in Nottingham.

‘Ingredient-led, flavour-driven, fat-fuelled and meat-obsessed’, says a note on the menu and the results speak for themselves: mackerel might be paired with rhubarb and back fat, pollack is exotically embellished with black beans, and salmon could be given the BBQ treatment.

There are also starring roles for Welsh lamb and Welsh Wagyu beef, prominent roles for pickling, curing and fermenting, while ‘desserts’ offer a profusion of sweet (and sometimes savoury) delights, from ‘birch porridge’ to miso treacle tart.

This is, to be sure, challenging cooking that will not be to everyone’s taste – not least vegetarians, who are unlikely to get the most from the meat-focused kitchen. But with only five tables in the main dining room, Ynyshir offers a highly personal dining experience at the cutting edge of modern British cooking.

Wines fit the top-end scenario, the dining room is a modern vision of simplicity to counteract the pyrotechnics on the plate, while the chef’s table and counter are a shoo-in for that special Michelin-starred occasion. All in all, “incredible everything and truly special in every way” – and well worth setting the satnav for.

Good to know

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