A Trip to the Countryside

Saturday, August 27th , 2022

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Ynyshir is “not in the middle of nowhere; it is at the end of nowhere” according to its own description, near the coast of north Wales. It is a marathon journey there from London and a marathon meal too, taking nearly six hours and stretching over thirty protein-heavy courses. There were some very fine dishes, in particular a chawanmushi and a Japanese bream dish, though also a few slips. Desserts felt like an afterthought, and vegetables simply didn’t exist here: a little pressed cucumber in one dish was the only green thing on the plate throughout the meal except the Thai green curry prawn. It was all quite relaxed, though at £350 for the food the restaurant is up there in Paris three-star territory as far as pricing is concerned.   

I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the cooking at The Cross at Kenilworth, which has a Michelin star but seems to be as far off the food social media beaten track as Ynyshir is actually off the beaten track. I started with a dazzling red mullet soup packed full of flavour, then an elegant and precisely cooked John Dory dish, and a refreshing mango crumble. Incidentally, other dishes that I had a taste of (via my kind dining companions) were also top drawer. This was better food than plenty of multi-starred restaurants and deserves greater recognition.