The restaurant, located in Machynlleth, is the first outside of England to claim the top spot in the award’s 16-year history.
Housed in a country house hotel, Ynyshir is as far removed as possible from its traditional setting - combining a thumping soundtrack with a succession of tiny plates of punchy, Japan-influenced cuisine cooked over fire.
Produce is largely sourced locally and much of it is aged in-house and the chefs serve dishes directly to the diners’ tables.
“What Gareth Ward has done at Ynyshir is remarkable,” says Stefan Chomka, editor of Restaurant by BigHospitality, which organises the awards.
“Taking on a restaurant located in a traditional country house hotel and putting such a personal and edgy stamp on it was a bold, brave move – a real statement of intent – but one that has really paid off.
“Ynyshir is without doubt one of the most unique and exciting places to eat in the UK at the moment, possibly in the world, and is a very worthy winner of this year’s awards. Congratulations to Gareth and the team.”
Mark Birchall’s Moor Hall in Lancashire, which has been ranked the number one restaurant in the UK for the past two years, claimed the second spot and also the title of Best Restaurant in England, with third place going to Brat in Shoreditch. The Ritz in Mayfair, meanwhile, climbed to number four in the annual rankings.
High-end Indian restaurant BiBi in Mayfair was named the highest new entry at number five and was also named Opening of the Year.
Other winners include Simon Rogan, chef-patron of L’Enclume in Cumbria, who was named Chef of the Year, while The Ritz won The Service Award. The Ritz head chef Spencer Metzger was also named winner of the Chef to Watch award.
Dan and Natasha Smith from The Fordwich Arms and The Bridge Arms, both in Kent, were named Restaurateurs of the Year and Stockport restaurant Where The Light Gets In too home The Sustainability Award, judged by the Sustainable Restaurant Association.
Lifetime Achievement Award went to Ruth Rogers, the chef-owner of London’s The River Café.
For the first time in the history of the Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards, the public was asked to vote on their favourite restaurant in the UK. The inaugural Food Lovers Award went to Beach House in Oxwich.
This year’s list shows a dominance of the capital’s restaurant scene, with a total of 60 restaurants from London in the top 100 list and only three restaurants in the top 10 located outside of London.
The winners were announced today (13 June) at a ceremony held at The Hurlingham Club in London by Restaurant by BigHospitality.
The full list of the UK’s Top 100 Restaurants can be found on the National Restaurant Awards website.
The Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards is Restaurant by BigHospitality’s annual countdown of the top 100 restaurants in the UK as voted for by the UK’s leading chefs, restaurateurs and food writers.