1 Michelin Star Chefs: Nathan Davies, chef owner, SY23

The Staff Canteen

Nathan is the chef and owner of SY23 in Aberystwyth, Wales

The Ynyshir alumnus went his own way after four years with Ynyshir chef Gareth Ward. All eyes were on him when he opened his own restaurant, so it came as no surprise when he won a star in the Michelin Guide for Great Britain and Ireland 2022

SY23

2 Pier Street, Aberystwyth, SY23 2LJ

Website: https://sy23restaurant.com/

Phone number: +44 1970 615 935

Reservations: [email protected]

Instagram: @sy23restaurant

Biography

Born in Wolverhamption, Nathan moved to Wales with his family when he was young.

He studied catering at Coleg Ceredigion in Cardigan, and worked in professional kitchens in London - including Shakespeare's Globe Theatre - and was briefly a private chef in France before moving back to Wales.

He worked for Steven Terry at The Hardwick in Abergavenny and was Gareth Ward's head chef at Ynyshir restaurant for four years before moving to Cardiganshire to open SY23 with business owner Mark Phillips in late 2019.

The restaurant was consecutively awarded a star in the Michelin Guide for Great Britain and Ireland 2022, as well as the special award for 'Opening of the Year 2022'.

SY23

Set upstairs from a cocktail bar in Aberystwyth, SY23 is decorated in tones of blue, brown leather and wood, many of which have been made by hand by Nathan (including the tables), as have the grills on which a large proportion of the food is cooked.

Lunch and dinner are served from Wednesday to Saturday at set times - 1pm for lunch, 7:30pm for dinner - with guests invited to sit in the cocktail bar should they arrive any earlier.

The 10-course tasting menu is priced at £95 - and £110 as of April 1st, 2022 - with wine from £25 a bottle, or £5 a glass upwards, and an optional cheese course for an additional £12.

Food

What the guides say...

Michelin

three stars

 

Nathan's food style speaks to his experience (and enthusiasm for tree surgery), with an emphasis on wild and foraged ingredients, often cooked over fire.

Protein elements of the best Welsh fare from land and sea feature heavily, with Nordic and Asian influences and plenty of pickled, fermented, umami-packed elements.

The Michelin Guide states that at SY23, "the charcoal grill is used to good effect and the deceptively simple looking dishes are modern and original with some good textural contrasts and real depth of flavour." It adds that the wine list is as fairly priced as the food, with service both "well-paced and attentive."

Awards, accolades and TV

Nathan competed on Great British Menu in 2021, and again in 2022, on the second occasion taking his Merlin-themed starter to the final banquet on the BBC Two programme.

Y Sgwâr

In addition to SY23, Y Sgwâr is the restaurant's outside dining area, offering breakfast and lunch cooked over fire, Wednesday through Sunday from 9am-11am for breakfast and from 12pm for lunch.

True to form, dishes are cooked over fire; the small plates menu features oysters, fish/shellfish; meat/poultry; vegetables, dessert and the all important bread and miso butter.

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 29th March 2022

1 Michelin Star Chefs: Nathan Davies, chef owner, SY23