As dinner reservations are cancelled in their droves, it’s time to support the hospitality industry in any way we can.

StarChef‘s ‘Taste of Ynyshir’ Asian BBQ experience is the sort of feast box you save for a special occasion. Special, like, Covid is threatening to ruin your big festive party plans. Again.

We can guarantee this will put a smile on your face if you’re staying ‘in-in’ (lockdown self-imposed or otherwise)…

StarChef‘s ethos is about supporting chef talent, and providing them with a platform. Be gone, stuffy fine dining halls and hushed silver service! Hello laughter, fun and experimentation. It’s easy to see why they picked chef Gareth Ward for this venture – he’s long been intent on making the very best food accessible to everyone, and to have a laugh doing it.

Known for intense flavour combinations locked in through cooking over hot coals (and an unconventional approach to “fun-dining”) Ward pulls out four spectacular dishes (and sides, yay!) from his lauded destination restaurant, over in Powys.

Ynyshir is tucked away in a country house hotel, but don’t let its sleepy surroundings fool you – cutting edge magic is happening in the kitchen. The proud owner of a Michelin star and not three, but FIVE AA rosettes, the restaurant enjoys a reputation of being one of the most exciting and forward-thinking restaurants in the UK today. To give you an idea, Ward actually installed a Saltan Himalayan salt chamber in the grounds, just to house-age his Welsh Wagyu.

What’s in the box?

To the left, you’ll see a full example menu.

Beef rib. BBQ duck. Char Siu pork. Miso black cod.

Essentially, the type of food I find very tough to create at home without spending hours hunting down rare, incredibly specific ingredients in Asian supermarkets (a beloved pursuit, but not one I can do every weekend).

Now it’s been made simple (and out-of-this-world delicious) thanks to Ward’s clever extras: professional chef’s tweezers to help get a handle on the grill and clear instructions on how to reheat and finish each dish over fire.

The hard work’s been done for you – but you still get the buzz of watching your prized ingredients smoke and bubble. Premium duck breast falls apart just perfectly, piping hot and miles from dry pancake filling one might be used to from their local takeaway. The meltingly soft Char Sui pork meat is the result of hours of care, slow-cooked to total perfection.

Ward even provides a bespoke playlist created by Ynyshir’ s DJ, to set the mood. So much thought has gone into this experience. Ward’s love of food is palpable and might bring proper foodies to tears.

What should I drink with it?

‘Tis the season to stock up on excellent libations to see you through the big winter hibernation. Keep on theme with some homemade Japanese whisky cocktails. We like the rich, creamy texture of Nikka Days: a fruity, floral nose blends with notes of apple, melon, vanilla, spice and citrus to create a delicious Highball or Mizuwari.

Not a whiskey fan? We’re loving Durslade Farm Shop‘s epically sustainable dry gin, made with excess food from Roth Bar & Grill Kitchen in Bruton, Somerset. Apple peel, peach stones, carrot tops and parsley stalks are pressed and distilled to create a unique, fresh and complex flavour. 

The last word?

If you are big time into food, but for whatever reason, eating out isn’t feasible right now, this kit is the best £150 you can spend. For a special occasion, date night, or hey, just to celebrate life, I implore you to order it and dig in.

Then as soon as you can, get over to Powys to try Ynyshir IRL. If you spot a redhead in the corner, eating bao buns with wild abandon, do wave and say hello… (full disclosure: I won’t be sharing).

Can they deliver to me?

Delivering “from Newcastle to Knightsbridge”, in short the answer is ‘yes’. Instructions as below:

  • Place your order for a box for two people
  • The box will be delivered on the Friday
  • Price includes delivery (woohoo!)
  • Follow your box with full postal tracking the day before delivery

ORDER YOUR BOX NOW: Starchefs.co.uk


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