An Anglesey restaurant has been named the best in Wales in the Good Food Guide.
Sosban and The Old Butchers Restaurant, in Menai Bridge , has won the Good Food Guide’s Reader Award for Best Local Restaurant in Wales.
Husband and wife duo behind the eatery, Stephen and Bethan Stevens, said they are “over the moon” after winning the title.
“We opened in Februay 2012 and have achieved so much since then. This is definitely the highest high point for the restaurant.
“It’s our loyal customers and wonderful local suppliers who have helped us achieve this – we would never have been able to do this without them. It just wouldn’t have been possible.
“There are a lot of great local places to eat all over Wales but it is such an honour to be named as the best,” Bethan said.
The couple speak very passionately about the restaurant and believe it is their unique approach and dining concept they give every customer and their passion for creating interesting, delicious dishes that has helped them win this award.
Sosban and The Old Butchers Restaurant doesn’t offer a physical printed menu to diners. Instead, customers are served a ‘Surprise Menu’ of dishes which changes depending on what local produce is best in season.
The restuarant is described by The Good Food Guide as offering “a warm welcome” with “no menu, just a sequence of beautiful, seasonal dishes.”
To be chosen as the winner of the Good Food Guide’s Best Local Restaurant in Wales Award, Sosban and The Old Butchers Restaurant had to meet a strict criteria.
To be eligible for nomination, the restaurant had to meet criteria including being independently run, being able to demonstrate a strong relationship with local suppliers and regularly changing menus at reasonable prices.
Following the May closing date, a shortlist of up to three restaurants in Wales was selected. The Good Food Guide then sent an anonymous Good Food Guide inspector to visit the restuarants and the winner was chosen by the editors of The Good Food Guide in consultation with the inspectors.
“Here it’s special occasion without being stuffy”
Speaking about Sosban and The Old Butchers Restaurant, Elizabeth Carter, editor of Waitrose Good Food Guide said, “Behind a pretty old shop front with heritage green window frames lies this tranquil, uncluttered restaurant. The setting is homely, the welcome warm, and there’s no menu, just eight perfectly executed courses drawn from sea and land, the ingredients are second to none. The food is of the level you’d usually find somewhere posher and glossier, but here it’s special occasion without being stuffy.”
The annual reader-nominated awards recognise the best neighbourhood eateries up and down the country. And to mark their 10th year, they have been renamed ‘Local’ Restaurant of the Year’ to encourage diners to look much closer to home and champion the unsung restaurants right on their doorstep.
The restaurant is located in a butchers that was established in 1849. After taking over the lease in 2011, Stephen and Bethan’s dad, then 76 years old, renovated the property and created what is now the Sosban and The Old Butchers Restaurant.
When asked what’s next for them on their culinary adventure, Bethan said: “The only way is up. We can only keep getting better and creating more delicious dishes.
“I work front of house so I get to watch our patrons’ faces as I place a new, beautiful cooked dish in front of them. That’s what drives us to constatly try and achieve more.”
Chef Stephen began his training in London in the late 1990s in a restaurant owned and run by Gordon Ramsay and Marcus Wareing.
The couple said: “It takes time to find your own style in this industry but we think thats what makes us unique and that’s how we’ve managed to win this amazing award.”