The Marram Grass, Anglesey, was taken over by brothers Liam (30) and Ellis (27) Barrie in 2011. After years of childhood holidays spent on the caravan park owned by their parents on which the restaurant sits, Liam and Ellis decided to transform what was an all-day-breakfast café shed into a quirky restaurant with an emphasis on quality and provenance. Thanks to Liam’s charm front of house and Ellis’ self-taught know how in the kitchen, today The Marram Grass is an award-winning restaurant praised locally and throughout the country.
Since its opening the Barrie brothers have developed the now 35-cover restaurant, its offering and the surrounding site bit by bit. Ellis, who previously worked with Chris Marshall at Liverpool’s two-AA-rosette Radisson Blu Filini and later at Panoramic 34, has gradually developed the menus from a simple breakfast and tea into the eccentric yet sophisticated dining experience that it is today.
At the core of the restaurant’s concept are the exceptional local suppliers surrounding the Marram Grass. Ellis takes advantage of everything that the island of Anglesey has to offer and, with his instinctive know how in the kitchen, creates outstanding authentic and delicious dishes. Most famous of the local produce are the Menai Strait mussels found in the stretch of water at the foot of the caravan park and supplied by Shaun Krijnen from Menai Oysters and Mussels. The mussels feature regularly along with a host of other favoured local suppliers’ ingredients including exceptional sea salt from Alison and David Lea-Wilson’s famous Halen Môn based down the road; asparagus, rhubarb and strawberries from the Hooton’s family farm shop on the island; and the renowned Môn Las Anglesey Blue cheese from Menai Jones’ Anglesey farm. Intent on establishing the restaurant at the heart of the local community, the brothers have recently developed a ‘crop exchange scheme’ whereby local suppliers deliver ingredients in exchange for Marram Grass dining vouchers.
The two produce-driven menus, therefore, offer a true taste of Anglesey. Guests can choose from a daily a la carte (from £36 pp for 3 courses) or the 8-course Cegin taster menu (£85pp with an option for a £65 drinks flight per person). Sample dishes include Treacle cured trout with compressed cucumber, pickled shallot, smoked Menai oyster emulsion and wild garlic; Mon crab risotto with roast garlic and Anglesey apple; Pan roasted lamb rump with minted lamb ragu, pied bleu mushroom, courgetti, Wirral watercress, yoghurt crunch and pickled mustard seeds and Black treacle tart with Gardd Rhosyr rhubarb and burnt orange.
The restaurant’s wine offering is simple yet diverse, with a range of European and New World bottles. The drinks menu features a range of beers, with the most recent addition of recently launched Snowdon Craft lager. Guests can also choose from a selection of ciders, spirits and soft drinks.