19 Feb

Credit: Matt Horwood

A celebrated chef who cut his teeth in some of London’s top restaurants has announced plans to open a permanent restaurant in the heart of Pontcanna, Cardiff.

Chef Tom Waters has made a name for himself over the last 18 months by bringing his pop-up restaurant, Gorse, to independent venues around the Welsh capital.

After perfecting his skills under acclaimed Welsh chef Bryn Williams at Odette's, Tom moved on to the two Michelin starred restaurant The Square (under legendary chef Phil Howard), went on to become sous chef at Michelin starred Bonhams in Mayfair, and most recently, became part of the leadership team at Heston Blumenthal's flagship restaurant The Fat Duck.

His eventual return to Wales in 2021 paved the way for him to launch his own pop-up Gorse – a chance for Tom to focus on his own offering of "flavour-centric food served in an unpretentious and relaxed environment."

Having built up a loyal following, Gorse is now set to go from a pop-up model to a permanent venue, with plans to open on the suburb's King's Road by early spring at the site of the former Fido Cafe, offering an intimate setting catering for up to 24 covers at a time.

The menu at Gorse will offer exactly what fans of the pop-up have come to expect from Tom; multi-course tasting menus will embrace micro-seasonality and short supply chains, utilising Tom's relationships with a network of small-scale Welsh farmers, growers, fishermen and local artisans.

Diners will also have front-row seats to watch Tom at work; an open-plan kitchen will offer transparency and interaction as he meticulously prepares each dish.

The chef has plans for the interior at Gorse restaurant to compliment his 'Modern Welsh' style of cooking, and will be working with local design agency Karna, who specialise in tailor-made creations and the use of sustainable and alternative materials.

Brixham brill, onion, and kale on the tasting menu at Gorse - Credit: Matt Horwood

Tom explained:

"Giving Gorse a permanent home in Pontcanna is a dream come true. The local community here has been incredibly supportive of my pop-ups, so I can't wait to create a welcoming space where people can continue to enjoy my Modern Welsh food in a setting all of our own making."

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