Celebrated chef to open new ‘Modern Welsh’ restaurant in the heart of Pontcanna

Chef Tom Waters

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 (including Ground Bakery in Pontcanna, Insole Court in Llandaff and Waterloo Tea in Roath).

After honing 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.

Tom’s 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 Kings Road by early spring. The restaurant will be situated at the site of the former Fido Cafe and will offer 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.

And just like at the pop-ups, diners will have front-row seats to watch Tom at work; an open-plan kitchen will offer transparency and interaction as he meticulously prepares each dish.

Tom 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.

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.”