Jamaican restaurant bringing Caribbean sunshine and 'best breakfast' to North Wales

Bacon and Ackee saltfish at Up A Yard in Holywell
Bacon and Ackee saltfish at Up A Yard in Holywell -Credit:Mark Williams/North Wales Live

A chef who was "got bored" during lockdown and took a gamble by starting a Jamaican takeaway is now about to open her second restaurant. Charlotte Stanley was employed as head chef at the 1891 Restaurant in Rhyl when the pandemic hit.

While she was at home in Ffynnongroyw in Flintshire, she had the idea of starting her own Caribbean takeaway and delivery business. She thought it would be a bit of a gamble bringing the “niche” cuisine to North Wales but her food proved an instant success.

Charlotte, whose nana on her dad’s side came to the UK from Jamaica as part of the Windrush generation, has been nominated for a number of awards. She is now in the process of opening another restaurant in Prestatyn.

READ MORE: 'Packed out' pub and restaurant that's 'hit the winning formula'

READ MORE: Bar at the crossroads delivers 'good old-fashioned pub grub'

However, we were at the original ‘Up A Yard’ restaurant at the Holywell Art and Craft Mill for a breakfast with a difference. There is a busy car park across the road to the venue as the restaurant is near to the National Catholic Shrine of St Winefride. From the car park, you can small the delicious smell of Jamaican cuisine drifting in the air.

Inside, the venue has a sunny vibe and is decorated with Caribbean art with pictures of Bob Marley and some of his song lyrics. The dining area itself is fairly small, but has a rustic, laid-back and homely vibe to proceedings. The wooden tables have the ‘Up a Yard” logo in the colours of the Jamaican flag and there was some excellent reggae and Trojan classics blasting from the speakers.

The menu includes a ray of vibrant and homemade authentic Jamaican cuisine and traditional quirky dishes. There are authentic curries such as curried shrimp or small plates such as mac and cheese or fried plantain.

They cater for everyone with a selection of burgers and loaded chips, all with a Jamaican twist of course. They offer unique cocktails, mocktails and of course rum punch with cool reggae vibes playing in the background. I opt for a tropical juice, which arrives with a slice of pineapple on the side.

We were there at 11am for Jamaican breakfast but they also serve the full English traditional type as well. I opt for the Bacon and Ackee saltfish, which is Jamaica’s national dish and often ate at breakfast time. It was served with plantains, bacon with various herbs and a lime on top.

Up A Yard is at Holywell Art and Craft Mill
Up A Yard is at Holywell Art and Craft Mill -Credit:Mark Williams/North Wales Live

The savoury sibling of the banana, plantains are a major food staple in the Caribbean and taste sweet without the banana taste. The Ackee is related to the lychee fruit and has a delicate, slightly nutty flavor.

The salt cod was sautéed with scotch bonnet peppers, tomatoes and seasoned with various spices such as paprika and pepper. The bacon was used as a garnish on top and we were served hard dough toast on the side.

It was one of the best breakfasts I had ever eaten as all the spice and seasonings worked so well together. The delicate taste of the salt fish cut through the heat of the peppers in a glorious manner.

My wife went for baked chilli eggs and callaloo with lots of peppers and onions. Callaloo is the name used in the Caribbean to refer to the large green leaves of the taro, which is a root vegetable.

There was a double egg on top, which was smothered in herbs and chilli. This dish was also served with plantain and toast and the combination really worked brilliantly together once again.

Baked Chilli Eggs and Callaloo at Up A Yard in Holywell
Baked Chilli Eggs and Callaloo at Up A Yard in Holywell -Credit:Mark Williams/North Wales Live

I informed my wife that my porridge tomorrow morning was going to taste pretty boring compared to this lovely breakfast grub. The waiting on team were excellent and efficient but we turned down the offer of dessert as it was still morning. However, we noted that the menu offered rum cake and ice cream or more traditional puddings such as chocolate brownies or waffles.

This was one of the best dining experiences that I have experienced in quite some time so more awards from the food awards are surely on their way. I felt as though I could be on holiday with the glorious summer breeze coming through the open door and windows.

Up A Yard is bringing a bit of Jamaican sunshine to north Wales with their mouthwatering dishes. Please note payment is via cash or bank transfer only.