Thursday, 19 June 2014

A Surprise in Caernarfon: Blas

Starting off a week getaway to North Wales with encounters of somewhat identical menu in almost every food joint made me conclude that my diet for my holiday will be the typical English breakfast and pub food. That is until I came across Blas. A local explained that the name ‘Blas’ meant ‘taste’ in the Welsh language.

Located in Hole in the Wall Street, this little joint in the heart of Caernarfon town wall is a gem. Opened only over a year ago, Blas serves a spectacular fair of modern Welsh cuisines. Every plate were so amazingly presented that it felt pretty much like a Michelin star dining experience. No wonder Blas tops the ratings in Trip Advisor for restaurants in Caernarfon.

A relaxing part of Blas

Entering the petite doors of Blas, instrumental music plays softly and the waitress swiftly showed us to our table. Moments after being handed the menu, we were served with a variety of amuse bouches.

Amuse bouches

Curry popcorn: 
Dusted with curry powder and with a touch of Indian spices, the curry popcorn is a nice option of savoury popcorn.

Cream cheese and tarragon crostini: 
Topped with rich cream cheese infused with tarragon and herbs, the cream cheese is a heavenly addition to the crostini.

Pork and black pudding with apple puree: 
My favourite amongst the amuse bouches! Enveloped with bread crumbs; the crunchy and chewy texture of pork and black pudding combination with apple puree, the finger size amuse bouche melts in the mouth creating a heavenly weave of flavours

Smoked salmon roulette: 
With stripes of smoked salmon with cream cheese and rolled into a roulette, yet another delectable amuse bouche. 

From left to right: Butter, Welsh blue cheese and chives butter roll, plain white dough
Welsh blue cheese and chives butter roll and plain white dough:
Despite the reputation of blue cheese having a distinct scent which is not for everyone, the warm bread with Welsh blue cheese and chives butter brings out a delectable taste of similar of salted butter with chives.

Starting off with the seared scallops as recommended by the waitress, there's no room for any disappointment. Such a great starter worth nothing but praises!

Seared Angelsey scallops, braised pork belly, 
apricot puree & chorizo oil @£8.95
Two large scallops were pan seared to perfection and the touch of fruity and sourness of apricot puree enhances the freshness of the scallops. Added to the combination is a thin slice of braised pork belly which were seared to create a crispy later on the outside. 

Moving onto the main courses, I opted for the cod while Christine chose the lamb. The high expectation from the amuse bouche and starter were definitely met!
Roast Loin, shoulder & neck croquette of Welsh Lamb,
with asparagus, wild garlic & samphire @ 
The lamb was served pink with croquettes and as Christine puts it, "This is so good!". Having a try of the lamb and croquette, I have nothing but praises for this lamb course.
Pan fried cod, prawn bhaji, raisin puree,
curried cauliflower and a spinach & mango pickle @ 
Having tasted the cod dish in Gordon Ramsay's Michelin-starred Petrus, the pan fried cod in Blas was definitely a match for the standards of Michelin-starred restaurants. Topped with curried cauliflower and a splash of creamy curry broth, the pan fried cod had an Indian touch to it. With the raisin puree and mango pickle, the hint of sourness yet again creates another wonderful fusion.

At the end of our main course, we were extremely contented and gave dessert a pass.

Given the location of Blas in a small town of Caernarfon, it was a wonderful find. The dining experience in Blas satisfied our taste buds with the highly commendable culinary skills and clever combination of ingredients. Adding to the delectable food, the service was attentive and friendly.

With the excellent culinary skills, Blas is definitely worth a try! Despite slightly costly for dining out in Wales, the price was worth every penny in comparison to most London restaurants and UK chain restaurants. 

Find out more about Blas on their website and the address below. 
Bwyty Blas
23-25 Hole in the Wall Street
LL55 1RF

Food rating: 9.5/10
Service rating: 10/10
Ambience rating: 9/10
Overall rating: 9/10

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