I often draw a comparison between good art and fine food. Both rely on great raw materials but the artistry is in the bringing together of those individual components, not only into a coherent whole, but one that respects the integrity of the solo items.
This meal in north Wales’ only Michelin starred establishment ticked all the boxes on both art and dining fronts so, although it might be too much of a drive for a night out, it’s so good I wanted to share with you – why not make a weekend of it? After all, they do rooms.
Our summer evening started with drinks under the rose covered veranda looking across a charming courtyard with a water feature. Maybe there’s something about the building of anticipation in such a setting that adds to the sensual pleasures. The tiny cheese tartlet and herring and dill canape helped too.
The dining room revealed the artistic interests of the owners – paintings on almost every wall space from Kyffin Williams to a Blackadder (in a loo!). Yes this is a stripped wood education in art including a portrait of co-owner Gunna Chown.
After the unannounced appetiser of beef carpaccio we moved onto some serious starters – my Thai green curry was a truly remarkable soup like concoction of full-on green curry spices with tender chunks of meaty monkfish while his ballotine of guinea fowl was accompanied with a sweet tumeric pistachio and apricot piccalilli arrangement – the posh cousin of a cold cuts in a high tea style dish.
Remaining with a fishy theme, the crusted cod was a powerful main course. Maybe “powerful” isn’t a word used often to describe flakey, delicate cod but in this instance it fits due to the sun-dried and cumin inspired golden crust which just expanded on reaching the mouth.
Simple (if rather plentiful) accompaniment of chips with skin-on pots, samphire and broccoli provided he counter balance.
It was a similarly full-on experience with the seabass and a crab and ginger sauce. Himself still can’t make up his mind whether it was a ginger sauce with crab or a crab sauce with ginger so equally at the front of the experience these two flavours were – a bit like the grey rock against the Welsh landscape experienced in the wonderful Kyffin Williams paintings dotted around the place.
We both couldn’t resist the cheese board but, and here’s the one criticism, were a bit disappointed not to learn more about selection of local produce on offer. The waitress was able to reel off the names of each Welsh creation – but couldn’t offer us any more. I hope this won’t sound too pompous but when you’re eating in a place as good as this, you expect the service to add something to the experience – the wine waiter to be able to advise, the waiting staff to be knowledgeable – not to the point of boring the table silly, but just to add a little.
That small snipe aside, the undescribed cheese was good although the biscuits too domestic to be special which was a pity.
The magically memorable night ended in the drawing room with coffee, tea and petit fours while soaking up the art.
What a blissful end to a stressful week.
Appetiser and three courses is £42.50 per person.
Plas Bodegroes is at Pwllheli, Gwynedd. LL53 5TH
t: 01758 612363
There’s more pictures at the Life through food Flickr group where you are invited to share your own foodie experiences too.