The Philharmonic, St Mary St, Cardiff review

Any Cardiffian worth their salt will have memories of The Philharmonic. Whether it was where you ended up on your Friday nights out, or your hot ticket for the NYE crush, the St Mary Street pub-club was a landmark for many years. My memories of the place seem to revolve around oppressively crammed New Year’s Eves, when you were treated to the beery-breathed bonhomie of a total stranger vowing he loves you like a brother, honest, no lie, I swear.These days, of course, that’s a vision of Hell itself, something to rival a Hieronymous Bosch gallery of grotesques; something to have you casting envious eyes at the damned’s macabre punishments and thinking that they are, frankly, getting off far too lightly.But dinner? Really? In short, ‘eating at ‘The Philly’’ would be filed under ‘Worst idea since Canesten’s new Wasabi variety.’So telling you my curiosity got the better of me and I accepted an invitation to eat there would have once seemed…well, let’s settle for ‘unlikely’.A little research before accepting seems in order, so neither of us are wasting our time. Initial signs are encouraging. Almost all the food- their figure was 90%- is made from scratch, with a heavy reliance on local markets. Consider my curiosity piqued.

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