Originally a chapel built in 1877 on the south end of Churchill Way and later revamped by restaurant owner David Bevan in 2008, Chapel 1877 is one of Cardiff city centre’s most popular and stunning eat-outs.
The restaurant is also recommended in this year’s edition of the Waitrose Good Food Guide alongside renowned chef Anand George’s restaurant The Purple Poppadom and Fish at 85.
There are two floors in Chapel 1877. The ground floor has more of a pub feel with widescreen TV’s which at the time were all showing the football, while the upstairs holds a more formal dining area.
Even late on a Tuesday night the upstairs of the restaurant was very busy, with large groups of businessmen and women rather than couples.
There were two menus on offer, the à la carte and a selection of gastro bar eats. On arrival I was asked whether I wanted to be seated in the bar area downstairs or in the restaurant upstairs.
I chose the restaurant upstairs but was then disappointingly only offered the à la carte, significantly more expensive than the gastro bar menu. But the food available in the à la carte menu did sound delicious.
I decided to go for the roasted chicken breast, bubble ‘n’ squeak and cider jus and to try a side of olive oil mash.
The chicken was a large sized chicken leg, still on the bone, moist inside with a slightly crispier outside which was perfect. The chicken sat on top of the bubble ‘n’ squeak and they accompanied each other well, as you would expect.
The mash was also extremely tasty. The only letdown was the sparingly used cider jus, which was delicious with the chicken but ran out too quickly.
For dessert I chose the warm dark chocolate and beetroot fondant, tonka bean ice cream, pink peppercorn and sea salt tuille, and it was absolutely faultless.
At £7 I thought it was well worth the price, unlike the £12 chicken, which was definitely overpriced for the amount and quality you were served.
I perhaps wouldn’t eat from the à la carte menu again as the food didn’t quite blow me away but I would definitely try the more reasonably priced food from the gastro bar menu.
Despite the minor fall-backs with the food, the exquisite architecture of the building, its lively atmosphere and attentive waiting staff completely make up for the hole in your wallet.