The Chameleon


Do you know how sometimes you'll have a meal that's so delicious and so satisfying that once you take the last bite you desperately wish you could rewind time and begin again? Well I had such a meal a couple of weeks ago. The location; a restaurant on a cobbled street within Temple Bar, but just off the River Liffey. The setting; a room dressed with vibrant and inviting colours, with the most comfortable cushioned seating, which is fondly known as the Opium Room. My company for the evening; a small group of journalists and bloggers with the love of food being the common denominator.

Cumi Cumi Goreng {Crispy Marinated Squid}
Our evening began with a lychee cocktail, while we were treated to an engaging demonstration by Kevin O' Toole. He's an interesting guy, who's extremely knowledgeable on Indonesian cuisine and passionate about what he does. He runs a busy kitchen and I was more than impressed to hear that every paste and marinade is made from scratch in the restaurant. We then made ourselves comfortable in the Opium Room for our wine-pairing dinner. The wonderful Aoife Carrigy was our host for the evening, who guided us through each wine, while Kevin introduced each course of food. What a fantastic and enlightening way to dine. The Chameleon will shortly be offering wine-paring dinners to the public and I'd urge you to book yourself a spot and take the opportunity to enjoy this magical dining experience. 

Asinan Salad

I really enjoy a good story, and I'm always interested to find out where a business idea originates from. I was intrigued to hear that the Chameleon has been in business for twenty five years, going from a vegetarian cafe to an underground nightclub, before finding the perfect niche as an Indonesian Cuisine Restaurant in 1994. The lady behind this thriving business was Carol Walsh and in 2002 she convinced her partner, Kevin O' Toole, to join her as the restaurant manager and within a year Kevin was attending culinary college. Kevin and Carol are hard workers and are passionate about food. This is ever evident in the food which is served in The Chameleon; where carefully selected ingredients are cooked to perfection with great know-how and skill. With this in mind it's no surprise that they picked up the Best World Cuisine 2013 at this year's Irish Restaurant Awards. 
Pork Wontons
 In my experience of visiting restaurants quite often the service that is provided can be just as important as the food that is being served. I'm hardly alone when I say that good manners are a must for any establishment that relies on a return of business. Without a doubt I will eat at The Chameleon again, the food was sensational and the warm service was sublime. I felt very comfortable there and only for a pending train home I could of sat for the night soaking in the atmosphere, while sipping on one of their carefully selected wines or an Irish craft beer. 

For more information, including menus and opening hours, see www.chameleonrestaurant.com or contact Kevin or Carol on book@chameleonrestaurant.com.


Give-Away Time
If you would like to have the opportunity to dine at The Chameleon, Kevin and Carol have very kindly given me a 50 voucher for their very fine restaurant, which I would like to offer to one of my lovely readers. I must note that I had written this blogpost even before receiving this voucher, as such a gem of a restaurant experience had to be shared.

All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning this voucher is leave a comment below, however you must also be a subscriber to my blog. If you don't already subscribe you can do so by submitting your email address into the tab on the top right of this blogpost.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS: You must be a resident of Ireland (north or south); you must be over 18; no cash alternative is possible, the competition will close at 6pm on Friday 13th September. The winner will be picked at random from the comments below.
Best of luck!

33 Comments:

Derry Nairn said...

New subscriber to your blog Nessa - but long time lover of the Chameleon and its delights!

Loved the review and would really appreciate the voucher.

Cheers,
Derry
StrictlyWicklow.com

Aoife - Babaduck said...

I was so sad I couldn't go and love your post about the meal and the history. Gorgeous!

Ruthy Kirwan said...

What a lovely review! The Chameleon sounds fantastic. We'll be in Dublin next Spring to visit family, and it's already on my to-do list. thank you for the recommendation.

Catríona Church said...

New Subscriber to your blog also! Great review so would be very excited to visit!

Thanks Muchly :)

Catriona K

Deirdre said...

I love this restaurant. They ably manage to cope with my coeliac needs when I manage a visit! We were introduced to Indonesian food on a visit to Amsterdam and it brings back fond memories.

Catherine O'Kelly said...

Have heard many wonderful things about this restaurant and would love to give it a try - sounds SO promising.! ;-)

FIONA CLAFFEY said...

This sounds like exactly what i need!! Put my name in the hat.

Laura McDonnell said...

Great post Nessa, it's one of favourites! :) really hungry now! :)

Runaway Bride said...

sounds amazing, a real treat for all the senses, can't wait to try it out!

canalcook said...

Sounds like a great place. I loved Indonesian food when I lived in Holland, great to see there is a place for it in Dublin

Kat Laing said...

I have never been here but have walked past a million times. Sounds like I need to make a visit soon!!

Aline Burke said...

Sounds like the place to be for a great evening ! will have to try it soon.

tulipandthistlecrochet said...

I absolutely adore eating (and cooking) Indonesian food.
I developed a love for the cuisine since living in Holland where there is a huge Indonesian population. We were lucky enough to collect a few favourite recipes along the way.

I was very excited to hear that Dublin had an Indonesian restaurant called Chameleon. Eating here is on our wish list. Now after your review I am desperate to taste their "rijst tafel"

girlfromthehills said...

Love the chameleon...been a few times and the food is amazing. Great post Nessa...a good discovery.

Peggy said...

I remember your tweets about your lovely visit! Looks amazing

sgough said...


Wow! Would love to be your lucky winner. The food looks amazing. Fingers crossed and here's a wishing.

Joan said...

Sounds gorgeous Nessa, I could nearly taste with your description !!!

cb said...

Sounds great, would a night out baby free

Jane McDonald said...

I love this place.. I only wish I could find a recipie for pork belly that could hold a candle to theirs!

Excited about the wine pairing..I'll have to try it asap.

remeneerb said...

Thanks a million for this super prize, please include me - love the article xx

Stephen Walsh said...

pick me :)

Rebeca Torrent said...

Good Article and best prize...Congrats! :)

Jacqui said...

Yum! The food sounds scrumptious, while I am trying to prevent drool from landing on the keyboard ;)

Alice said...

Food sounds great, would love to try it ;-))

Ann-Marie said...

The Chameleon is one of those restaurants I've walked past and admired countless times without ever having ventured in! I've been wanting to try it for so long at this stage.
Great blog by the way, very excited about your cookbook!

John Graham said...

Fantastic Review, will be part of outr trip next time in Dublin!

MellyH said...

The Chameleon, from your description looks amazing. What a treat for a grown ups night out!

Al Keogh said...

sounds like a really lovely restaurant. :)

lightup said...

I've been wanting to try here for a while, it looks lovely!

Caitriona said...

Hi Nessa, that's a lovely perk to your job. I would love to be wines and dined!!
Caitríona

myfoododyssey.com said...

Hey Nessa. Sounds delish! I'm signed up to your blog and I'm sure I've gotten emails before, but I didn't get one for this post. Not sure if there's a ghost in the machine somewhere! June.

Camila said...

Lovely post! Nice to have recommendations as this one ;) delighted to subscribe you after your demo class on Glenisk Pop up Store. Thx ;)

Emma D said...

Love the post! The photos are stunning and the food sounded incredible! Would love a chance to experience it myself :)