“Michelin starred you must be joking. Cheap and cheerful is more accurate!”
Please bear with me if I digress a little. I have just read other reviews about the Chameleon restaurant that dare I say, to my mind appear to be from people that are maybe too easily pleased, or could it be that there is a more sinister reason they are waxing lyrical in the same tones. The last three reviews of this restaurant come in quick succession and in June 2011 but a significant time after the ‘Suffers from Greasy cafe syndrome’ one that was written in Novembr 2009. Two of them were also written as a first contribution. Make of it what you will but I think that most Tripadvisor readers are savvy and can smell a rat if in the unlikely event there is one about.
McBell in New Zealand thinks that this restaurant should be Michelin Starred. I have never heard of a Michelin Starred restaurant making a “cramalised sugar network” I’m not sure what that is exactly.
My wife and I had dinner two nights in a row whilst staying at the hotel. We ate here because we got a great deal via our Priority Privilege membership. The members of staff in the restaurant are very pleasant and friendly as they are throughout the hotel.
We were offered three courses for fifty five dollars which, ostensibly is a good deal. Our meals were in the main acceptable and did not give rise to any big issues that required intervention and a scene.
The first night we both had the same. An entree of the ‘Crayfish prawn and basil wrapped in a paper thin pancake and pan fried with a crayfish jus’. This item was not your normal flat pancake as expected, but a hard ball that was difficult to deal with because it was so crisp. I my opinion there was no pan frying involved, it appeared to be pre-prepared then nuked in the microwave to warm it and crisped up quickly in the deep fryer. The crayfish jus, just didn’t go with the rest of the dish and my wife’s comment was that it tasted burned.
Second course was good, Fish of the day with red potatoes and asparagus, very simple and the asparagus was delicious.
The second night my wife had only the tenderloin beef, it was cooked just as requested and she was very satisfied. My entre was the soup du jour. It was described as a broth (made from crayfish if I am not mistaken) with seafood in it. It was an unclarified consommé if you can have one of those not made from meat with a scallop and two pippies (or whatever is the Kiwi equivalent) parsley and scallions added at the last minute. It was very salty though edible.
My main course left the most room for discussion. It was ‘Paradise prawns on a bock choy and creamy coconut rice with a nan jim dressing’. The dish was presented as not quite a cup of rice formed from a mould and surrounded by five medium sized soft shelled prawns stood on their end. They had been grilled. The bock choy went well with the nam jim dressing and was lovely. There was nothing creamy about the rice and the prawns were presented with the heads on and all the head cheese oozed out when they were separated. Obviously, no effort was made to clean the head goo or intestinal tract and though I have been known to partake of the odd prawn in that state, they need to be carefully selected for cleanliness in that area and these were not.
There are a lot of restaurants in Wellington and whilst this restaurant is alright for the price, it needs to improve to equal the high standards of the hotel. The next time we are in this lovely city we will be eating somewhere else.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
July 4, 2011
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Chameleon Restaurant Manager
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.