Chameleon - Indonesian Cuisine

On Thursday the prospect of having dinner at home which was planned to be scrambled egg on toast with maybe a dash of Worcestershire sauce and ketchup wasn't exactly setting my world alight. I decided to drop a mate of mine text to see if he was around for some nosh in the city, to which he willingly replied. We had planned on heading to Ciao Bella Roma on Parliament st, as we both love it but as I happened to be walking over to his place, I walked past Chameleon. I thought to myself I really wanna go here again I love this place, I first went with my brother a few months ago as we both love Indonesian food. We both love it because of our Dutch background, you see Indonesia was colonized by the Dutch and now Dutch cuisine is very heavily influenced by Indonesian food. There was nothing more me and Steve ( my bro ) would love as kids but chips covered in Sate sauce. It was heaven to me and him, then to find out there was an Indonesian restaurant in Dublin well quite frankly our minds exploded with excitement and anticipation of eating here. Needless to say we loved it and could not get enough of it , Steve still talks about the next time he is in Dublin we are going there.

Fast forward to Thursday night, I meet my mate and suggest would he fancy something different to Italian, and he was up for it. I thought "YES" I get to go here again. We arrive and we have to wait about 15 mins as they are full , its quite a small restaurant. We order some wine and go over the menu. The food is set over 6 menus, per menu there are roughly 6-8 dishes, each menu gets slightly dearer as it progresses. Essentially the food is served like tapas in small dishes but are called Rijst Tafels, which translates from Dutch to Rice Tables.


We decided to go for the following menu below times 2:


As we ordered while we were waiting the food was very swiftly served once seated. To me everything looked so so good and was dying to eat it. On the left you have the Kari Java ( Meatballs ), top of the picture Sate Ayam, and bottom of the picture Slow Roast Pork Belly. Good god this was by no means enough food I could have ate loads more Sate, as I love it so much. The pork belly was so tender and delicious.  The meatballs were also good, the sauce they are served in is like a Korma sauce, and is fairly mild tasting. I am still thinking as to why I didnt ask for more Sate, was beautiful.

The meal was served with noodles and basmati rice both perfect as you would expect, however it can so easily be done , messing up rice, where it comes out in big stodgy lump. The noodles are called Bami Goreng, they are made with thin yellow noodles fried with garlic, onion or shallots, chilli, vegetables, tomatoes, Also you can see the squid rings in the top of the picture, they were so tender and crispy. At this point I am thinking unlike tapas I am not as full as I generally would be from tapas food and think maybe we should have got a larger menu with 8 dishes.



Finally we have the Asinan salad in the top of the shot , with Cabbage, Pineapple and Chilli dressing. The condiments consist of pickles, a chilli sauce called Sambal Oelek ( It is typically made from a variety of chilli peppers and is sometimes a substitute for fresh chillis. It can be extremely spicy for the uninitiated. Some ready-made sambals are available at exotic food markets or gourmet departments in supermarkets in many countries.) Finally Ketjap Manis (A sweet soy sauce, which has a thick, almost syrupy consistency and a pronounced sweet, treacle-like flavor due to generous addition of palm sugar. In cooking, it may be replaced by molasses with a little vegetable stock stirred in.) Overall the meal was beautiful, from my stand point at least, my mate was only mildy impressed. Maybe sentiment clouds my judgement here, maybe because I have grown up eating this food its a treat for me. Another point is the price , for what you get it can seem very dear but I do put some of this down to the fact its pretty much in the centre of temple bar, they think they can get away with such prices. To finish up I came away happy, and even more happier when I text my brother informing him of where I was , his response was pretty damn funny as he would have loved to been there with me scoffing down Sate. I really think people should try out Chameleon, I think you will love it ,  I know the De Korte brothers do.

Thanks for reading

Will

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