Chameleon.

After a lovely afternoon walking around Dublin, we found ourselves in Temple Bar. We were hungry and it had started to rain. My husband suggested that we try Chameleon Restaurant. He had dined here a few weeks back and had teased me profusely  on twitter with his photos. I don’t like walking into a restaurant un announced, I tweeted to them to see if they could accommodate two hungry and wet customers.

We had a friendly welcome as we walked through the door from Nikki. She chatted with us for a while, and we were offered to dine upstairs or in the ‘Spice Bar’ down stairs. We decided to sit down stairs and we were allocated our table. Nikki explained the menus to us, and we decided to go for the Rijst Tafel Menu to share with a few extra Tapas. We decided to have the “Sumatra” . Tapas seems to be a big thing at the moment. A lot of places claim to be a tapas bar but are of course not. I was looking forward to seeing what Chameleon had to offer. Asian Tapas?

First we given Krupuk, to start  ( Deep fried crackers) a popular snack in Indonesia, as we were deciding on a wine. These were just what we needed to get our taste buds going.  ( Below Left)

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Our courses started to arrive and I was beginning to wonder had we ordered to much as dish after dish kept appearing on the table. But Nikki assured us that we hadn’t. First up was ‘Udang  Goreng” Black Tiger Prawns In their shell. ‘Ikan Bakar Colo Colo” Fresh Irish Fish baked in a Banana leaf parcel. (Above, Middle)) The prawns were Delicious, Crispy and cooked perfectly. The fish was really nice and with it wrapped in the banana leaf left it oozing with fresh flavours.  We had some lovely Spicy Condiments on the side which are great if you prefer your dishes a little more spicy. They were Chilli Paste, Soya, Pickled Veg and I think the last one was Onion. They were all so different and lots of flavours. My favourite was the Pickled Veg. (Above Right)

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The yellow curry was a big hit, mild,crunchy beans, courgettes and mangetout. Simple dish. The Crab and Haddock cake was simply one of the best “Fish Cakes” I have ever eaten. The Chilli and Mango dip on the side went perfect with it. Im not sure what Asian Herbs were added to it, and I forgot to ask, but I would suggest that you shouldn’t leave without trying this dish out. Tiger prawns with a chilli and pineapple were equally delicious. The Asian Salad (above and right) was another great dish and all the flavours were so different from each other.

Chameleon has a lot to offer for every tastebud and even all dietery requirements. I was very impressed with the food and flavors and the service was very friendly. Highly recommend.

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An Port Mór.

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Been from Mayo I always love coming
home to visit my family.  Every time I’m home I come to see Frankie in An Port Mór.  The restaurant is located in Westport across from Matt Molloys pub. http://www.anportmor.com  Frankie has won several awards and most recently just won ‘Best Chef and Restaurant” in Connacht, in this year’s food and wine awards.

We arrived for dinner on a lovely summer evening.  Greeted by very friendly staff and shown to our table. We were starving and looking forward to some local honest food.  We were given the menus and as usual I had loads of questions. I really feel confident ordering in a restaurant where the service staff have a good knowledge of the menu. My queries were answered with confidence and our order was taken.

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I decided to order the Achill Island Smoked Fish Board, wild Irish tuna, peppered mackerel, honey roast Salmon, served with a selection of house chutneys. I couldn’t believe my eyes when it arrived. A feast fit for a king. I loved every element of this dish.  The peppered mackerel was to die for.

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The restaurant was buzzing and a full house on a Tuesday night.  I was getting very excited about my main course. Frankie was preparing something off the menu for me. I was been spoiled.

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When I received (pictured above) my main course, I was like a child with ice cream.  I couldnt wait to pick up my cutlery.  Wild Atlantic Salmon with Lobster. Sides of fresh Baby potatoes and in season greens. I really was beginning to feel like I was sitting on Keel beach in Achill.

No room for dessert we were given this lovely  jello shots. A nice touch at the end of the meal.

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Frankie and his wife Olivia really have a very special restaurant here in Westport. The menu has lots to offer for everyone from Pig Cheeks to Ribeye Steaks. However they pride themselves on local fresh seafood. 

Chapter One . The Only One.

I always get excited when I make a reservation in Chapter One  it is really my favourite restaurant in Dublin. This trip was no different from any other meal I have had here. 

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I sometimes feel I’m every chefs worst nightmare but this is never the case here. Components are removed from any dish that may not suit me with no fuss what so ever. What I like about dining here is how discreet they are about my dietary requirements.

We arrived on time for out table and Declan asked if we would like a drink in their cosy bar or to be brought to our table. We choose a drink in the bar and ordered 2 glasses of Champagne. We were given the food and wine menus. Declan is very professional and easy to chat to. No meal is ever complete here without some laughs with Martin. 

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Our Order was taken and for starters I decided on Cured Clare Island organic salmon, with smoked salmon mousse, Fresh peas and yuzu jelly. The flavours were so fresh. Delicious.  

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For main course I decided on Hake with pickled Fennel and braised white beans, cockles, razor clams. I have had this dish several times here and it never fails. The Hake was cooked with perfection, the texture was beautiful, all the accompaniments enhanced the flavours of the Hake, but you wouldn’t expect anything else from Ross Lewis. 

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Been completely stuffed from the delicate flavours of this Michelin Star food and a lovely Bottle of of Billecart Salmon Champagne (A great recommendation  from Declan) we decided to leave the dessert but have an Irish Coffee. It was delightful to experience GUERIDON service in this Michelin Star restaurant. It really was very entertaining. Mine was made without the cream. I can honestly say this whole lunch date was one if one the best meals of my life. I just wished I lived closer I would go every day. 

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It was an honour to meet Ross and receive a signed copy of his cook book, An Irish Food Story.  This book can be purchased  in Chapter One or on line on their website. Keep an eye on my blog of details on how you could be the lucky winner to win a signed copy. 

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Win Chapter One Cook Book and read about my visit to Ireland’s top restaurant

THE RESTAURANT

If the kitchen is the engine room of Chapter One then the restaurant is most definitely “The Good Room”! It has been renovated and upgraded over the past five years under the watchful eye of our interior architect Maria MacVeigh. It is sleek and elegant with the use of textured fabrics and warm colours to create a comfortable and elegant space.
We made a conscious effort to source Irish crafts people who have made various pieces for us, such as Kieran Higgins’ bog oak sculpts, Joe Hogan’s hand woven baskets, Colm Hassett’s beautiful table for the Jameson Room and David Coyne’s bespoke pedestals and stunning table in the Demi Salle. The wood used in these pieces is all sourced in Ireland and our artwork is from predominantly Irish artists. We are very committed to celebrating the integrity of people who are masters of their craft.