Introducing London’s Chameleon, blending nostalgia with the future

There’s an old proverb that says, like a chameleon keep one eye on the future and one eye on the past. London’s latest hotspot by the same name has perfected this art throughout all that it does and will be doing. Chameleon is a new restaurant and multi-experiential space set in one of London’s most dramatic venues; the Grade I listed, One Marylebone.

The restaurant in “God’s Garden” offers a Tel Avivian sharing style menu and al fresco dining, alongside live music and entertainment. The outdoor dining space, one the west side of the building’s exterior, is aptly named as guests must walk through a gorgeous flower market curated by Jason Poole & Alexandra Watson, the duo behind Artistically Twisted. As you walk through the colourful foliage you’ll move into the restaurant’s outdoor dining space, which splits al fresco dining between the lounge seating and the dining tables. God’s Garden is currently the main restaurant at Chameleon and is open for dinner Wednesday to Saturday and brunch on the weekends.

The food at Chameleon is where they excel most. It’s where the age-old proverb rings truest, because in critically-acclaimed Israeli Chef, Elior Balbul they have someone whose talents nod firmly to his roots and harness them innovatively into dishes that have never been done before. Hailing from Tel Aviv, chef Elior worked alongside the biggest names in the Israeli culinary scene. His passion for Tel Avivian food started in his mother’s kitchen, where he learnt about the authentic flavours of his Moroccan heritage. Chef Elior went on to work in the kitchens of Meir Adoni, one of the top three chefs in Israel. Here he was noticed for his hard work and talent, and subsequently became Head Chef at Catit, one of the most celebrated restaurants at the time. Chef Elior was later offered the role as Head Chef at the kosher Blue Sky restaurant in Tel Aviv, where he conquered the challenges posed by a kosher kitchen, and transformed Blue Sky into one of the leading restaurants in Israel.

As a natural next step, Chef Elior set off on his own path to New York, and opened a modern contemporary Israeli restaurant, Alenbi. The restaurant offered something the New York food scene had never seen before; a fine dining experience, whilst also being gourmet kosher food with Mediterranean and North African influences. Something of the future, you could say. Chef Elior garnered critical success for Alenbi, and now London is set to gain his experience and culinary identity thanks to his new menu at Chameleon.

Among the incredible dishes the menu has to offer is the popular Spanish octopus with yuzu carrots, urfa peppers, black hummus, harissa and pickled okra. It was ordered by several tables surrounding mine when I visited recently and looks divine. However, upon my exceptional waitress’s recommendations, I ordered the Kubbana brioche bread to start with an array of mouthwatering dips: the Zhug with green chilli, creme fraiche and crushed tomatoes is outstanding and was the pick of the bunch.

The aubergine carpaccio is a fantastic small plate option. With raw tahini, crispy onion, goat’s cheese and pistachio, it’s unlike anything you would’ve tasted before. As for the main plates, try the lamb saddle: it’s absolutely delicious. Perfectly cooked, it was a marriage of pure class as it coupled with the cabbage and spring green gratin, the smashed potato and morels brilliantly. A match made in foodie heaven.

Need something to wash those delicacies down with? Chameleon’s signature cocktail, The Rimon, is a freshly squeezed pomegranate margarita with a twist and will be an excellent choice to go with some of the destination’s signature food dishes. After your meal, sit back and enjoy regular entertainment from resident DJs and performing artists – from soulful pop bands to electric violinists.

There are nine beautifully styled Greenhouses located on the east side of the building for private events and will open to the public later in the summer, seating 150 covers; they offer four seated private ones as well as bigger ones of up to 30 guests.

Guests can also book into magical health and wellness sessions with Xscape Studio; a futuristic fitness experience, dance classes, rotating art exhibitions and lastly Curious, a new party experience and multi sensory event in God’s Garden with headline DJs, 3D visuals and incredible set design.

Later in the year at Chameleon, the Club, a private space will open in the vaults under the church. Entry is gained by being a ‘friend of the house’. Select guests will be invited to be ambassadors of the secret club, allowing them to invite friends to join them. Building a community of like-minded individuals.

For now, book a table for dinner to try ingredients that’ll feel familiar in a way you’ve never tried before.

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