The past year has seen a surge for al fresco dining; the only problem with London, however, is that outdoor dining space is often limited. Opening back in April in one of London’s most dramatic venues; the Grade I listed, One Marylebone is Chameleon: elevating London’s frenzy for al fresco drinking and dining experiences.
As you would visualise this distinctive jungle creature, Chameleon is a places to eat in London that morphs into many facets. Restaurant, come bar, live music menu, flower market, immersive cinema, art exhibit (AND wellbeing space) … its hugely dynamic offering is the ultimate multi-experiential experience. Meanwhile, food offers a tasty trip over to Tel Aviv with a menu that champions the ever-popular sharing plates set up across 150 covers, and nine individually styled Greenhouses.
Let’s start at Chameleon’s ‘God’s Garden’: aka the al fresco dining space, set to the soundtrack of their live band or resident DJ. With protection from large umbrellas and heaters offering comfort on less friendly days, (which are pulled aside when the sun chooses to say hello) is a glamourous semi-tented bar come restaurant, filled with flowers and verdant greenery.
This sets the stage for critically acclaimed Israeli Executive Chef, Elior Balbul and his team who offer diners an array of exquisite Tel Avivian gastro sharing plates. Highlights include Yemen brioche challah, deconstructed falafel, an inventive aubergine carpaccio, shrimp shish Barak, Morrocan octopus and charcoal-grilled lamb sirloin with cabbage gratin. Wash these down with the Chameleon signature cocktail: ‘The Rimon’ – a freshly squeezed pomegranate margarita with a twist.
Having pioneered Israeli dining internationally, Chef Elior is a welcome addition to London’s Israeli dining scene. With inspiration rooted from his mother’s kitchen, where he combines the authentic flavours of his Moroccan heritage, he started working in the kitchens of Meir Adoni – one of the top three chefs in Israel, before moving on to conquer the kitchen of the kosher restaurant, Blue Sky which he transformed into one of the leading restaurants in Israel.
From here Chef Elior set off on his path to New York and opened a modern contemporary Israeli restaurant, Alenbi. Showcasing to the NYC dining scene gourmet kosher food with Mediterranean and North African influences (something they hadn’t seen before) his latest challenge visible today is at Chameleon in London.
Chef Elior’s food can also be enjoyed within one of Chameleon’s Greenhouses that are unique to the restaurants in London dining scene. Situated on the East side of the historic One Marylebone building, each of these nine individually designed greenhouses are suitably dressed to reflect each season.
Available for private dinner parties, choose from the smaller four seaters, up to the two largest – which can seat 18 and 30 (and have the option to come complete with their very own DJ). Acting as warm and cosy retreats in the winter months, before transforming to a floral oasis in spring, and a tropical-style beach club in the summer – each of these greenhouses offer a taster of the main restaurant space, in more intimate and exclusive surroundings.
Peering inside the building, and Chameleon’s creative flair comes to life: a place for endless weddings and private events curated by the team. From cinema nights, it will also be a place encompassing health and wellbeing from sound healing, to yoga and dance lessons. In addition, Chameleon’s ‘Curious’ will be a pop-up that will appear throughout the year and will be a new, multi-sensory and surrealist event with big headline DJ’s and theatrical sets with actors and musicians.
And it doesn’t stop there. This autumn, Chameleon is set to open its very own private club. With a capacity for 400 people situated underneath the building, the club will combine a Mediterranean restaurant on its mezzanine, private dining spaces including ‘The Jungle Room,’ – a private Avatar style space under its very own ‘tree of life’. Meanwhile, the in-house band will play live music late into the night alongside their stream of resident DJ’s.