Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Chocolate Degustation at Chameleon

One of the (okay, many) things I was sad to miss during last year's Wellington on a Plate was the chocolate degustation at Chameleon, so when Mr Cake asked me where we should have dinner on Monday night it was top of my list of things to do. In the very early days of the blog we went to a three course chocolate dinner at Vivant, which was interesting, but not particularly impressive. This one was a different story, though. :-D

The first course was an aperitif, a shot of Tuatara London Porter with Valrhona 66% chocolate. The cracker on top was delicious, particularly the cheese which was good and strong. The porter was okay but isn't really my thing so Mr Cake got extra - he loved it (disclaimer: I'm not too much of a fan of the hoppy/malty flavour profile. And it wasn't bad, which is pretty much high praise from me).

The next course was scallops, poached in pinot noir and served on swede mash. And yes, a little chocolate on top, as well as some dehydrated ginger. We weren't too impressed by this one - the swede was a little on the sweet side and the scallops were quite bland. But fear not - things are looking up!

Course 3 is a chorizo lasagne, which was rich and morish, with the chocolatey sauce balancing out the spicy sausage. A nice twist on comfort food.

Of the savoury courses (and they were generally pretty savoury, in case anyone was worried) the main was definitely the star, though. The venison chop was succulent and tender, green beans (which were cooked just so, crunchy and fresh) have never been so welcome, and the pie - I can only hope that Chameleon might keep this on their menu a little longer. The filling is beautifully cooked, hearty, rich, chocolatey, meaty, and the mashed potato topping is crispy on the outside and fluffy within, and melds perfectly with the filling. My biggest complaint: too much food! It mightn't look like much but the gigantic plate distorts reality almost as much as eating it distorted my belly. ;-)  (full disclosure: I actually left some of the pie filling, for fear I might not be able to enjoy dessert which would clearly have been a disaster)

And speaking of dessert - oh my word! It was AMAZING. Caps are necessary. It was described as a mille-feuille of Valrhona Ivoire parfait and Kapiti marscapone with Ivoire mousse and a bitter orange salad. Translated, that reads: utter deliciousness, perfectly balanced sweet with bitter, creamy with crisp, rich with tangy. The parfait itself was a delight to eat, and the oranges/orange foam/orange zest made great accompaniments. The dark chocolate pouring sauce (which we think might have featured Grand Marnier) was scrummy too. I wanted to lick my plate clean (I didn't though).

So the dessert - I would go back for anytime. The waitress expressed surprise we had finished it - personally, I can't see how we could have not finished it. Even Mr Cake, who was disappointed to see the dessert was white chocolate centred, polished it all off.

The chocolate degustation is on until the 26th of August, so you only have a few more days. It's $85 per person, which I think is pretty good value. My advice if you're worried about running out of belly real estate would be to ease up on the swede mash, and make sure you save room for dessert.

What have you eaten as part of this year's Wellington on a Plate? I can't wait for the Food Bloggers' Conference this weekend, which incorporates the Chocolate Festival - and I guess next week I'll be on salad and soup in preparation to pay penance. ;-)

The chocolate degustation is available at Chameleon in the Intercontinental Hotel, 2 Grey Street, Wellington, until 26 August 2012. Ph 04 495 7841, http://www.chameleonrestaurant.co.nz/


  1. Uh! I am staying there for the conference, but I don't think that I will have time :-). See you in Wellington!


  2. Alessandra, sounds like they will be feeding us so well you won't have room in your tummy either! ;-) Look forward to seeing you on Friday.


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