The Chameleon restaurant and bar, formerly The Victoria, pub has undergone a makeover. Gone is the dusty green sign and instead of tumbleweed passing the empty pub the glossy new restaurant-come-club is a polished and chic restaurant; it attracts Birmingham's finer crowd, not least my twin sister and I, for our birthday meal.
I'd been dying to 'go' here. For ages. Chameleon is a very polished venue; glass, mirrors, dark tiles and large, shaped chandeliers greet you as you sashay into this slick venue. Looks aside, the menu caught my attention about a year ago, when I read they serve waygu beef.
Fine food is on the menu, but so are pizzas, burgers, and fat chips. Now considered as 'fast food' the average hamburger wasn't always full of grease; hence the elevated sesame seed bun fillets and stone-baked pizzas we found on the menu. As a waiter brought the said pizza out to another table, with its fresh toppings and clear use of 'good' ingredients, we all did a double take. That's what Chameleon does to you - makes you reconsider.
As soon as we walked in - in an excitable mood because it was our birthday - a sensuous calm seemed to drift over us, and relax us all.
We were seated in the spacious booth and as soon as we'd got comfortable our waitress reeled off the most popular cocktails. When we looked a little blank at some of the cocktail names she was on hand to deconstruct the titles and explained in detail what they were.
After whetting our appetites with a few drinks we were presented with two menus.
Lunch is broken up into two parts on the main menu. 'Small Plates' and 'The Grill'. The small plates are a mix of vegetables, potatoes, meat, fish and salad. They recommend you choose one or three, but both my sister and I were full from two dishes.
The 'Grill' meals all come with either garlic potatoes, and a small salad, or fat chips and salad. Customers can also dine on the balconies, but with it being our birthday we didn't want to risk the British weather taking a turn for the worse.
On the lighter bites menu were wraps, toasted sandwiches, burgers, which I think was aimed at those on their lunchtime break. They also have a third pre-theatre menu if you dine between 4 and 7pm.
Although I was celebrating my birthday the atmosphere was very much 'adults at ease'. A very chilled out vibe emanates from the very core of Chameleon. As it filled slowly, just after the lunch time rush, each group of people seemed to be having their own conversations, not bothering anyone else, and enjoying their food and drink.
If you do visit during the evening for a nice drink, or late meal, Chameleon has some of the most interesting and unusual 'chandeliers' I've ever seen:
"The Chameleon features the most incredible be-spoke hand made chandeliers, they are unique. They dominate the entire Venue and give dramatic light shows after dark." The Chameleon.
Speaking of incredible features; we were very impressed with our waitress. She was full of charisma and wit; regaling us with stories of her experience with some of Chameleon's cocktails and coffee (some can't handle Espresso), you can't fault the customer service.
Smooth, slick, and a little seductive (not just our waitress): The Chameleon, certainly doesn't blend in.