The Chameleon. Lurking in the urban jungle, undetected, unknown, blending into the ever changing landscape, sampling everything from fine dining to reviewing take away joints, this lizard loves food possibly a little bit too much.


Overall score: 59/100


Restaurants come in many guises and Carousel is, in a typical way for many regional restaurants, one of those that is semi-detached to a motel. Carousel is simply a rather small dining room, fitted with very simple decor and a number of separate dining areas allowing reconfiguration for groups large or small, for casual dining or even for those who are interested in hiding a little bit in a corner somewhere and not draw attention. A bit like The Chameleon. 

First impressions were not positive. While The Chameleon is sure the motel is a very nice place to stay overnight, the Carousel restaurant is small and appears 'intimate', but it just doesn't work. There is hardly any parking, yet the Chameleon has never had trouble finding a spot to park his ride (this was approximately his fourth visit), confirming that Carousel is the type of restaurant where you probably don't need to make reservations. 

The staff were excellent. 'Chirpy' is the only way The Chameleon can describe the overall vibe from the waitresses, and the waitress who served The Chameleon did a very good job recommending dishes. Carousel presents as simple and uncomplicated, and although this can be an advantage for some venues, the small size of this restaurant required further thought into the decor. While there were some things to look at around the room,  and the chandeliers added a touch of class, the lighting was just all wrong and the overall feel suffered as a consequence of this simple approach 

It pains The Chameleon to say that once again, a Toowoomba based restaurant has delivered uninspiring and discordant food. 

Things started well; the entrees were presented briskly, getting The Chameleon's hopes up that he may finally give away his third 80-90 score for Toowoomba. And they tasted good, very good in fact. While simple and 'no frills', The Chameleon's taste buds soared when he sampled the very well made bruschetta; it was fresh, the right acidity, the right amount. If the meal had finished then and there, The Chameleon would have walked away a very happy camper. Unfortunately, some disappointments followed.  

The Chameleon ordered the special, which on this particular day was the salmon. The Chameleon often orders this, as it's a great litmus test for most restaurants. It was somewhat pricey on the menu, but then again, so is everything else at Carousel. When it did come to the table, the waitress remembered where I sat (and obviously what I ordered) and kudos again to the friendly staff. The salmon was actually quite good in places. The skin was crispy and 'just right', but the flesh of the fish was cooked inconsistently. Some parts were nice and juicy, while some of it was way overcooked. The sides were minimalist and when you see a small piece of fish, you expect some fill; The Chameleon did not get his money's worth on this night. Unfortunately there was very little and regrettably nothing outstanding on the plate.   

When the dessert was sampled, The Chameleon's heart sunk, as he knew the final score would not equate to that wonderful bruschetta at the start of the evening. The dessert, which The Chameleon won't name (because he has forgotten what it was called), was very poor. Dry was the only way to describe the biscuit portion and there was not much of the ice cream to balance it out. In retrospect, had he covered the biscuits with the ice cream and waited slightly longer, it may have worked, but seriously, The Chameleon does not go to restaurants to cook, that's the Chef's job!

Carousel started promising little, rose to great heights early on, but unfortunately faded somewhat dismally by the end of the evening. The food was barely passable and hence very much overpriced for what The Chameleon consumed over the evening. Another case of an expensive 'once visit' motel restaurant in regional Queensland. 59/100

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