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.

Cafe Greco

Overall score: 71/100 
Café Greco South Yarra on Urbanspoon

It's been a while now since The Chameleon put on his "now I'm a food critic" hat and the number of restaurants he has cast his eyes over in this role is growing by the day. It was no surprise then that an uneasy tenseness enveloped The Chameleon as he walked through the doors of Cafe Greco on Chapel Street in South Yarra.


The feeling came from the basic of basics; lighting. This particular diner was enveloped in a weird, soft but bright, dull but vibrant, interesting but uneasy, glow. The Chameleon can only describe it as "not right". It was bright, The Chameleon will concede. Bright to such a level that an absence of mood became apparent. BUT, at the same time, this absence of mood did just created mood. Very difficult to explain, but perhaps more importantly, very difficult to not notice during the meal. The feeling of unease did subside throughout the evening and that is exactly why the experience of this long and narrow restaurant is difficult to summarise. 

The staff were friendly and accommodating, a little bit clumsy with describing menu items, but again, nothing out of the mundane for what seems to be atypical service across most of Australia. But yes, smiling, friendly and doing their best.  

Entrees  were of a high standard; the Chameleon is noticing that most restaurants are seemingly getting this part of their meals right and so it was with Greco. A highlight here was definitely the garlic bread, one of the best he has ever eaten.  
On The Chameleon's main dish plate, the risotto presented before him was actually of quite a high standard. This one was chunky, but in a good way, great balance of flavours and presented nicely. The finite balance between oily and creamy was achieved, the serving size was spot on. The Chameleon was finally happy after a bit of a wait (close to three weeks) for a decent main dish for dinner. 

The Chameleon was also able to sample one other dish; a lasagna. The easiest way to describe this disaster of a meal is for him to think of a "Black and Gold" lasagna. Go on, go and buy yourself one of these low cost frozen meals, whack it in the microwave and see what Cafe Greco serves up. It did present well and was of course thicker than that piece of frozen mundaneness, but the cheese and the textures were replicated here. Very much a disappointment. So it was lucky that, this time, a restaurant got it right on The Chameleon's plate.   

The prices were on the steeper side but not too drastic and The Chameleon would happily pay for the delicious garlic bread and risotto again next time he is in Melbourne. Can he look past the lighting? That's a separate proposition.


Cafe Greco did well overall. OK, the mood was unique, perhaps not to some people's liking, but others may enjoy the experience. The food overall, quite acceptable. The summary question is; would The Chameleon visit again? Hmmm....yes. 71/100   

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