Chameleon Junction is a place where the owners’ principles hold strong; from emphasising sustainable practices, to refusing to bend to the assumed requirements a venue needs to survive in Melbourne.
The eatery doesn't have smashed avocado on its menu. Don’t expect to find any almond milk, either.
Instead there are pea fritters with poached egg, smoked almond crumb and goat’s cheese – a bestseller. Vegan black porridge is also on offer, with wild rice, black rice and quinoa, caramelised banana, macadamia granola and coconut yoghurt.
After 11am you’ll find dishes such as the sesame soba noodles with greens, marinated tofu and enoki mushroom, as well as gnocchi with sage, brussel sprouts and roasted root vegetables.
True to its name, Chameleon Junction morphs throughout the day, opening as a cafe, then transforming into a restaurant and bar at night. Importantly, the kitchen stays open continually, with no break in service.
Co-owner and head chef “Tinka” Lander’s father played a huge role in the fit-out, recycling timber from his farm to make Chameleon Junction’s four-metre-long communal table, the panelling on the back wall, and the bar countertop – all with his own hands.
Chameleon Junction supplies food to nearby bottle-o Grape and Grain during its wine bar nights. Grape and Grain sends beers back the other way. The wine list is curated by co-owner Harriet Pellizzer and features wines to complement the menu’s Mediterranean and Asian flavours.