Chameleon is cocktail bar and restaurant by Carson Xie and Eddy Yang, two talented mixologists/operators who are among the best in the business.

Chameleon is cocktail bar and restaurant in Shanghai by mixologists Carson Xie and Eddy Yang.
Eddy Yang and Carson Xie
(Image provided)

The Space & Concept

The founders wanted the space to feel like a home away from home and have modeled the bar, lounge, and dining room to look and feel like you’re in someone’s apartment.

Chameleon is cocktail bar and restaurant in Shanghai by mixologists Carson Xie and Eddy Yang. Photo by Rachel Gouk.
Chameleon is cocktail bar and restaurant in Shanghai by mixologists Carson Xie and Eddy Yang. Photo by Rachel Gouk.
Chameleon is cocktail bar and restaurant in Shanghai by mixologists Carson Xie and Eddy Yang. Photo by Rachel Gouk.

Why “Chameleon” you ask? They’ll be changing the food and drink concept every six months, inspired by their travels to different countries. They’ll be drastically changing the food and drink (and decor) every six months, rotating themes inspired from their travels to Southeast Asia, the Americas, and beyond.

The first stop is China.

Food & Drink at Chameleon

The menus are largely Shanghai-inspired, but also include influences from Jiangnan (bamboo ham soup), Guangzhou (ginger chicken and char siu), and Sichuan (hotpot spices and pickled cabbage), and Yunnan (plateau rose).

Chameleon is cocktail bar and restaurant in Shanghai by mixologists Carson Xie and Eddy Yang. Photo by Rachel Gouk.
Yellow Claw Gimlet (¥80) – A twist on gimlet. Made with sanai (sand ginger) infused gin, homemade citrus juice, and lime. Tastes like “Sichuan style pickled pepper chicken feet”.
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Drinks are infallible, obviously, with the two mavens at behind the bar. The menu lists a cornucopia of China-sourced ingredients and infused spirits that peaks the interest of even the most discerning imbibers. Of these include a murraya and coriander seed infused vodka, another with black pepper and xiangsha (a Chinese medicinal pill), corn-smoked whisky, and rye whiskey infused with cumin and bay leaf.

Cocktails range from ¥80-100, wines by the glass start at ¥80, bottles from ¥380.

Cocktails at Chameleon, a cocktail bar and restaurant in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk.
Pickled Bloodless Mary (¥80) – Vodka infused with black pepper and xiangsha herb infusion, pickled cabbage and Bloody Mary spice, Sichuan peppercorn, aged vinegar.
Cocktails at Chameleon, a cocktail bar and restaurant in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk.
Punk Preserve (¥90) – Irish whisky, angelica, goji berry, codonopsis or dangsheng (the poor man’s ginseng), New English spice cranberry bitters.

Food is a mix of East and West. They have a wide selection of cold starters that double as bar snacks, hot starters, main courses, meats and seafood from the charcoal grill, and a late night snack menu. It’s all very polished.

Salmon at Chameleon, a cocktail bar and restaurant in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk.
King Salmon Carpaccio (¥150) with pomelo avocado, capers, sour cream.
Food at Chameleon, a cocktail bar and restaurant in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk.
Surf & Turf Tartare (¥120) – Beef and tuna tartare with sesame oil and fried rice cake. Lovely bar snack, especially with the rice cakes.
Dinner  at Chameleon, a cocktail bar and restaurant in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk.
Five Spice Chicken (¥70) – Free-range chicken, cucumber, garlic crumbs, scallion and peppers. A highlight.
Foie Gras at Chameleon, a cocktail bar and restaurant in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk.
Caramel Foie Gras Torchon (¥100) with coffee negroni jelly, cranberry jam, bread.
Dinner at Chameleon, a cocktail bar and restaurant in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk.
Cod From Mama’s Kitchen (¥260) – Black cod, Shanghai-style bamboo soup, salted ham.
Lobster  at Chameleon, a cocktail bar and restaurant in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk.
Lobster Green Rice (¥300) – Maine lobster, Iberian ham, mango, lemongrass sauce.
Prawns at Chameleon, a cocktail bar and restaurant in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk.
Tiger Prawns (¥220/three) – Comes with a side dish (¥30); mashed chestnuts, mashed potatoes, broccoli, mushroom, or fries.
Dinner at Chameleon, a cocktail bar and restaurant in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk.
Foie Gras Char Siu (¥180) – Seared foie gras with mushroom and pork neck, served with crepes to wrap. A favorite.
Lotus root  at Chameleon, a cocktail bar and restaurant in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk.
Hazelnut Butter Fried Frog (¥90) with crispy lotus root and Sichuan spices.
Mussels at Chameleon, a cocktail bar and restaurant in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk.
Blue Mussel Seafood Stew (¥240) with white wine and herbs

In Summary

It’s an ambitious and challenging idea, and a playful way to keep things fresh in a city with ever-growing demands for something “new” all the damn time. Food at Chameleon is very tasty, however, it’s expensive. Granted, ingredients like foie and lobster do tend to jack up the price.

Favorites dishes: Five spice chicken, foie gras char siu, frog.

Favorite drink: Bloodless Mary.

You’re here for the drinks, the amicable ambiance, and the warmth and wit of Eddy and Carson.

Chameleon is cocktail bar and restaurant in Shanghai by mixologists Carson Xie and Eddy Yang.
(Image provided)

Chameleon
Address: 5/F, 90 Shaanxi Nan Lu, near Jinxian Lu 陕西南路90号5楼, 近进贤路
Tel: 18221859081
Hours: 6pm-1am