Sherman's Food Adventures: Chambar


I was both hungry and tired after playing hockey this afternoon. Viv had report cards to do, so I was without a dining partner. Not to worry, never fear, from out of thin air; whipping girl appears!!! Yes, I found a willing dining partner in whipping girl. We were trying to decide on a restaurant for a little while. You'd think it wouldn't be this hard! She suggested Chambar, just as I was thinking of it! Excellent! I've been meaning to visit Chambar for quite some time. Mind you, there are lots of places I've been meaning to visit! Before I picked up whipping girl, I took the opportunity to get some exterior photos of establishments that I never go a chance to take. Yes, people were looking at me like I was some weirdo. Anyways, a good thing about Chambar is that parking is quite plentiful in the area. We parked only half a block away.

We started with the Les Crevettes de la Colombie Britannique (BC Spot Prawns 3 Ways). The first set of prawns were coated with panko and fried. These were cooked perfectly retaining the texture of the prawn, while providing a solid crunch on the outside. The second way was citrus oil poached with grapefruit wedges. It was both refreshing and flavourful. The third way was a curried bisque. This was an extremely luxurious and rich concoction. We wish we had much more of it.

Next up were the Moule Frites Coquotte (Mussels and Fries). We substituted our frites with the Poutine a la Belge. Let me say that the poutine was fabulous! It was quite different than the ones you'd find at a fast food joint. First of all, the fries were very crispy so that they held up to the demi-glace. The strong flavours were complex due to the use of blue cheese and cilantro. There are 3 ways you could choose to have the mussels perpared: Coquotte, Vin Blanc or Congolaise. The one we choose, coquotte, was a broth consisting of white wine cream, smoked bacon and spring onions. The broth was wonderfully aromatic and rich. I guess anything with bacon fat is delicious! We had to order some bread to take advantage of the broth. The mussels themselves were large and sweet.

The last dish was definitely a case of "saving the best for last". Le Canard Aux Epices (Five Spice Rubbed Duck Breast) was beautifully presented in 3 large pieces atop truffled goat cheese green beans, orange spiced beats and walnut mashed potatoes. The duck was cooked perfectly, with each piece being buttery smooth. The duck skin was nicely charred and with the five spice added a nice smokiness. The green beans were fresh and crunchy. Mixed with the goat cheese and truffles, it was mouthful of flavours. We could've eaten much more that. The walnut mash potatoes were also a highlight, resembling taro with the crunch of walnuts.

We really enjoyed our meal at Chambar. The flavours were unique and really worked. The service was impeccable, being casual and professional at the same time. Naturally, all this comes at a cost. But we felt it was worth every penny. I wasn't hungry after the meal (thus no searching for a Filet-o-Fish) and I went away impressed.

The Good:
- Bold flavours
- Casual and upscale at the same time
- Food was impressive

The Bad:
- A tad pricey (but I thought it was worth it)
- Bread should be complimentary

Chambar Restaurant on Urbanspoon


La Petite Vancouver said...

I always wanted to try Chambar but just didn't have a chance to. It is a lil hard to find a partner for a fine dining restaurant lol

Sherman Chan said...

Absolutely! I am very fortunate to have quite a few dining partners who are willing to spend lots of $$$.

Unknown said...

This one is a favourite - I'll use any excuse to drag the boyfriend there! But there is a way to do it on the cheap - show up at 6 to avoid the crowd and share a pot of the congolaise mussels at the bar. The congolaise broth is made of tomatoes, cumin, coconut milk and garlic and cilantro - and too delicious not to eat like soup during, and even after all the mussels are gone. Plenty of food for two as long as you aren't pigs, and the staff aren't bothered, especially if you just dash in and out and leave a good tip. In my opinion, the best mussels in the city.

Sherman Chan said...

Thanks for the tip about the mussels! I love the food at Chambar despite what others have remarked...

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