Sunday, 19 February 2012


Chambar is rated as one of the most romantique restaurants in Vancouver, and what better time to taste this restaurant than on Valentine's Day?

Honestly, I had such a love hate relationship with this restaurant I actually got a little ticked off inside. I loved the decor, loved the atmosphere, loved the vibe of Chambar... but I cannot say the food is for everyone. 

AMBIANCE | If you could only describe Chambar in a sentence, it would be something like sexy romantic... cozy but mysterious... utterly charming. 
The dining portion of the restaurant is a long L shape, the entrance decorated with small couches, ideally the beer lounge. As you move towards the back (where we sat) tables got larger and it was a gorgeous dimly lit dining room. The overall ambiance is rosy burgundy, bricks and vines... mysterious but cozy. I'd definitely come again just to breathe the environment again. 

Mr. F ordered - Les coquilles St. Jaques - Seared scallops, smoked kurobuta pork cheek, pickled cheek, pickled green beans and horseradish vinaigrette
Bison et Choron fume - Peppercorn crusted bison flatiron, wild forest mushrooms, caramelized baby potatoes, cornichons, smoked tomato bearnaise

I ordered - Venison Shortloin Carpaccio - (removed from online menu apologies for forgetting the ingredients)
Taijine d'aziz a l'agneau - Braised lamb shank with honey, figs, cinnamon & cilantro, served with cous cous and zalouk

Paired with Gruen '09 Riesling White
Menu found here

FOOD | Now the genre of food is European mixed fusion food (or that's what I'd call it). They are most famous for their Belgian beer and Moules Frites - which I did not try, I had white wine instead. I have heard wonderful things about their Moules Frites being the best in Vancouver, I will definitely return to try.
But as for their dining appetizers and main courses, I have a bit of a funny story. Mr. F ended up swapping appies because he didn't fancy his appie so much, and I swapped my main course with him because fancy my main course. The server noticed our switch-a-roo and we sparked at cute conversation. 
From the ingredients, I could tell the chef did a thoughtful job of putting together fusion pairings on the menu. But I cannot say the tasting suites everyone, at least not all the tastes suited me and Mr. F. The scallops were amazing, Mr. F didn't prefer the pickled cheeks and picked green beans. My braised lamb shank was cooked to a tender meat, but I would've preferred a difference sauce and herbs. That said, the Venison (similar to deer) Carpaccio and Bison were definitely more universal items in terms of flavour, which I enjoyed more.

Universality can be a positive and negative thing to restaurants. By all means, it makes no impact towards the rating of culinary skills, rather the restaurant should be rated on a different scale. Ethnic foods are full with flavour and culture, unfamiliarity on my part only makes me sound extremely ignorant. I am not disappointed, rather I can say I was surprised. That said, I will return to Chambar, there are plenty of other delicious foods on the menu that are awaiting me to try, the Moules Frites and Belgian beer for sure. 

562 Beatty Street
Vancouver, BC
Chambar on Urbanspoon

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