Chambar is a stylish and hip restaurant downtown that offers Belgian cuisine in a fun and lively atmosphere.
I came here for dinner with my wife. The place is cool, the staff is very knowledgeable and the menu options (the food as well as the belgian beer list) are awesome.
Appetizer: I had the $23 Mussels Congolaise. The portion was generous, mussels were large, juicy, perfectly cooked.. but the broth wasn't as great. When I get a good broth with my mussels I drink it like a soup but not this time. The fries that came with the mussels were excellent, some of the best I've ever had.
Entree: I had the $29 Braised Lamb Shank. This was kind of different, the lamb was served in a broth. The dish was very tasty, a lot of flavor here.
Dessert: I had the $11 Chocolate Creme Brulee with espresso ice cream. This was a very nice dessert.
With 1 belgian beer each, tip and tax the meal comes to $185
Overall I think it's a cool place with great food as well as great food and drink options to choose from. I'll be back someday.
Locals in Gastown have a good thing with Medina, Dirty Apron and Chambar at their door steps. The DOV $38 menu was fabulous opportunity to experience Chambar and their standby favorites.
For starters, my companion and I ordered: (i) Carpaccio de Thon Rouge Charred yellow fin tuna Carpaccio, shiso & sesame pesto, shaved Parmesan, Meyer lemon & jalapeño vinaigrette and (ii) the Cappuccino de Champignon Forest mushroom soup, truffle foam, herb goat cheese croquette. Beautifully plated and servings are small but appropriate for rich food with lots of flavour. The tuna Carpaccio is as good as any I’ve tried. The soup is poured at the table so the croquette stays crunchy. Pretty fancy comfort food!
For our entrees, we had (i) Duo de Boeuf Moroccan braised beef short ribs, chick pea charmoula, grilled kabob, spiced zucchini, mint & cilantro salad and (ii) L'omble de L'Arctique Crisp Arctic char, curried risotto, pickled cucumber, yogurt & eggplant caviar. The short rib came with the bone removed and quite tender in reduction juice. The lamb with humus was “gamely” but not overwhelming. Arctic char is like “salmon” but I loved the crispness of it. The risotto was a tad undercooked and salty (maybe it was the caviar?) but nothing a drink couldn’t wash down.
To end the night, we had Americano coffee with (i) Le Fromage a selection of BC cheese and (ii) Parfait au citron frozen lemon soufflé, coconut dacquoise, toasted meringue, pie crust ice cream. The cheese was gobbled up before I could taste much of it but comes with pear, blueberry jam, in-house crisps and sampling of nuts. My lemon soufflé had a light coconut crust base and complimented well with a dollop of vanilla ice cream and almond slices. You don't realize how rich it is until you're finish.
The service was attentive and we finished our 3 course meal within 1.5 hr. The atmosphere was cozy and casual. The room is small, retaining the old world charm of Gastown (brick & mortar) but has nice modern touches. Check it out if you’re in this historic part of town and want to try European cuisine.
Four of us went to Chambar this past Saturday night. It's on 500-block Beatty (same as the Stadium SkyTrain station). I had eaten here once, before a concert 3 years ago, but didn't remember much from my earlier visit.
The first impression - and it remains throughout the visit - is of a warm and inviting room with high ceilings, great lighting and a general positive vibe. The narrow front room leads past a bar and into the larger dining room in the back.
Service was friendly and attentive, mostly there when we needed them and leaving us alone when we didn't.
Everyone agreed the food was good. We had an assortment of scallops, crab, chicken and pots of mussels (their specialty), all of which was delicious.
As with most higher end restaurants these days, there wasn't a lot to choose from under $75 on the wine list, but we found a couple of gems in that range. They also have a terrific imported beer selection, so some of us sampled a few of those, as well.
The value is solid. It's not inexpensive, but Chambar is worth it for a small group to have a nice night out and talk over a few hours of tasty food and drink.
Went to Chambar with my brother the other night. The service was prompt and friendly, I was led to a seat right away. Loved the ambiance in the restaurant, it was quite hip and modern; the lighting inside was dim but not too dark.
We ordered the spiced fois gras terrine to start, then the coquette moules frites, and after much consideration, ended our great meal with the Symphonie Tropicale. Out starter took no time to arrive. It was quite unique, because we've never had cold fois gras before. It was definitely a very unique experience for our palate, a GOOD unique experience! But it would be great if there was more of the brioche french toast to go with the fois gras, because on its own, it was quite salty, but the everything balanced perfectly when eaten with the brioche french toast.
Next came the moules frites. The fries were served with a dijon mayo, which we both enjoyed quite a bit. There were plently of mussels in the pot with plenty of bacon. The broth was quite flavourful and delicious and the mussels were cooked just right. We were just too full to order a side of bread to scoop up the reminder of the broth.
We were a little hesitant when it came to dessert, but after much deliberation, we decided to go with the Symphanie Tropicale, which was a coconut macaroon with passionfruit curd and pina colada sorbet. It was a pretty tiny dessert for $11 (we each had about 2 small bites), but it was just so perfect that we couldn't complain. The pina colada sorbet was so refreshing that it make us felt like we were on the beach! We really just wish there was more of it.
Great experience, would definitely go back to try other items on their menu. Or might just go there for drinks and dessert!
I brought a friend here for late dinner before we went to our houses and wasn't impressed. Service was slow, food was overpriced for what it was (I have had better at an airport hotel, with very few other options available in the area) and was just okay in terms of taste. The waitress kept looking at my blondie probably jealous. My wife would have devoured her. This is what I pay for? I've had better dinners and worse dinenrs but at least they are open late.
Went with a group in a situation I wasn't paying thankfully. Ordered a bison steak mid rare as recommended by the server. Although the service is absolutely fantastic, and the food was pretty good, until I'm old and am full off 200 calories worth of food I'll skip this place. Our portions were so tiny, and I even had a huge dessert after and was barely satiated. Definitely a pre-eating place, and I felt sort of out of place the entire time. Not because I was wearing sweat pants and couldn't afford it, but because I was wearing a dress and heels and other people were wearing very casual wear, while the servers were wearing stuff that looked like you would wear to bed or completely suited up. Had no idea how to dress!
Visited during a weekday after making reservations. Greeted upon entry and shown a table. Was able to switch as it wasn't the best which was appreciated. The menu is not too extensive and the appies didn't sound too appealing. The drink menu is 3x the size of the food menu. Chose the mussels in tomoto cream sauce. Very nice portions with good flavours. A few not opened which they should of checked. Had a taste of the duck breast which was very good as well as the lamb which was a just oK. Didn't like the couscous with the lamb. Service throughout was excellent and the side rooom in the back was perfect. Value was not there as the mains were $25+ and for what you received, not worth it.
Food: My dining compadre loved the veal (close to ordering a second portion!) and I wasn't that hungry and so ordered the Congolaise mussels for the both us which turned out to be quite good and with a large portion of mussels. Dessert was the highlight - we ordered the passion de chocolat and it was sublime. Rich chocolate cake with a sorbet on the side - a great way to end the night. The people sitting beside us raved about their desserts and now I can see why.
Service: Friendly and attentive but not overbearing - the perfect balance.
Value: portions were small - if I had been hungry, our wallets would have been in trouble. Large plates, small cuts of meat and very few filler veggies. The veal was described to have fingerling potatoes and what we got were 4 small little discs of potato, that all added up would have amounted to just 1 single small fingerling potato! Drinks were ridiculously overpriced for what was received. The saving grace is that the mussels were actually quite plentiful, so don't miss out on those.
Ambiance: great space but not acoustically pleasing - everything was very loud and the way the tables were packed tightly together meant that we were in listening distance to others and it made it difficult to carry on an intimate conversation. A whole mish mash of people, many of whom who thought they were god's gift to the world (to the couple sitting beside us who laughed when a young girl slipped and fell, if you're reading this, you guys are douches and we can all see that you guys are posers, evidenced since by your ugly wallpaper patterned shirt and cheap Breitling model watch and your girl wearing a cheap Guess top thinking she was so classy).
Overall, I would return to this place and recommend others to come as well since the food was very good. I would, however, choose to sit in the corner if possible to distance myself from the mega douches that seem to be multiplying in this city.
Wow! I LOVED this place! We had a super expensive meal for a Sunday night ($120) but worth every penny. From beginning to end - Chambar was top notch. The different Belgian Beers really piqued our interests, and when we can afford more, we'll definitely try out the rest of the beer menu. Of course you can't forget trying one of their signature dishes Moules-Frites - Congolaise: Mussels cooked with fresh tomato, smoked chilli & cilantro with a touch of coconut cream and lime. So yummy! Even after that large dish, we both ordered an entree each - I had the black cod/sablefish & my hubby had the duck. Very unique side pairings and the taste & texture very good. Above all the best thing that ended the evening was the Gaufre Liegoise - Belgian waffle with housemade white chocolate ice cream, chocolate sauce, blueberry compote & cocoa tuile. OMG - we've never eaten a dessert this quickly - it was sooo delicious! They took it off the regular menu but our super awesome waitress somehow sneaked it in for us. =) What a great way to end the meal. Can't wait to go back for more!
After numerous aborted attempts, finally went to Chambar to celebrate a birthday.
I love the room (the brick walls, natural wood tables and the leather seating).
Our servers we pleasant, charming, and attentive.
I ordered the seared scallop appy, the mussels & fries entree, and the chocolate passion dessert. All were delicious, although I found the mussels a bit too smoky for my palate (lots of bacon).
My dining companions ordered the poutine side, flatiron steak, veal tenderloin, and the venison. For dessert they had the tropical flan, the Belgian waffles and the chocolate mousse cake.
As we are apt to do, every sampled each other's dishes, and we had glowing comments all around.
4 of us went to have dinner here, based on the rave reviews. We were not disappointed. Every dish was excellent, as was the wine, and overall, for the price they charge, it was good value for money. The decor is upscale casual, and the only drawback is that the place was very noisy, but that's what you get at a casual restaurant. Despite the noise, I quite enjoyed the atmosphere here. Somehow, one is made to feel very comfortable. If you sit in the back, there is a decent view out the window.
Nice blend of flavours in most dishes. I'm normally not a mussel person, but I'd have to say, I really do enjoy the mussels here. You really can't go wrong. So tasty and the sauce is so soupy, that you feel like slurping that up, too! Great for dipping and great for eating as is, and the added sea salt makes it even more delicious.
The halibut is really good--lightly battered, as tasty as the best fish & chips out there.
I'd avoid the foie gras de canard served terrine style here though as it wasn't very satisfying and definitely not worth the heartfailure thereafter from having consumed something so rich in fat. I don't know if it's because it's duck or what. Also, as far as duck goes, I'd also recommend passing on the duck breast. Way too chewy, and fatty, but somehow still a little dry... and again, chewy to the point where I just stopped eating it after the first bite.
The portions are fair and the prices are alright.
Good solid service. Nice lively casual atmosphere in the middle of a quiet street.
I have eaten and enjoyed beverages here on a dozen occasions in the past two years.
Having read the reviews of previous customers I can agree that this is a downtown,pretentious,
restaurant that is on the expensive side for the quantity of the dishes per order.
Now ,this is my experience. Outstanding service, and allthough I don't order muscles I understand
they are the finest in the city, and they look that way.
Presentation is nearly perfect, quantity will leave the suberb (Keg customer) dissapointed i would
think as the servings are small.
At the end of the day, service and quality of food are outstanding in my opinion, value is not great
and ambiance is big city fun.
I keep returning,
I celebrated Valentines Day here with the gf, and about time as I've been raving to her about a few of their standout dishes I've had here in the past.
Reservations were a must on this evening and we were seated immediately upon arrival with our coats checked. Decor is fantastic and can suit either a quiet or noisy dining experience, though this restaurant has taken upon the latter. Ambience continues to be borderline loud. I wouldn't say it's unbearable nor would you have to shout across your small table but a truly quiet evening out would be out of the question here (perhaps I am biased as I noticed they played a lot of my favourite music: Earth, Wind, Fire, Temptations, Isley Brothers). People must remember that this is not a fine dining establishment and compare it to others as such. This is most definitely a hotspot for the Downtown hip crowd therefore there are touches of ostentatiousness here and there.
We quickly picked out our dishes: the Venison Shortloin Carpaccio to start, the Congalaise, Artic Char and Lamb Tajine to share with the Pear Toffee Pudding to finish. My gf had the Blue Fig Martini while I had a bottle of Celis White. The venison was subtle and was accompanied well with the mild root vegetable julienne and chevril. The mussels are impeccable. Our Congalaise had a generous amount heat from the chilis while the lime and tomato pairing toned down the richness of the coconut milk. Copious amount good to share with 3 people. The frites on the side are not enough to sop up all the sauce - order the fresh, crusty house roll to soak up the rest. The Arctic Char was buttery smooth, and the lentil ragout was again a nice pairing, however ragout being a misnomer as the butter sauce was fairly thin. The fall-off-the-bone lamb shank was unlike anything you'd normally see done to lamb. The honey, cinammon and figs steer the lamb into a rich medley of sweet and savoury flavours, with the yogurt and African red chili pairings on the side help offset your tastebuds with a cool or hot linger. The toffee pudding could prop itself better as a finisher for our meal but was overall a nice, light offset.
Prices lean on the expensive side though the few standout dishes are worth the extra coin.
The service could step it up some to align itself with the better restaurants in town, but I'd hardly call it terrible. Service is somewhat casual though the ambience tends to call for it. Our server was polite and followed up after every dish (they sent out one dish at a time which we really appreciated).
What makes this restaurant so good are the unique pairings of ingredients you wouldn't normally find elsewhere, with a few dishes that make them memorable. To be truly above the pack refinements can be made all over though I think they're happy with how it is now. Their only flaw might be their hype.
Eminently good. Highly Recommend.
I'm a big fan of their mussels steamed in white wine. I also tried the duck and while it was done perfectly, the flavours weren't really anything new. All in all, a great place with consistent quality.
The blue fig martini is really good, albiet a little strong for me.. I prefer their pear martini (which isn't on the menu anymore but if you ask the bartender will make it)
Me and my friend came here for the last week of DOV 2012. Been to over 10 restaurants since DOV 2012 began. So we kinda have an idea or expectation that it might not be as good as regular times. However, this is seriously worst DOV experience we ever ever had!! Where should I begin? The 20 min wait for the table even we already made the reservation or mediocre food or the worst part the server didn’t explain the DOV menu then charged us the full prices for one appy and one main course? I will just describe the worst the part. Like normal customers, me and my friend both ordered appy, main course and dessert separately. Here is the key point, I added Foie gras and 8 oz steak on the side as it appeared on the “DOV menu” Foie Gras (add $8) under appetizer section and 8 oz steak (add $10) under main course section. At the point, the server still didn’t say or explain anything. So I just assumed extra 8 dollars more for the Foie Gras cuz that’s how it is on Five Sails restaurant DOV menu. I’ll skip complaining the food part, otherwise I will be writing an essay here. So till the bill came, we were charged full prices on Foir Gras (just one piece) for $18 and 8 oz steak for $48 (even Gotham T bones only costs $48!) We talked to the waitress. She merely said what I ordered is the 3rd appy and 3rd main course and we only have 2 ppl so they have to be charged full prices. There are no fine prints or any explanation saying full prices be4 I ordered the 3rd dishes and did I even mention earlier it’s under DOV menu!! We know it is NOT how it works on other upscale restaurants we’ve been too. So we paid whatever it’s on the bill and decide not going back forever. I think ppl out there should be aware this is how they run their restaurant. Terrible service.
We had been we a few times in the past for birthdays and other special dates so when a friend and his wife came up from Portland and we went there we were happy enough with the food, the service was definitely slower than in the past which was sad as we all know the cost we pay when we go here, (we expect to be treated well for the money we are spending), the plates finally start to arrive on the table and my husband were shocked how things had changed, portions had changed, not to mention something I asked to have removed due to allergies was still in there, when the waiter finally made his way back over to the table I told him and he was smug and finally after I stood up (I was going to find a manager) he finally took it back to the kitchen to replace it, I guess he expected me to eat it after all, after it was all said and done the manager was involved and we all ended up with free desert (whipped dee doo) ... we were all hungry after we left there.
It’s no longer the same and it’s no longer worth the wait.
Every now and then I get a craving for the mussels and fries at Chambar. However, on my most recent visit, the service was unusually slow and unattentive. Perhaps the reason is because we sat in the front bar area instead of the back where the main restaurant is?
The food was a let down this time as well. My bucket of mussels was loaded with unopened mussels. Must have been a bad batch. It made me afraid to eat the ones that did open.
I'm not a beer drinker but my friends are and they universally give high praise to the beer menu in this place.
I'll probably give it one more try in a few months since I've been really happy here in the past.
Spent a birthday dinner for two here. Despite it being a Tues. night, it was relatively busy. The staff were wonderfully accomodating. We were seated in the lounge area in a nice cosy little enclave. The Belgian Beers were exemplary and delicious. Both of us being vegetarian, our choices were limited. However, they were very accomodating again to the extent of giving us two choices which did not include the usual boring Risotto offering that most restaurants provide. The food was some of the best gourmet vegetarian we have ever had. The service was fantastic!! Definitely going back.
So, i've been slowly working my way through the highest rated and best restaurants in Vancouver and tonight I finally made it to Chambar. I've heard it was good before but every time i tried to book it was either full or the times didn't work. This is my own fault as I always call on the night i'm going somewhere and just see who's got spaces available.
Anyway, as usual i called, they had a table in 3 hours at 9pm which was too late but i thought i'd just call down anyway and take a spot in the lounge which is drop in. On arrival, the lounge turned out to be a couple of knee height tables at the front door, more of a drinks spot and I didn't fancy a seat at a bar for a high end restuarnat like this. We were about to leave when the Maitre de cut us a break and gave us a table in the main restuarant, which was, to be fair, completely full. SO, Great start!
For the starters we had some fish carpachio which was better than any beef carpacchio i have ever tried... If i hadn't known i would never have guessed it was fish actually.. Truly amazing flavours and tastes. My wife had the Terrine, which was smooth, creamy and served with what looked like french toast, which actually tasted better than the pate.. both beautiful. My daughter had a tapas selection, loved the shrimp, but a bit suspicious of the chilli and anchovy sauce.. I tried it and it was ok, but to be fair i'd never eaten a whole chilli before... Not my thing normally.
Mains we had Steak, Lamb and duck breast for my daughter. All were honestly amazing, with outstanding presentation and little accompaniments for sides that i'd never seen before.. Cool bruscettas, cus cus and some sort of mini dumpling.
Overall the experience was fantastic. Enough so that i felt compelled to write my first review of a restaurant despite trying pretty much all of the top ones in Vancouver.
Pricewise this place ain't cheap costing about $250 for the three of us including one glass of wine and one beer but for me, defiantly worth it