Chambar is a stylish and hip restaurant downtown that offers Belgian cuisine in a fun and lively atmosphere.
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.
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
So this is supposed to be the classy restaurant of Vancouver? I'll stick with Crocodile thankyou!! I guess people are equating expensive-for-no-reason with classy. Their seafood specialties are average. Mussels? How much? For what? In this tiny room? From the unsmiling waitress? Why am I waiting this long?
I feel that this restaurant might have been good at one time but that time, if it ever existed, has passed. Now people who do not know try to impress people who should know by going here. Expensive for NO reason
Recommended by local acquaintances so I tried this place out on a week night. Good buzz going on and the staff was friendly. The mussels were first class but the cous cous lamb was not spectacular. Our server was knowledgable and friendly, even recommending places to dine and see.
The food is not good, went there twice just too make sure that I didn't just have a one bad meal. When told the server that I can not eat the side meat that came with the fish he said he can bring fries instead but will have to charge for them. Both times coudn't eat my $30 main course, service is poor and overall after dinner we were hungry and had to go get some take out. Really recommand to stay away.
I've been at Chambar for dinner a couple of times and I have to say I always enjoyed it.
Last time I went I ordered the trio of appetizer which included escargot. It was the first time for me to eat snails and I really enjoyed it. For main course I ordered the venison it was cooked medium rare to perfection and served with different type of sauces. The mustard based sauce was absolutely amazing (and this comes from someone that don't usually like mustard).
My girlfriend is vegetarian and at the beginning were were a little disappointed that there were no vegetarian disces what so ever on the menu. The waiter tho was very help full that they cooked up a custom disc for her to order.
The ambience is really romantic although a little too busy during weekends.
Service was excellent throughout and the price on the expensive side.
I would definitely recommend Chambar for a special romantic dinner or just to enjoy some excellent food.
Had dinner with 4 friends on a Thursday evening and it was a full house at 6 pm! I started off the blue fig cocktail and was amazed to find how well it paired with the blue cheese it came with. My entree congolaise moules frites was more than enough for one person but if you share, you need more of their deliicious frites. Even when I was full and there must have been at least a dozen mussel remaining, I kept eating and slurping the lovely broth. There was enough room to share the pear puree and ginger ice cream with a lovely panna cotta. The other entrees - sablefish and duck - were beautifully presented. The service was friendly. Next visit with be with hubby ... craving the sablefish or maybe I'll try the pork
My husband made us reservations for our 1st anniversary two weeks in advance. We were both very excited. When we arrived we expected to be given a great table and maybe a "Happy Anniversary" wish. We were given a table in the back corner and there was no mention of our anniversary.
The cocktails were fantastic. Truly the only reason to visit this restaurant. My husband had the Blue Fig Martini and it was served with blue cheese! So good. I had the Dr. Groucho a tequila cocktail and it was delicious. My husband also tried the Satan beer, again delicious. Unfortunately when we asked the server if he could recommend a cocktail or a beer he said no. Luckily we made good choices on our own.
The food however was flat out gross. We had the bison carpaccio and at $17 this plate of bland thinly sliced meat left us creeped out by the "douglas fir emulsion" squirted on top. It tasted like tree sap and looked like tadpole goo.
The mussels were okay but I've had far better for less than $22.
Our entree was the worst. A disgusting blend of flavours with an arctic char, crab cannelloni and zucchini salad. What sounded delicious on the menu was a pretentious display of gourmet over-creativity. There's a reason you don't see absinthe bisque and large white tofu chunks in most cannelloni. There's a reason arctic char is usually served with a sauce instead of a pickled mystery-vegetable topper.
We left disappointed and broke. Come here for a drink if you must, but eat somewhere else.
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.
My friends and I went to Chambar on a Sunday evening after a concert in the Playhouse Theatre. I had been to Chambar a few times and it had its occasions of hit-and-miss like most restaurants, but my meal on Sunday was great. Our server was patient and gave us very good recommendations on cocktails and beer. The only thing that didn't really hit the mark was dessert. It's not Chambar's strong point.
I have been several times at this place and never disappoints. Their menu is exiting and interesting...but the wine list is what keeps me coming back. Very sofisticated (great wines!)and not redicuously expensive.The best belgian beers too. Oh the mussels, cooked in three different ways!! The tagine is hugely popular and the rib-eye is to die for.
This was my second time at Chambar but this time, a bunch of friends and I decided to come here for dessert. I have to say that this place delivered a solid plated dessert at a reasonable price. I tried the Bleu et blanc. The combination of flavours was very well done, especially the plum and mousse. I did, however, find that the proportion of plum to mousse was lacking. I found the mousse to be quite heavy (blue cheese/white chocolate) and it needed more of the plum element to balance it. I did sample a bit of the Le gateau poire from a friend. The texture of the cake/pear compote was wonderful. I did feel that the compote could have had a bit more pear flavour, as it finished with the taste of plain sugar in the mouth. This was also the same with the lemongrass ice cream. Could have been more lemongrass and less sweetness. Nevertheless, great quality food, over the top service and atmosphere, will definitely come back soon!
My wife and I went late last night (around 11) to Chambar for the first time after rave reviews from friends. We were too late for the regular menu but could order an appetizer, so we went with the cheese plate and a couple of Belgian beers. The cheese plate had 3 cheeses, a blue, a cow's milk from Quebec and a Camembert. The Blue and the Quebec cheese were both good, nothing fantastic and the Camembert was virtually tasteless and served too cold in my opinion. The bread was a figgy sweet bread along with a grape compote. I felt a Belgian restaurant should have a fantastic cheese plate but this is what I could have created at home after going to the local Thrifty store. Bummer! Beers were good, and service was ok, nothing fantastic. Ambiance is wonderful.
i'll keep it short. the place is very trendy, which i like. the service sucked. the food was good, but took FAR too long to get there. 1/2 hour from ordering a bottle of wine to getting it to the table. again, part of the service. service is almost as important (to me) as the food. 2 out of 5 for me.
Was here a couple of months ago with 2 friends on a Monday night. Got there about 6:30pm and my friends were already there.( Had reservation). Our table was in the back area but the table seemed a bit small for 3 people. Couldn't move to a bigger table cuz the room was full. Ordered one of there martini specials and it was pretty good tho a bit pricey. We ordered mussels which were very good, foie gras appy which was the best I've had anywhere, really melted in your mouth as smooth as butter. I had the sable fish which was really tasty. We shared a dessert which was alright but I'm not a huge dessert person. Overall the food , service and ambience was great but the room was a bit loud. Highly recommended.
I've been here 4-5 times and every visit has been excellent. I usually start off with the Blue Fig martini, which comes with a little taste of crumbled stilton, and almost every time, someone at the table has ordered the Lamb Tagine - excellent. The mussels are incredible, with lots of sauce/necatr to sop up. Young, impossibly good-looking waitstaff. The back room, overlooking GM Place, has a good vibe and is usually filled to capacity, even on dreary weeknights. Highly recommend. cheers.