Chambar is a stylish and hip restaurant downtown that offers Belgian cuisine in a fun and lively atmosphere.
The service has probably impressed me the most about this place. My first visit I'd arranged for a few out-of-towners to meet me there. None of us realized we'd need a reservation and none were dressed anywhere near to the standards of the other patrons quite frankly. We looked more like we were going to White Spot. Nobody batted an eye, either staff or patron. I really appreciated that, as it was quite the self-concious moment. My next visit I went with a guy who was in town on business and had been there a few times already that week. We were given the king's treatment.
In terms of food, I'm still having sticker shock with regards to the price of mussels in this town, so maybe I shouldn't stress out too much about it. The moules congolaise were damn good but with many of my favourite ingredients I'd expect nothing less.
The beer list was solid, too, and gave me the opportunity to try out some interesting combinations. I'd like to see it expanded a bit to offer a greater range of combinations though.
We decided to try some Belgian food and found our way to this well reputed restaurant. As expected, the food is great and we'll definitely go back again. The moule frite is served generously with mussels in a very rich sauce. The Waterzoo (assorted seafood) includes sablefish, scallops, prawns, mussels and crab ravioli in a broth. I especially enjoyed the flavorful fish, although the dish itself was a little pricey given the portion size (I had to top it off with poutine - not your average Quebecois poutine, it used goat cheese, spices and a sweet gravy).
The dessert we had is the chocolate terrine, the hot fudge chocolate cake w/ caramel is really rich, contrasting the more humble terrine.
Again the mussel is a "must get".
Was in solo and sat at the bar and was really pleased with the treatment. You always hear of single diners being ignored. Definately not the case here. Service was attentive and informative. The beers are great, but the bellevue kriek was a little sweet for me. Moule frites "vin blanc" were yummy and the phyllo lamb was really good. (had a few martini's can't remember the details on dessert) Will definately be back.
This place needs no help from me, it's packed all the time! The cocktails are top shelf, the people outstanding and there is a real dedication to execution. Chef Nico is doing truly innovative cuisine, but with a fantastic maturity and a wonderful tip of the hat to classic approaches. Watch out for the bartender, he's nuts, and one of the best in the biz.
I have been to Chambar twice, and both times the service was exceptional. Attentive waiters, not too cool, and just the right amount of attention. The food has been excellent both times for myself and my friends. I also appreciate that they tell you at the time you book the table if there is a second sitting, and last time I was there we were having such a great time they just moved us to another area of the restaurant when the time came to give up our table. A great night out.
I came here on a date - it was beautiful! This place has great lighting, cool exposed brick, and has a romantic and intimate feeling. We ordered two mussel entrees, the Coquotte and Vin Blanc. The mussels were tender and juicy, and the dish was full of mussels - so definitely worth its price! I definitely liked the Coquotte better because it had more flavor. We ordered dessert - the Nico Flume. It was amazing. Soo sweet, and gorgeously rich. It was definitely good for sharing - we were both full afterwards! I really loved the wait staff too - they were all really nice, and there were a lot of them, so it was easy to flag someone down if necessary. They kept an eye on our water refills, and on our dishes full of empty mussel shells, so I found them really attentive but not overbearing. All of the waitstaff also looked really professional, youthful, energetic, attractive people. I don't know if it's wrong, but I like a place with young, twenty-something servers. I will be coming back for sure!
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.
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.
Hands down, Chambar is one of my favourite restaurants and never fails to impress. The first time I was here (about 3 years ago, we saw Pierce Brosnan! But that's another story...lol)
Excellent excellent moules & frites (definitely the tomato/coconut cream sauce one is my fave), as is the steak bourguignon.
They recently (?) expanded into the adjacent section...and have installed crazy-powerful hand-dryers in the washroom! (Try it for yourself, lol)
I am always excited to go here because the service is excellent and the food is even better. The waffles are to die for. I have tried many desserts and they are all so tasty. I don't have anything bad to say about this restaurant. Great place to go before a hockey game, it gets packed but they will try their best to accommodate you. I definitely recommend Chambar to anybody.
I'd seen how hard it is to make a reservation at Chambar through Opentable.com and it made me wonder how good it really was. Chambar wasn't anything like I had imagined, but I enjoyed it anyway. I was expecting some traditional Belgian/French cuisine but it turned out to be a pleasant mixture of contemporary & fusion food.
I really liked apple salad, which was sour just a bit, but it was a great starter for heighten our appetite. We ordered tomato & peach salad as well and it turned out to be pretty different, but in a good way. What really surprised me was that all dishes were very fragrant and one of the cocktails we ordered (it was customized and didn't have a name) had peach, chamomile and lavender and it smelled and tasted very nice.
Unfortunately the lamb I ordered turned out to be a bit of a let-down but steak bourguignon and the salmon was excellent. All of them were cooked medium rare and it was just perfect.
the dessert section was also different from traditional ones. We were a party of four and each of us ordered a different dish. Mine was a parfait and tasted like yogurt and gave a perfect finish to the main course.
Since the main meal I ordered was less than great so I'm still undecided regards to the matter of returning to Chambar. Still considering the excellent service and other main meals I sampled from my friends, I may venture once again into Chambar. I think the place deserves a second chance.
Came here with some friends about a month ago. The menu isn't bad but I found it to be quite rich, lots of cheeses in their courses. We ordered their infamous moule frites. The flavours were good, however, for a restaurant that's know for their mussel dish, you'd think the shellfish would be extremely fresh but it wasn't. I found the decor nice but way way too loud due to the echoing of the room. I would go again but it's not my first choice.
After reading some of the reviews below, I have to admit that I have almost nothing to contribute to this guide except,
-if you haven't been there, go
-if you can't afford it, then save up and go (within reason of course)
-if you live too far, go on your off day
I might have raised expectations a little too high with statements like these, but they are deserving to say the least. In my mind there is almost nothing better than hearty cuisine paired with excellent beer.
...they also throw great parties too!
I've been there twice to Chambar, and have dined in the back room twice.
My major complaint is that the waiters take forever to notice you, or pay attention to your needs, and kitchen is so slow, you could be stuck in this restaurant for hours. But that being the only bad part, I love the unpretentiousness of the staff, the relaxed atmosphere and ambiance encourages hours of conversations, and portions are definitely tiny and small, but every bite is just bursting with flavor and perfection to the tastebud. I haven't had a bad bite yet. The mussels are delicious, and braised short rib appetizer are 2-3 bite sizes each, but worth it.
For dinner, we had the memorable, La choucroute de la mer
Pan roasted black cod and smoked sablefish. I have never eaten fish so soft, and cooked to perfection...the combination with the mashed cauliflower, was something out of this world...
The dessert was equally as memorable. It was the Passion de Chocolate, warm chocolate brandy cake, white chocolate lime ganache & passion fruit sundae --Also, something completely unique, and the passion fruit sundae, was not your standard overly sweet type of creation, but the sauce was just...divine... this dessert has created a whole new craving/addiction for me. I will be definitely be back for more!
Got there on a Saturday night at 7:15pm with no reservations - full house - the hostess was very gracious - asked whether we will like to sit in the lounge. Comfy leather seats, low light, flickering candlelight, cool music - the tables were tight - but didn't feel crowded at all - more like among good friends - it was a warm and cozy room. I told my wife several times during dinner I didn't want to go home - one of the best ambiance in Vancouver.
Now the food - we had the coquille saint jacque - wow! very fresh scallops. went well with our Hoerhargan. next up - the mussels in tomato cream broth with fries - double wow! The mussels screamed Fresh Fresh! - so tender and juicy - I savoured every bite - and the soup was really flavourful with fresh spices. Went really well with our stellas. Last up was the duck - cooked medium rare - and this is where they missed - the duck was a little too rare to the point it was too chewy. The rice pilaf and spinach side was very good though. And because of this - I can only give them 4 stars - otherwise it would have been a 5.
Upon arriving at the restaurant, we realized it's not visible from any major street, so if you're not looking for it, you won't really see it.
The atmosphere is ambient. The front of the restaurant is a bar/lounge. Take a walk through the corridor where the kitchen service desks are, and you arrive in the back room, which is a dining room bustling with people. The explsed brick walls and city view through the huge windows are beautiful. The tables are a little small, squished in too close together, and not very comfortable.
Somehow the lounge in the front is way less noisy than the dining room in the back. My boyfriend and I could barely hear each other from across the little table we were seated at.
The servers were polite, knowledgeable, but not very attentative as we tried to get their attention a few times without avail. The food and wine service were slow to come and it was a nightmare to try and get our water glasses refilled.
All said and done, the food was great, the service solid. I'd definately go back, but would stay in the front of house instead of stepping into the back dining area again. Albeit the view of the city is better back there.
Went for a friend's bday dinner...we shared the mussels and they were the best i've had; very tender and not chewy at all...also had the fois gras terrine...for main I had the smoked black cod and it was absolutely delicious...the cod melted in my mouth and the cream sauce on the bottom was a great compliment...I definitely recommend it. The portion was size was a bit on the small side, but i guess its expected...the lamb shank was also quite good, however it paled in comparison with the black cod...The service was great...the ambience was nice...very nice place for an intimate dinner or special occasion...will visit again
Good ambiance, good service, great food and good prices. It's what everyone is looking for in a good restaurant. We had the mussels, Lamb, Duck and it was all great. Two thumbs up. Can't wait to go again. I've recommended it and with a positive feed back. Put this one on your list of restaurant to try. If it's consistent this is a winner.
Upon entrance, we were greeted, welcomed and thanked for calling to forcast our delay in arrival. The waiter was super helpful to first time comers like us. He recommended dishes like tartar, scallop, the imfamous mussels and their lamb. I loved them all, especially the mussels, they were absolutely delicious (and filling, must need at least 2 people to finish a pot). The staff were well trained and attentive. They frequently come by to ask if you like the dish, add more water, change plates after a dish and small things like that. The restaurant's appearance didn't look too appealing to me but its a different story once you step inside. The ambiance was relaxing with style. The red brick walls give out a warm glow under the dim lights. Overall of Chambar is great, especially the great quality of service in which they give to every customer including students like me.
Chambar is tucked away on Beatty street, seemingly hidden in between deserted lofts above and an even quieter street below. But once inside, Chambar rings with chatter. We had scallops to start, moules frites and a duck dish. Scallops were sweet and succulent. Mussels were big and juicy. Fries were awesome! And I was told the duck dish was delectable. Perhaps most impressive is the restaurants large selection of imported Belgium beer. Lists and lists of them for the thirsty traveller. Many that are difficult to get elsewhere in the city. Service however was lacking. The dining room is small with lots of tables packed in. Service was slow and somewhat unattentive. I think the server came by at most 3 times. Overall a solid dining experience with unique beers!