As part of my birthday celebration, Mr. and I went to Chambar for dinner. I remembered visiting Chambar years ago for Dine Out Vancouver. That was probably the beginning of my foodie years and I just fell in love with the restaurant. I always wanted to go back but I got distracted by other “candies in the store”. Now, years later, I was determined to pay it another visit.
Before our table was ready, we were seated at the bar and we ordered a Chambar Ale and Chambar Lager to start. While Chambar Ale is their latest addition, I have to say I preferred the Lager. It’s light with hint of fruity fragrance. After we sat comfortably at our table, without a game plan we went ahead and ordered the famous Moule Frites. The mussels were the highlight of my first visit to the restaurant and that was the reason why I was going back. Looking around we saw pretty much every table had ordered that. And boy, it was just as amazing as I remembered it. We ordered the Congolaise version and the tomato broth was tangy with a kick from the smoked chili. The mussels were tasty after absorbing the goodness of the broth, and they were all cooked evenly – I wonder if it had to do with the fact that they were of similar size. Pomme Frites were yummy too, with and without dipping into the sauce, and we had to order another one on the side.
Because it was a generous serving of Moule Frites, we didn’t quite have the room for another entree each. Instead, we ordered two appetizers to share (yes, we went backward). We had the Le mini mechoui, which featured Moroccan spice rubbed, roasted lamb loin. The lamb was tender and the amount of spice rub was just right. I usually don’t like cous cous but I didn’t mind the one in this dish – I quite liked the dressing. Next we had Spiced Foie gras terrine and to be honest, it wasn’t my favourite foie gras dish. It’s creamy, no doubt, and I was fine with the crunch, but the flavour of capers were too strong for me and I was never a fan of capers. Maybe replace capers with something like pistachio nuts? And I wish they would use toast point instead of brioche bread. It was too soft to spread on.
For last course we ordered Le cafe Belge. The chocolate mousse was smooth and chocolaty, and wafers were crunchy and reinforced the chocolaty taste of the mousse. However I didn’t like the espresso cheesecake at the bottom of the tower. I found it rather soggy. Over all the whole tower was rich in cocao. And the birthday inscription was the cherry on top..
Our server was very friendly. It was him who recommended that we should consider ordering two appetizers after the big order of mussels. He was also very accommodating as Mr. requested to have the birthday inscription on the dessert plate. In addition, I was impressed that the restaurant answered my request for a table by the window, which was in a quieter corner of the restaurant.
The restaurant is catered to a younger crowd. Based on the configuration of the restaurant, I’d think at most you can host a party of 6 there. I mean, sure you can probably organize a bigger party, but with upbeat music in the background, it suits better for small parties. With the dim candlelights, it’s a good location for special occasions as well.
Located in the Crosstown, this is definitely a great hangout place. It’s also convenient for pre- or post-game meals. I noticed that a number of diners were there just before the Canucks game. I wonder if the restaurant will remain open during the Olympics and what kind of prospect the Games will bring to the restaurant.
562 Beatty Street, Vancouver