Foodie Review: Chambar (Brunch)

Rating: ????????????????
Price: ????????????

1596 Johnston St, Vancouver, BC V6H 3R9
Phone: (604) 879-7119

Chambar is one of the restaurant in Vancouver that I personally feel that has been able to exceed expectations years after years and keep patrons coming back for more. I know Chambar through the Dine Out Vancouver event, it is always one of the top restaurant that booked full without hours of registration. Today’s visit is unexpected because we are planning to go to Jam Cafe. We are surprised to see the line is quite long; since we are on a schedule, we walk into Chambar.

Chambar moved about 2 units next door a couple year ago, it has an expanded dining area and a patio. I tried Chambar at the old place and it was quite tight. The new restaurant is brighter with a higher ceiling, it doesn’t feel small. The kitchen is located downstair, and that extra space now can be used to accommodate more diners. On the other hand, now the servers have to walk down a flight of stairs with dishes etc, it could be physical demanding as I can imagine. The exposed brick interior feels warm and welcoming (I have not been to Belgium to judge if it’s legitimate) ???? They have a pretty chandelier at the entrance.

The line comparing to Jam Cafe is a night and day difference. We wait about 10-15 min and have a seat at the patio. Our waiter looks a little emotionless, but I guess it’s Sunday morning and she probably had a late Sat night.????

About the food, it seems to be better than the old place. We order the Fricassée, Gaufre au Saumon, waffle (see here for the menu).

The Fricassée serves on a skillet, the server gives me a spoon saying I might need it to finish the sauce. The rib is tender, moist, yet not too soft that will fall off the bone – something many restaurants fail to do. The balsamic based sauce (they didn’t say what goes in it, probably secret ????) is not too sour, it’s enough to bring the flavor of the rib out and I can taste the meat. Again, this dish is well controlled in a way that the sauce does not over-power the meat. The watercress on the side is fresh, I am surprised it is very clean unlike the ones I normally get in the Asian supermarket. The cheese, sliced apple and the eggs to me are great add-ons to make the meal very fulfilling and flavorful.

The waffle we order comes with dark chocolate sauce. It’s kind of on the small (3-4 inches diameter), it is crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. We chocolate sauce is thick and very choclatey, not too sweet. Wife says she still prefer the one at Nero on Robson. I use all the sauce on my focaccia. Again, I have not been to Belgium to judge if they are authentic or not. ????‍♂️

Wife doesn’t say a lot about the Gaufre au Saumon, she says the waffle is made slightly different and I think she is surprised that Chambar would substitute English muffin with a waffle. The waffle indeed is made slightly different than the one we order separately. She says the salmon is a little salty but the poached eggs are on spot!

While we are waiting for the food, the manager comes to us and apologizes for the delay because the kitchen is a bit tied up with the rush of new orders. This is out of surprise because wife is already mumbling about the slowness…. The manager’s apology just simply shut her down. ????????????????????????

Our bill came to about $55, it falls within our budget. We skip the drink because I want my coffee somewhere else.

Today’s visit is amazingly good, we don’t have to line up for long to try this long standing (maybe a staple) restaurant in downtown Vancouver. Good food, friendly service, comfortable environment. Chambar will be added to my list of restaurant to go back to.