I went into Chambar (located in the area now known as Crosstown, just outside the Skytrain station Stadium/Chinatown) expecting (and perhaps even secretly hoping) not to like it, and I came out with a full belly of delicious food, a service from the Chambar staff that went above-and-beyond the call of duty, and a remorseful face, as I totally thought I would not like Chambar, and ended up loving it. Yes, it’s not inexpensive, but it’s definitely worth the money you pay.
JT ordered La Carbonade Flamande (at $26, a pretty decent price for a high-end restaurant, Chambar Ale braised short ribs, sultanas, sauteed swiss chard, parsley & sage barley risotto). I totally would have loved to try the risotto, as I find few restaurants in Vancouver know how to make it well done.
I ordered a L’omble de l’Artique nicois ($28 price point, again normal in a higher-end restaurant, crispy Arctic char, sea asparagus, pea shoots, bacalao, lemon & grana padano concasse, with a few tapenades). This dish was absolutely glorious. The Arctic char, which some food connoisseurs may not totally love (particularly since it does share characteristics with salmon, but it’s not exactly salmon), I found absolutely brilliant. The lemon and grana padano concasse added a full-bodied splash of flavour. The tapenades complimented the citrus in the lemon and grana padano concasse (which after doing a bit of research I found a bit ironic, since from what I read, the concasse does contain cheese and anybody who knows me knows I hate cheese). The sea asparagus provided a nice bedding that lent body and texture to the full dish. I totally want the recipe to make it at home!
Would I come back to Chambar again? Absolutely. As soon as I came in, I told the hostess and waitress we needed to be at the theatre by 7pm (we arrived 6:20pm sharp). We were in and out (dinner served and made to perfection, invoiced and bill paid, and tummy full) in 18 minutes (add 2 minutes to chat with the server and thank her for the most excellent service). Unbelievable. While it’s true that, as my readers said, Chambar seems to be the kind of place you would want to enjoy slowly, I am very truly impressed with the quality of the food, the service and the speed. I would totally come back. In fact, I’m sure I will.
Disclosure: JT paid for both of our dinners. As always, I retain full editorial control of what is published on my site. Nobody at Chambar even clued in that I write a blog, which I found fantastic. Their service is just simply that top-notch.