Chambar Restaurant

January 1st, 2012

Location: 562 Beatty Street, Vancouver BC  View Google Map
Website: Click Here

Sometimes things stay popular for a reason: they are good. Recently, I wandered into Chambar after the Prince concert at half past eleven on a Friday night and was surprised to see its brick-lined interior as packed as when it first opened in 2004. Apparently 60 or 70 people had the same idea as me and my concert companions but the staff kept its cool and when a friend’s cocktail was delayed, it was happily taken off the bill. Although I’m not a beer drinker, I know Chambar is the place for Belgian brews with more than forty on offer at last count and their cocktail menu, which I have enjoyed, offers interesting concoctions such as Earl Grey infused gin and house made lavender syrup. I have to be honest, although I have sampled other menu items, I don’t really remember them as good or bad because I swoon over the Moules Frites which are a perennial favourite and what I return to every time. They are definitely the best in town. The mussels themselves are just the right size – not too big, not too small – and steamed in the pot they arrive at the table in, they are tender and juicy by the time their shells release. I’m particularly fond of the Congolaise, a tomato-based concoction with a kick of lime and chili, topped with fresh cilantro adding a burst of bright green freshness. Mussels are best accompanied by fries and as far as deep-fried potato goes, these are excellent with crisp exteriors and smushy interiors and perfectly salted – all you could ask for in a French fry. Generously portioned, after the concert, three of us shared the dish as a midnight snack and were happily satiated. (EL)

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