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Chambar


plunk
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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 10 months later...

So Rob and I just came home from our lovely evening at Chambar. I have always wanted to go to the restaurant every since seeing the episode of Opening Soon, but was intimidated by the dim lighting and cool atmosphere.

We arrived at the restaurant at 6:45pm and waited for about 10 minutes (not bad at all) while sitting on some comfy leather seats. The restaurant is absolutely beautiful! I am very impressed with the renovations and the friendly staff.

Rob had a hoegaarden beer and I had a "Tofino Crash," which is an Earl Grey iced tea, sweetened with vanilla and citrus flavours. I was most impressed by the addition of Non-Alcoholic pairings to the menu (yay, eGullet!)!! Thumbs up, for that.

And so we begin....

For our first course, I chose the La salade d’ hiver. On a gigantic plate (I kid you not), was a delicate bed of watercress and endive with candied pecans. Hidden underneath were perfectly poached pears. It was crisp and refreshing. The dressing had a very light stilton cheese taste, which was nice because I was afraid it would be very strong, and I am not a huge fan of strong cheese.

Rob couldn't choose between the scampi or the mushroom soup, but decided upon the soup. Now, my boyfriend isn't a huge fan of mushrooms, so I was afraid that he would make me switch dishes with him. Fortuneatly he loved the creaminess and flavours of the soup. It had a good thick taste with a strong coffee taste. I had a little sip and it blew me away!

For our mains, Rob went with the Tajine d'Aziz a l'agneau, a braised lamb, and I had the Moules-Frites - Congolaise. The lamb was sublime. Rich, tender and buttery meat that fell off the bone. Accompanied by bokchoy and a carrot, everything was cooked to perfection. He wasn't a huge fan of the couscous, but I had a taste and it was pretty good. Then again, I haven't had couscous on a regular basis, so who am I to judge? :wink:

My mussels were perfect. Oh my...the portion was huge. The coconut-tomato base was one of the best broths I have had (waaay better than the one at Bin, in my opinion) and the mussels were quite large and meaty. The frites were delicious with the right amount of salt. I am not a huge fan of aioli (I know, shame on me), but it was very light and creamy. Yum!

Dessert was a belgian waffle, topped with vanilla ice-cream with chocolate and raspberry coulis. It came with my favourite, the gooseberry, to my delight. Patisserie LeBeau, eat your heart out. Thick, warm and crisp, it was an excellent way to end the evening. The ice cream was nothing special, but the cool vanilla was delicious with the waffle. It was a feel good dessert that was simple but elegant at the same time!

Our waiter, Chris, was really friendly and unpretentious. He was funny and charming and just plain nice. I had really high expectations of the restaurant, and everything was up to par and then some.

Rob and I left full, happy, and impressed. His favourite part of the restaurant was the soap in the bathroom. :laugh: He came back from the washroom and sat down and exclaimed, "The soap smells like cedar! Smell!!"

hahaha....

Good choice on the soap.

And excellent non-alcoholic choices! I was fearful of having plain cranberry juice, but was saved by the great menu!

Hats off, and we will definitely come back in the future!

:biggrin:

Edited by teamboom (log)
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Thanks for the review teaboom.

I have reso's at Chambar for the 31st and I can't wait. My husband is a Chambar virgin and I can't wait to see his face when he sees those mussels :wink:

The sea was angry that day my friends... like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli.

George Costanza

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I'm going to be at Chambar on the 31st as well, with my family. My parents & auntie & uncle have been dying to try it out. I'm DEFINITELY having the mushroom cappucino soup! Has anybody tried the lime & panko seared albacore tuna? I'm torn between that and the lamb. I tried the white wine & bacon mussels last time I was at Chambar (not on this year's Dineout menu) & I like La Regalade's better, although I liked the bacon flavour in Chambar's sauce.

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I had the intentions of taking my camera to the restaurant, but was rushed out of the apartment by my boyfriend and forgot to take it with me; by the time I realized that I did, we were about 10 minutes to the restaurant. BOOO...

The scampi did look delicious, (a lot of people ordered that for their first course; I'm assuming to "get their money's worth") but I think the soup is a better choice. You get more, and not a lot of restaurants can make a soup quite as delicious as Nico did!!

I'm craving for that lamb still... :wub:

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I'm going to be at Chambar on the 31st as well, with my family. 

What time? Should we flash our decoder rings at each other? We're at 5- it was either that or 9:30 and Dave has to get up at 4am the next morning. :wacko:

The sea was angry that day my friends... like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli.

George Costanza

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Aww, we're going to be there at 9 p.m. :sad: I always think about how I would introduce myself to another egulleter, "Hi, I'm *voice drops to a whisper* chocomoo". :laugh:

Lee, thanks for the recommendation on the scampi - I loooove mushrooms though, so I'll probably make someone order the scampi & try some of theirs. :biggrin:

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^ Wasn't there some kind of strange offer of beer to those who flashed their decoder ring?

Chocomoo at least you can say "I'm Chocomoo". When I say "Hi! I'm....Fud" they're like "you're what? You want food?" <sigh>...

Edited by fud (log)

"There are two things every chef needs in the kitchen: fish sauce and duck fat" - Tony Minichiello

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There in lies the challange. You have to have the nuts and stand up publically announce your crazy food obsession to get a beer. If you posted under your "real" name.................. :biggrin:  :biggrin:

Sorry, not THAT crazy...yet. But if anyone is around tomorrow, I scored a reso at 8 tomorrow. PM me if you are going around then too.

Can't wait. Just the thought of braised lamb makes me salivate like Pavlov's dogs! :rolleyes: And DOV may be the only way I can afford to check it out....

Edited by mzungu (log)
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We went to Chambar last night, when there was a nice window of nice(r ) weather (ie. no sideways rain). My dad & uncle both had a couple of Bellevue Krieks - I had a little sip & I think it may be the best beer I've ever had. I loved the cherry flavour! My mom had a Tofino Crash, and I had a West Coast Fizz, which was homemade lemonade topped with sparkling water and blueberry syrup. So good!! Good call on the non-alcoholic cocktails, Quentin!

Appetizers

Me, my mom, & auntie got the mushroom cappucino soup, my dad & uncle got the scampis, & my sister got the salad. The soup was AMAZING - so much mushroom flavour that it was almost a mushroom puree! Definitely definitely exceeded my expectations. :wub: And so cute with the cocoa sprinkling on top! Apparently the scampis were good but were overshadowed by the soup. They also looked a bit on the small side. My sister's salad was ok... I guess I just don't like stilton - I traded my soup with her salad because she couldn't really take the blue cheese flavour. The pears, as teamboom said, were perfectly poached - not falling apart like poached pears I've had before. I would've preferred them to have more of a red wine flavour though. It was a nice light salad, & really, the dressing would've been quite good if I liked stilton - it was nice and light, surprising for a cheesy dressing. I loved the caramelised pecans and little crispies on the top :wub:

Mains

Me, my dad, uncle & auntie all got the braised lamb. My dad raved about the lamb, and my uncle didn't talk much while he ate it (you know what that means!). The lamb was steeped in cinnamon & cilantro flavours. Unfortunately, again, chalk it up to personal preferences, it just so happens that I like neither cinnamon nor cilantro. I thought there was ginger in it as well, but I could be mistaken (no ginger for me either! I'm really not that picky...) The lamb meat itself was really nice though, not stringy nor tough, and held together better than many braised meats do. And the couscous and zalouk were so good! I liked it better than the couscous at La Regalade, which is a bit too rich for me.

My mom & sister got the seared albacore tuna. I don't think there was any panko on it though (don't remember if that part was changed on the menu there). The flavours just weren't really right for my sister's and my taste - I've discovered that I don't like seared albacore tuna paired with a creamy sauce. The menu said it came in a citrus cream, but we didn't really taste any citrus in it.

Dessert

Not bad, but not superb - I liked the textural element of the crunchy pearl sugar. I would've preferred the waffle to be warmer though.

One small thing - I noticed that we didn't get bread and was talking about it with my sister, and my dad quietly pointed out that bread was an extra $2 per person! No biggie, I was just surprised. Needless to say, none of the tables around us got bread (we sat just outside the kitchen doors).

All in all a great dinner, my parents & auntie & uncle loved it. They liked it better than Gotham, mainly because of the atmosphere and unstuffiness of the room. Looks like we'll be returning soon! Next time I'll stick with the elk loin though (I had the game plate last time, which was really good). Really great service too - I didn't catch our server's name though, but she wrote "Happy New Year!" (we were talking about how we've eating so much lately cuz of Dine Out and Chinese New year) and drew a little smiley face on my couscous doggy bag/box, how cute! I love those little extra things that servers do, like folding my foil package of risotto into a swan (Bin 942).

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Too bad we weren't there at the same time chocomoo- unfortunately, my name is the same as my egullet name, so the drama in exchanging egullet tags upon introduction would be a little one sided :laugh:

I am in full agreement on the mushroom soup. Best mushroom soup EVER. And my husband deemed it delicious, and he hates mushroom soup.

And that Cherry lambic was absolutely fantastic.

The sea was angry that day my friends... like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli.

George Costanza

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I was disappointed that we didn't get to meet too, annanstee! My family would've given me the weirdest looks though, if I introduced myself to you! My sister rolls her eyes when I want to take pictures of food :hmmm: Not in that "Oh, that silly chocomoo!" way, but in that "Give me a break, are you crazy?" way. :hmmm:

I had to force my dad to try my soup, and he was sure glad he did!

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The lamb was steeped in cinnamon & cilantro flavours.  Unfortunately, again, chalk it up to personal preferences, it just so happens that I like neither cinnamon nor cilantro.  I thought there was ginger in it as well, but I could be mistaken (no ginger for me either!  I'm really not that picky...) 

No cilantro? No ginger? Are you sure you're Chinese? :raz:

We had the lamb and couscous at the Waiterblog dinner back in April, and it was great. I love all the fruit in the couscous, and the spices in the lamb.

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No cilantro? No ginger? Are you sure you're Chinese?  :raz:

We had the lamb and couscous at the Waiterblog dinner back in April, and it was great. I love all the fruit in the couscous, and the spices in the lamb.

I know, eh? I don't mind ginger as much now - I like ginger flavour, actually, but not ginger pieces. And I don't mind cilantro in salsas & the like... I can even eat those cilantro dumplings now! I pick it out when I can though :raz: I just don't like it when things are steeped in cilantro flavours... Guess what other Chinese ingredient I didn't used to like? Green onion!! I like it now, I like it now - although I still don't like those big hunks of green onion that come with Peking duck.

I think what it really was, was the cinnamon with meat combination. I tried the short ribs with cinnamon flavour, and I didn't like it much. And I'll eat cinnamon candies, just not cinnamon gum (it smells bad when people chew it!).

That couscous was sooo good - looking forward to it tonight! The apricots in it were like little jewels!

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That couscous was sooo good - looking forward to it tonight!  The apricots in it were like little jewels!

Like, totally.

Went to Chambar with the GF. She loved it and I thought it was pretty awesome too. I won't go into too many details except to say that pretty much everything ppl have siad here about the food is spot on. The Lamb kicked ass, I've never seen/tasted coucous that good, and my girl really enjoyed her fish dish. Our server, Robbie, was top-notch.

We paired our DOV dinner with drinks. I had the cheery Krieuk (sp?) which reminded me of a light cherry soda in a lot of ways. I like sweet stuff but my GF thought it tasted like "cough syrup" :huh: (?).

Maybe she had too many glasses of the Sandhill Pinot Blanc. Smooth, almost chardonnay-ish. Very, Very nice.

I enjoyed the lamb over the Pinot Noir. The producer's name escapes me now but it was OK. It was good but didn't knock my socks off like the Pinot Blanc. It complemented the lamb though nicely.

This was my first visit to Chambar and I gotta say the esthetics of the room look great. If I can ever afford a house with a proper basement, I want a simple bar like theirs! We sat across from the bar and the, ahem, "naughty" painting and although it was a little tight, it's DOV time, so there had to be some accomodation for the masses. Just happy we weren't shoved onto the bar or the couches at the door, it was akward standing around watching others eat. I'll have to get a seat next time at the back of the room where it looked gorgeous.

Overall, a great, great DOV dinner. And for $25, a steal. Next year, they could offer a few more options and price it up to $35 and it wouldn't be a problem. It was far better, food-wise, than the $25 Samba menu.

(An aside - anyone know what the deal is with Chambar.com 's website? HAs it gone down or ripped? I wanted to find the names of the wine but I get some obscure website-creator software site...)

Cheers and Thanks to the Chambar team for a great time!!! :biggrin:

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