Located in a micro-hood called Crosstown*, Chambar is an award winning and long-standing ‘Belgian spiced with North African’ themed bistro. It’s stunning inside. They serve delicious food and boast a huge Belgian beer selection. There really is nothing quite similar to Chamber in this regard, which makes going there a unique experience. I like that.
So we impulsively went there for Sunday brunch. (Brunch Menu for the curious).
Thomas (the boyfriend) ordered the Fricassée (Braised short ribs, balsamic cipollini onions, potatoes, watercress, fried eggs, applewood smoked cheddar) and I ordered the Tajine (Spicy merguez sausage, saffron tomato stew, fried pita, raita, poached eggs, fresh herbs).
Both were delicious but if I’m to be honest…. I kicked myself for not having ordered a few waffles instead. I don’t know why I never ever order the waffles. I pretend to not crave sugar in the morning, but I most evidently do. And their waffles look so delicious. No photos sadly… next time I will try to remember!
Look at those apple matchsticks! Yummy.
Here are my ‘Top Tips’ for Sunday brunching at Chambar:
(1) Kind of a ‘duh’ tip but…. make a reservation if you’d like a table. Vancouver is notorious for long Sunday brunch line ups. I don’t know about you, but I don’t do lineups. Especially when I am hungry.
(2) If you’re the carefree reservation-free type and want to eat before noon … arrive early. Even if you intend on sitting at the bar. This place fills up fast, so sauntering in at 11am with no reservation is risky. We arrived at 10:45am and got sat in an area I didn’t like – a narrow high-top ledge section that is teeming with ‘service hustle & bustle’. As a Cancer-ascendant I especially don’t like it when I have heavy traffic/ loud activity happening behind my back.
(3) Alternatively, if you are a late-riser, swing by after the brunch-rush is over. Brunch is served from 8am to 3pm on Saturday & Sunday**. Even though this is a fairly large restaurant, with upstairs, downstairs and outdoor seating, you’d be surprised how crazy busy it can get between 11am – 2:00pm. Crazy busy and a line of 20 people waiting outside for a table.
(4) Go to the females’ washroom… if you are of that gender. One of the nicest in Vancouver! I won’t give any more details… just go see it! 🙂
(5) A side of Focaccia… is a must if you order the ‘Tajine’ for brunch. From the three bread options I tried; the fried pita chips it came with, to the focaccia I pinched from my boyfriend’s plate, to the sourdough side I added partway through the meal… the focaccia was the best. Hands down.
(6) Enjoy the catwalk. All the staff at this bistro have the best & more eclectic style ever. I almost never check out what restaurant staff are wearing, but I cannot help myself at Chambar!*** I swear they must list ‘fashion sense’ as a non-negotiable requirement on their job postings.
(7) Leave the ‘Bon Matin’ alone if you are hungry.
Well, that’s all I have for now. All in all, a nice spot for brunch…. if you can get in!
A dinner review of this place is definitely next on my list, haven’t been there in the evening since last Summer!
Garnished with Mint & Cilantro.
The pita chips are so tasty… but I like to sop up that sauce with a softer bread.
(*) Where the F is this? It’s right by the ‘Chinatown – Stadium’ tube station. Referred to as ‘Crosstown’ by true, long-time-dwelling downtowners, this micro-hood is boxed in by these four others – historic Gastown (to the North), historic and cultural Chinatown (to the East), preppy Yaletown (to the South), and the alternatively charged Downtown Core (to the West).
(**) The thought of a long busy shift like that still sends shivers down the spine of this lil ol’ retired server. I sure had my fill of crazy-busy and long shifts in bars, clubs and restaurants.
(***) The city is still recovering from a super bland ‘all-black, short and tight with heels’ omnipresent server look. So boring! I myself have noticed & personally experienced aspects of this, and seen a huge shift between 2008 – 2018 (the 10 years I have lived here).