My bags were packed and I was ready to go… After a quick two day layover I threw my luggage into Randy’s car and zoomed across Vancouver for one final West Coast feast before flying home on a Red Eye.
We strolled into Chambar at 6pm and were whisked past the restaurants glitz bar before spilling through a sun soaked dining room which offered a pretty view of BC Place Stadium. Chambar has been a staple in Vancouver’s hopping dining scene for many years and was impressed to see a bustling restaurant as I plopped on a comfy bench.
Our waiter described Chef Nico Schuermans offering as fine dining Flemish with nuances of West Coast relaxation. Chef Nico wears several badges of honour having worked as Chef de Partie for Comme Chez Soi (a three star Michelin for 20 years) which is considered Belgium’s finest restaurant and as Chef de Partie at the Savoy Hotel in London where he served over 1000 people at each seating.
The restaurant coyly describes its dining experience as “civilized debauchery,” and there is no better way to start the race than by sampling through Chambar’s extensive Belgian beer offering. I start by sipping through the restaurants in house sudsy Chambar Ale before marching through hoppy glasses of Toublette Witbier, Gavroche Amber and Bornem Dark.
Chef Nico’s culinary whimsy rears its head that evening via a playful parade of plates featuring melt in your mouth Short Rib, crisp lamb collar Croquette d’Agneau, umami forward Bouef et Champignons, oceans bounty expressed as Duo de Thon and juicy farm pheasant a la Faison Sauce Cumberland.
My final salut to Van-city was wrapped up in a duo of memorable sweets. Eclat de Chocolat offered a decadent take on the potential of cocoa while Cerise Amandine showcased the bounty of the season via fresh cherry and sweet meringue.
Gavroche Amber Ale
Bornem Dark Ale
salsa verde, tomato and anchovy salsa
crisp lamb collar, jalapeno soubise, preserved lemon coulis, nasturtium, sumac crackers
Boeuf et Champignons
chicago style beef striploin, candied chanterelles, cippolini onion rings, pine nuts, grated parmesan
Duo de Thon
fried + ceviche albacore tuna, charred corn salsa, black aji, coconut creme fraiche
Poutine A La Belge
Faison Sauce Cumberland
seared flintshire farm pheasant, crisp spring roll, red belgian endive, grapes, slivered pistachios, brie, cumberland sauce
Eclat de Chocolat
mascarpone mousse, chocolate sponge, tia maria, aerated chocolate, cocoa tuile, espresso ice cream
fresh cherry, almond milk sorbet, vanilla meringue, lime curd, long pepper, nasturtium