Dine Out Vancouver 2012 – Chambar

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012 :: 6:00 pm

Chambar Belgian Restaurant – 562 Beatty St, Vancouver – January 29, 5:00pm
Price per person: $38

I’ve been to Chambar once during Dine Out a couple years back as well as once during regular dinner time, and remember both being excellent experiences. This time was no exception, their reservations are always booked solid, so we had to settle for a 5pm reservation. Right off the bat, the venison carpaccio appetizer dish that I had ordered was much larger than I had imagined – there were at least 15 thin beef slices with soba to go with it. Tasted great. Next up I had the white wine based mussel dish (the other one was tomato sauce based). Their mussels were huge and plentiful as usual, with lots more hiding in the soup. I had a bit of the arctic char and braised shortrib as well, and they were nicely cooked. For dessert, I chose the “chocolate caramel bar,” which I thought was alright with salty sweet taste, but some people may not like it because of the caramel stickiness. The lemon meringue leaves a nice taste after the dinner.

Service was excellent – the waiter came by to wipe the tables after the entrees were taken away, and even folded my friend’s dinner napkin while he went away to the washroom.

Below is my selection:
Appetizer: Carpaccio de Chevreuil – Charred venison carpaccio, garlic chips, radishes, white soy & red wine reduction, soba noodle salad.
Entrée: Moules-Frites Coquotte & Congolaise – Mussels, white wine, cream, smoked bacon lardons, spring onions.
Dessert: Le Chocolat – Salted chocolate caramel bar, vanilla ice cream.

Everything was flawless except maybe if they had still offered the Belgian Waffle or a less sticky dessert. Overall I give it a 9.5!

Chambar Dine Out Menu

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Chambar Dine Out Menu

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Good ambiance

Chambar Dine Out

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Soupe d’hiver – Roasted celeriac & morel soup, shaved apple, lingonberries, watercress

Soupe d'hiver

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Soupe d'hiver

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Carpaccio de Chevreuil

Carpaccio de Chevreuil

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Carbonade Flamande – Chambar Ale braised shortrib, sultanas, sage butter barley risotto

Carbonade Flamande

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Moules Frites Congolaise – Mussels, tomato coconut cream, smoked chili & lime, cilantro

Moules Frites Coquotte

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Moules Frites Coquotte – Mussels, white wine cream, smoked bacon lardons, spring onions

Moules Frites Coquotte

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L’omle de l’Artique Niçois – Crispy Arctic char

L'omle de l'Artique Niçois

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Le Fruit – Lemon curd, toasted meringue, thyme scented shortbread

Lemon Meringue

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Le Chocolat – Salted chocolate caramel bar, vanilla ice cream

Chocolate Caramel Bar

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Chambar Dine Out

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Dine Out Vancouver 2012 – Carmichael’s @ Hilton

Monday, January 30th, 2012 :: 9:31 pm

Carmichael’s Restaurant in Hilton Vancouver Airport Hotel – 5911 Minoru Blvd, Richmond – January 28, 7:30pm
Price per person: $28

I haven’t heard of this restaurant before – actually, I don’t think I’ve ever had a dine out in Richmond before, but my friend had booked it for his birthday, as it had quite a number of selections for its courses. For appetizer I had the crab cake with salsa & chipole sauce. It was rather delicious and the portion was quite big – nicely decorated was a plus! The soup of the day was Mushroom Soup, which I heard was quite good as well. We each tried a different entree, and this time my steak was cooked just right, medium-rare, leaving it quite juicy inside. The chicken dish was tender as well. I was already really full from dinner already, so I only had half the chocolate, and packed the other half to go. It was extra chocolaty and rich, with a tangy sour raspberry sauce to complement!

Most of the time a hotel’s not really known for its restaurant, but I was surprised by the dining experience that I would come back again.

Below is my selection:
Appetizer: Crab Cake – Local crab with corn-smoked tomato salsa & chipotle aioli
Entrée: Filet Mignon – Certified Angus beef topped with woodland mushroom sauce, creamy garlic Yukon gold mashed and asparagus
Dessert: Double Chocolate Cake – Dark chocolate cake with ganache icing served with raspberry sauce and seasonal berry

Overall I give it a 8.5!

Carmichael's Dine Out Menu

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I think I had a bit too much bread…

Carmichael's Dine Out Bread

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Crab Cake

Crab Cake

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Mushroom Soup

Mushroom Soup

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Filet Mignon

Filet Mignon

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Nicely cooked medium-rare

Filet Mignon

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Chicken Saltimbocca

Chicken Saltimbocca

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Squash Ravioli

Squash Ravioli

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Bread Pudding

Bread Pudding

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Double Chocolate Cake

Double Chocolate Cake

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Dine Out Vancouver 2012 – Sandbar

Sunday, January 29th, 2012 :: 2:55 pm

Sandbar Seafood Restaurant – 1535 Johnston St, Vancouver – January 25, 6:45pm
Price per person: $28

Second dine out experience of this year goes to Sandbar on Granville Island. It’s part of the Sequoia Company which includes other restaurants like Teahouse in Stanley Park and Seasons in the Park. Apparently if you dine at all 4 of the participating Dine Out locations this year, you get a chance to win a prize pack (though I doubt if many people will do that…)

As for the food itself, I really liked the braised short ribs appetizer (in fact, I thought it was the best course of the night). Apparently the California Roll was pretty good – not sure how it compares to Japanese restaurants in town. As for the entree, I would say it was quite disappointing. I had asked for it to be cooked medium-rare as usual, but it was more like a medium well-done or even more, so the steak wasn’t that tender. The shrimps could’ve had more flavour or sauce to complement. As a whole, the dish didn’t stay hot for very long (I swear it wasn’t because I took photos in the beginning!) I had the apple strudel for dessert, which was quite typical, and I heard the pumpkin cake was just ok. If I ever come here next time, I would probably get a seafood main course.

It’s too bad that they have really good reviews online, but only a sub-par experience for Dine Out.

Below is my selection:
Appetizer: Lemongrass Braised Short Ribs; 5 spice crushed peanuts, chili scallion relish
Entrée: 4oz Chateau Rib Steak & Grilled Tiger Prawns; caramelized onion marmalade, creamed peppercorn demi-glace
Dessert: Apple Strudel; hint of star anise

Overall I give it a 6.

Sandbar Dine Out Menu

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Sandbar Dine Out

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Lemongrass Braised Short Ribs

Lemongrass Braised Short Ribs

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Pan Roasted Sablefish

Pan Roasted Sablefish

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Chateau Rib Steak and Grilled Tiger Prawns

Chateau Rib Steak and Grilled Tiger Prawns

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Spiced Pumpkin Cake

Spiced Pumpkin Cake

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Apple Strudel

Apple Strudel

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Dine Out Vancouver 2012 – Fleuri @ Sutton Place Hotel

Sunday, January 29th, 2012 :: 1:28 pm

Fleuri Restaurant – 845 Burrard St, Vancouver – January 23, 7:30pm
Price per person: $28

I’ve heard good things about Fleuri during dine out for its desserts, so we tried it out for my first DOV 2012 experience. It was a Monday evening so the place wasn’t too busy.

I had the tomato chowder to start, the clam flavour was pretty strong in the soup, although I had wished there were more actual clams. Tasted like a minestrone vegetable soup. As far as the entree goes, the braised beef texture was pretty tender, although it reminded me of beef brisket in Chinese cuisine. I also had a taste of the Buttermilk Chicken, it was kind of disappointing since the meat was on the dry side. For dessert, it was sort of a butterscotch flavoured crisp with gelato on the side – we said it reminded us of a snack in Taiwan, haha. The food was good but not quite up to expectations, and there was quite a long wait between the dishes coming out.

Below is my selection:
Appetizer: BC Clam and Tomato Chowder, vegetables, tarragon essence, crab fritter
Entrée: 24-Hour Braised Beef Flat Iron, root vegetables, tiroler bacon jus, onion horseradish
Dessert: Butterscotch, Vanilla Chamomile Gelato and Passion Fruit Coup

Overall I give it a 6.5.

Fleuri Dine Out Menu

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Fleuri Dine Out Menu

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Fleuri Dine Out

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Fleuri Dine Out Bread

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BC Clam and Tomato Chowder

BC Clam and Tomato Chowder

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Buttermilk Chicken Sous Vide and Shiitake Mushrooms

Buttermilk Chicken

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24-Hour Braised Beef Flat Iron

24-Hour Braised Beef Flat Iron

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Butterscotch, Vanilla Chamomile Gelato and Passion Fruit Coup

Butterscotch Crisp

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Birthday present!

Birthday Present

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Yellow Crossing

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012 :: 11:40 pm

Hong Kong 的士

Hong Kong Taxi

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