Chambar: Two doors away and worlds apart

The day after Nafiza and I went for brunch at Jam Cafe, I went two doors up and visited Chambar for brunch. I did this completely in the name of science and investigative journalism, to research the competition between two breakfast/brunch places that are just mere steps from each other.

The things I will sacrifice my diet for.

While Chambar is close to Jam Cafe, what Chambar offers is worlds apart from Jam. In terms of space, Jam is small, rustic, loud and happy. Chambar occupies a huge space, with lots of windows and natural light and is the epitome of quiet refinedness compared to Jam. I enjoyed both but I think I want to linger in Chambar a little longer.

The food at Chambar is also vastly different from Jam. We had the Gaufre au Saumon, the Tajine and two waffles. The Gaufre au Saumon was delicious. The generous amount of Gravlax salmon was tender, smokey and paired well with the savory waffle. They used a yuzu dill hollandaise sauce for the poached eggs, which made it taste less heavy than the traditional hollandaise sauce.

The Tajine may look small in stature and quantity, but the flavors were bombastic. The saffron tomato stew scented by the grilled merguez sausage within was spicy, fragrant, warm and just a little acidic. It’s perfect for a chilly morning. I especially enjoyed the generous helping of mint, parsley and other herbs piled on top. Mixed together, the herbs and the tomato stew created a flavor bomb in my mouth. The Tajine had very little carbs on the plate, but with such a rich flavor, the Tajine was quite filling. The strong and layered flavors were more than satisfying. The Tajine does include a small pot of thick yogurt raita on the side to cut down on the heat. I did not need that but the yogurt does make the Tajine taste richer.

We also ordered two waffles with the dark chocolate sauce and berry compote. Both of the sauce were not overly sweet. The waffles were also fresh, warm and tender but not too cakey. Later I saw a waiter push in a waffle making cart and was making fresh waffles on the side. It was so adorable, I took a photo. Chambar has house-made waffles, people. There is no outsourcing nothin’ here!

The only one disappointing thing about Chambar is that their coffee is weaker than Jam’s. This is just a personal preference, but Jam’s serves coffee from JJ Beans and Chambar has 49th Parallel. I’m a loyal JJ Beans fan, so I’m more partial to their coffee. Still, this will not stop me from revisiting Chambar again.


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