This Hot Mess Breakfast of Champions Deliciously Endures on Beatty Street

You Need To Try This is a running archive of all the awesome drinks and dishes we’ve come across over the course of our professional and private lives (or at least the ones we had the presence of mind and patience to photograph before they got in our bellies).

Chambar’s short rib fricassee with applewood smoked cheddar | Photo: Scout Magazine

The short rib fricassee has become as much a Chambar signature as their Tajine d’Aziz à l’Agneau or Moules Congolaise. It has changed very little over the years since I first tried it 10 years ago, exactly to the day; back when it was first served at then-sister restaurant Cafe Medina. (The two restaurants – the latter co-owned by the former –  amicably split and relocated in 2014, and almost identical iterations of the dish can still be found at both restaurants). I had actually planned on hitting Cafe Medina this morning to mark my decade-long relationship with this beautiful plate, but found to my dismay that they were closed (reopening on the 19th). Cravings being cravings (cruel, unrelenting, indifferent, severe), I walked the few blocks to Chambar and tucked into it there instead.

The same dish at Cafe Medina in the winter of 2008 | Photo: Scout Magazine

This morning it arrived in a cast iron pan with the beef dissolving at tooth’s touch alongside shreds of balsamic-laced cipollini onions, leaves of peppery watercress, thick wedges of perfectly cooked potatoes, a slice of applewood smoked cheddar, the sweet crunch of apples julienne and the lightly spiced and seasoned eggs – their burst yolks running like flavour lava and elevating the whole thing. There’s also the same delicious brick of focaccia to scarpetta the mess up with; arguably the most indispensable slice of bread that’s currently being served alongside anything in Vancouver. (Verily, the dish still devolves from its pretty first appearance to a hot, brown, moppable mess within seconds.) Best neither savoured nor shared, but rather savagely attacked when ravenous. Dig in for $19.

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