Chewie’s Steam & Oyster Bar – Seafood/Pacific Northwest, Vancouver

Chewie’s Steam & Oyster Bar is a Cajun/Creole-inspired oyster and steam bar, ran by Richard Chew (Chewie), the former chef of Rodney’s Oyster House. Chef Tyrell Brandvold handles the food concept and menu design. This restaurant is located in Kitslano, which is actually very close to my yoga studio. I would never have thought there is an oyster bar in the area.

I was very fortunate to be invited to a Media Event on December 14. This event was in a sit down dinner style where guests could order food and drinks from the menu, which I thought that was an excellent idea. My experience at Chewie’s Steam & Oyster Bar was quite casual, neighborhood-friendly, and fun.

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Chewie’s Steam & Oyster Bar

Before I talk about the food, I have to say the atmosphere and the staff here were amazing! The atmosphere was so energetic because of the good playlist and the staff. These friendly and social staff did a great job with serving us and providing recommendations of great food.

Louisiana rock crab cakes - mixed greens, creole remoulade ($15)

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These crab cakes were delicious, although I would personally prefer more spice in the mayo. Nevertheless, I was really happy with this dish so I’m likely to order this again when I revisit. $15 for 3 decently-sized crab cakes is a good deal!

Pan-Seared Calamari - sherry-marinated squid strips & cucumber mint salad. ($12)

This is an one-of-a-kind calamari dish. I liked that this dish is healthier than a common calamari dish, and the squid tasted quite fresh. However I still like my calamari deep-fried.

Southern Fried Chicken ($16)

2-day marinated buttermilk fried chicken, cajun honey butter drizzle, mash & beans

When asked for recommendations, I was told by the server that items from Shellfish Steamers, From the Pot, and Big Bites sections are the best. He also recommended the fried chicken. I was really skeptical about ordering it, until I heard from the other tables about how great it was.

This fried chicken was marinated in buttermilk for 2 days, and came with cajun honey butter drizzle. When I was trying to take a piece from the plate, I could already see that the skin was almost falling off the bone. I liked this fried chicken because it was so tender, did not taste greasy like KFC, and it had a really crunchy bread shell. My favourite part was the honey butter drizzle – the same topping on the butter milk biscuits. I really wanted to bring some of that home and put it on everything I eat!  Because of my preference of sweet food, I really enjoyed eating this.

Normally I do not eat fast food or deep fried chicken because the quality of fast food is often disappointing, but I was really surprised at the quality of this dish. Out of all fried chicken I have tried, this is hands down the best!

Chewie’s Steam & Oyster Bar

Buttermilk biscuits ($3),  Southern Fried Chicken,
Caesar ($9), French Quarter Beignets – Cafe Du Monde style classic beignets, chichory coffee anglaise. ($6)

The buttermilk biscuits were the best biscuits I have had. The magic is the cajun honey butter drizzle on the biscuits that made these really tasty! I wished I ate more of those.

The French Quarter Beignets were essentially deep fried buns with icing and coffee dip. These donuts reminded me of Chinese deep-fried donuts. In China they’re eaten with a sweet dip as well.  I’m not a big fan of donuts because they are often too sweet. However, these ones did not come with fillings so they were not overly sweet. I felt like more buttermilk biscuits would be enough for desserts.

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Cayenne chocolate cake - flourless chocolate cake with vanilla whip & praline. ($6)

I love any kind of chocolate cake, but I have not tried any pepper/chilli chocolate because I don’t eat spicy food. I got this Cayenne chocolate cake because I was really curious. My experience from a few bites of this cake: It tasted like a regular chocolate cake for the first 5 seconds, then all the spices rushed to your tongue, and disappeared. It was nice to try something like this for the first time, but I’ve had enough vitamin A from this. I can’t handle spicy food at all! If you love smooth chili chocolate, I think you will enjoy this cake.

Going to an oyster bar was unexpected for me because I do not eat any oysters.  However, I had such an amazing time at Chewie’s Steam & Oyster Bar. The food is good and the ambiance is suitable for anyone that wants to have a great time! I would definitely recommend the Southern fried chicken.

Interesting Reads: Rick Chung’s post | Jeremy Lim’s Album | Vanfoodster’s post

Chewie’s Steam & Oyster Bar on Urbanspoon

Chewie’s Steam & Oyster Bar
http://www.chewies.ca/
@chewiesoysters
2201 W 1st Ave, Vancouver

-by Jenny Shen, Eat With Jenny