Monday, May 11, 2015

Chewies Steam & Oyster Bar : Coal Harbour Location

Chewies Steam & Oyster Bar is a New Orleans inspired restaurant serving Cajun and Creole dishes such as gumbo, jambalaya and fried chicken. The first Chewies opened in Kitsilano and the second location is located at Coal Harbour in Downtown Vancouver. At the Coal Harbour location, Chewie's happy hours run from 3:00pm to 6:00pm and I believe some appetizers are 50% off and oysters are $1.00 to $2.00.

We arrived around 2:30pm and were too hungry to wait thirty minutes for a cheaper deal, but a couple of tables waited and the staff had no problems with it. The atmosphere at Chewies is fun, casual and laid back, where none of the staff looked miserable. Our server was also professional, friendly and polite, but not very attentive. A few of our dishes sat at the counter for a while before they were delivered and we constantly kept hearing "service please" from the kitchen.

But meh, he was friendly. He did not have any problems when we asked to have three courses instead of having all the dishes arrive at once because of the small table issue. As for the interior, the restaurant is fairly spacious (excluding the area with half booth seats) and Chewies has a patio too.

Rating: 3/5.
After being disappointed with Francesco's small mussels, we asked our server if the mussels were small. Our server mentioned the mussels are large, but the mussels are fairly small :(. Regardless of the size though, the mussels taste juicy and just cooked. 

As for the broth, the flavours are very mild. There is a mild lobster flavour in the broth and you can taste the lobster along with a hint of spiciness, but the broth itself could have been more rich and there could have been more spices. Even when we dipped the bread into the broth, the flavours were too mild. But when we slurped some of the broth with the mussels, the flavours were a touch richer.

SCALLOPS AND SUCCOTASH, "Seared rare, lemon butter, lima beans, corn, bell peppers, double smoked bacon, scallions" ($16.75).
Rating: 2.5/5.
After sitting at the counter for a while, the scallops are served warm rather than hot. The scallops have a nice sear and taste tender, but the lima beans are undercooked and are fairly hard. Asides from the beans, there is a nice tanginess along with a hint of spices in the succotash. We cannot pick up any of the smoked bacon though… or smokiness.

FRIED FANNY BAY OYSTERS, "Parsley and panko crusted oysters, housemade tartar sauce" ($14.75).
Rating: 3/5.
The fried oysters have a crunchy exterior, taste juicy and the natural flavours are there. However, I still prefer Rodney's fried oysters more because the batter is more crispy than crunchy. As for tartar sauce, there is a heavier mayonnaise flavour than dill, and also tastes more like McChicken sauce than tartar sauce. I personally love McChicken sauce when I am having McDonalds LOL… but I wish there could have been a stronger dill flavour. About that bread though… the bread tastes very fresh and soft! The crust is soft as well as crusty, the crumb is pillowy soft, and the garlic spread tastes light but exhibits a rich garlic flavour!

JAMBALAYA, "House smoked chicken, Andouille sausage, shrimp, spicy Cajun rice" ($19.50).
Rating: 1/5.
The jambalaya is a huge disappointment in my opinion. There is a good amount of shrimp which tastes bouncy, slices of chicken that taste tender but lack a smoky flavour, and the sausage tastes very hard. Moreover, the rice tastes too soft and is practically on the mushy side, and the jambalaya is too "wet". Some people may prefer a soupier jambalaya, but I personally prefer one less wet.

I can sort of get over the wetness but what is disappointing the most is the seasoning. There is a fair amount of Cajun flavour, but there is an extremely heavier amount of black pepper. The heavy amount of black pepper provides that unpleasant stingingness in the mouth and throughout the jambalaya. The black pepper is the dominant flavour rather than Cajun.

SOUTHERN FRIED CHICKEN, "Buttermilk mashed potatoes, green beans, honey butter" ($18.00).
Rating: 3.5/5.
The fried chicken is nicely fried, well seasoned and tastes juicy! The dark meat tastes very juicy and the white meat tastes tender, not stringy one bit. The honey butter provides that stubble sweetness too and the skin does not get soggy. Chewie's fried chicken pretty much reminds me of Church's Chicken's because it is open deep fried. As for the buttermilk mashed potatoes, these are pretty bomb too. The mash tastes smooth, creamy and slightly sweet but not in an unpleasant way. The green beans are also just cooked and neither mushy nor too hard. For $18.00 some may find the entree too pricey, but I like how the dish includes only a couple of pieces of chicken so I do not end up eating four pieces LOL.

The highlights at Chewies are the Southern fried chicken and the garlic bread. The rest of the dishes we ordered are pretty average at best in my opinion and the jambalaya is a huge disappointment. Would I consider revisiting? Maybe, if someone wanted to try the restaurant and only because our server was friendly. He also changed our plates a couple of times too!

- Great server
- Casual and fun atmosphere
- Crispy and juicy fried chicken

- Food can be better
- There is only one washroom and it ain't clean

1055 West Hastings Street Vancouver, BC V6E 2E9
Telephone (604) 620-7634


  1. Hi there!

    I'm sorry this is unrelated to the post itself and quite out of the blue, but would you be able to recommend a few good AYCE sushi as well as hot pot restaurants in Richmond? My parents are visiting me in town and are staying in Richmond but since I don't really go there often I'm totally at a lost with where to start. Also just wanted to say I've been a reader of yours ever since I moved to Vancouver :)

    1. Thank you! :)

      My favourite AYCE sushi in Richmond would be Richmond Sushi

      Toyotomi is a sushi and hot pot AYCE restaurant too, but I wouldn't revisit

      And for just AYCE hot pot,

      Chubby Lamb (
      Tak Heng (
      MaThai (

      My last visit to Tak Heng was horrible and I would never go back, but I still recommend their restaurant. I would go on only weekends though when the restaurant is busier cause perhaps the food/service is better. There is also Little Sheep Mongolian in Lansdowne, but I find the quality mediocre.



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