Who would’ve thought that a Kitsilano restaurant could give New Orleans cuisine a run for its money?
That’s exactly what Chewies is doing. Local foodies can rejoice as the scavenger hunt for delicious Southern food is over! This local oyster bar has brought a taste of Mardi Gras to Kits – in terms of both its delicacies and atmosphere.
Richard Chew founded Chewies in 2011 along with business partner Jamie Haddad and his wife, Melanie Haddad. The trio believed that with all the delicious oysters and seafood available in Vancouver, it was about time for the city to experience a restaurant that put a Southern twist on its dishes. Southern Fried Chicken & Waffles, Jambalaya, Gumbo Yaya… these were the kind cravings that were previously left unfulfilled, until Chewies came along.
And apparently those cravings were hella strong. Chewies quickly expanded to its second location in Coal Harbour. This success was due in part to Chewie’s very talented Operation Manager, Andrew Hall, but also to the quality of food that the menu offers. Not only did Chewies answer our prayers for some New Orleans’ grub, it brought insanely delicious, award-winning dishes to Kitsilano. Chewies has been awarded “One of the Best Brunch in Canada” from You Gotta Eat Here, which was presented on the Marilynn Dennis Show.
Speaking of the food, I was super stoked to try out two of Chewies signature dishes: the Fresh Schucked Oysters on a Half Shell, and the Southern Fried Chicken. Truthfully, oysters have never been an item that I’d choose to order off of a menu. They’ve always seemed a little bit risky to me, some people love them and some people don’t. Well the people who don’t have clearly not tried them at Chewies.
I tried out three types of oysters: the Lighthouse Point ($2.75 each), the Kusshi ($3.25 each), and the Village Base ($3.25 each). I could definitely taste the quality and freshness. There was a hint of salinity that made it not even the least bit surprising when I found out that Chewies gets their oysters delivered daily. There were different sauce options which added a variety to the dish as well: a shallot mignonette, cucumber & jalapeno “hogwash,” and the horseradish cocktail (my personal favourite) which had a solid kick to it. As if these sauces weren’t enough, the oysters were also served with authentic Louisiana hot sauce, fresh lemon, and fresh grated horseradish. There is literally no way you can’t like these oysters, there’s something for everyone. Deal find: head there between 3-6pm when a select variety of their oysters are only a buck a shuck!
And if oysters really reallly realllly aren’t your thing, please take my word on the Southern Fried Chicken. Marinated for two days and slathered in a Cajun honey butter drizzle, I felt like the heavens parted when I took my first bite – this dish is absolutely to die for. The ultimate comfort food, it’s a mix between sweet & savoury, and has a crunchy crispiness to it without being greasy. Fried chicken sounds like a weird item to have for brunch, but I can definitely see why Chewies has incorporated it into all of their menus. It’s THAT good.
The food wasn’t the only awesome part of my experience. With a laid back yet sociable atmosphere, I felt very at ease yet energized. The servers were upbeat and there was a wide variety of diners in the restaurant, it has a vibe that’s great for everything from a date, to a loud group dinner, to girls’ night out.
My only uncertainty about Chewies is whether I’ll be trying the Buttermilk Biscuits, St Louis Style Ribs, or Po’ Boy when I return (let’s be honest, it will probably be them all).
Hopefully I can brush up on my oyster shucking skills in time for their upcoming shucking competition. If I win, all I’d hope for as a prize would be a plate of the Beignets *fingers crossed*