Chewies Steam and Oyster Bar: Brunch from Down South
2201 West 1st Ave., Kitsilano, Vancouver
If there is one thing I cannot get enough of, it’s fresh oysters, shucked, smooth and silky and ice cold. We ordered them for brunch at Chewie’s in Kits. I was happy to find my favourites in the mix: plump and buttery little kusshi oysters.
The kusshi oysters were just as I had remembered, silky and light with a fruity finish.
Next up were the Fanny Bay oysters, which I also love. They were similar to the kusshi in texture, delicate and velvety, smooth and buttery. The taste was light and clean.
The third type of oysters, I’ve never had before, they were a Prince Edward Island variety and the taste was amazing, brinier than the West Coast oysters with firmer flesh and a denser texture as I bit down on the slimy, deliciously meaty little oyster before it slid down my throat.
These were the perfect appetizers for our brunch. I ordered Southern Fried Chicken and Waffles right away. I have been dreaming about this dish ever since I’ve heard about it. I am a sucker for fried chicken and waffles just tops this up as one of my dream dishes.
I usually prefer Belgian waffles for their dense texture and buttery, chewiness but these square, buttermilk waffles were pretty delicious. They were fluffy, soft and light, a great compliment to the crispy and rich fried chicken.
The crispy skin on the fried chicken was amazing, soaked in maple syrup but still retaining a crispy, crunchy texture. The chicken inside was moist, juicy and flavourful. I really could have had at least 2 or 3 more pieces.
I can see why this dish is a true Southern tradition. It takes comfort food to the homiest level, it just makes me want to curl up with some warm tea, play some relaxing music with a good, guilty read in hand.
Deciding to go full-out on the traditional Southern dishes, we also ordered the BBQ shrimp and grits with a poached egg. I have always wanted to try grits, even though I have eaten polenta and corn meal a million times. I have a great curiosity about true Southern staples, and am excited that simple classic dishes from down south are resurfacing on contemporary restaurant menus.
The parmesan cheese grits at Chewie’s was delicious, I thought they were just the right creamy texture with a great salty, cheesy flavour and just enough ‘grit’ to stand up to the rest of the spicy flavours in the dish. My friend didn’t like them though. He thought they were bland, then again, his taste buds can handle a lot more spice than mine.
The BBQ shrimp in this dish were tender and really did have a spicy kick to it, the kind that sort of makes your tongue tingle a little bit but leaves your mouth with a deep, sweet aftertaste. I loved it. The egg just tied the whole dish together, giving it another element of richness in combination with the creamy grits. This was a very filling dish and also smelled the most amazing at the table.
Our third dish was a traditional breakfast with my favourite side: bacon! The bacon was salty and crispy and totally satisfying. I had a pretty big bacon craving this morning!
I also loved that the over easy eggs had the perfect runny yolk, with the golden, liquid yolk spilling all over my plate. Yummy! The fluffy buttermilk waffles were perfect for mopping up this scrumptious yolk.
The yukon potato home fries were wonderful, crispy and golden brown on the outside and moist and fluffy on the inside. They were also not too greasy, which was great since I just consumed bacon AND fried chicken in one meal.
I can’t believe how much I loved the buttermilk waffles here. I am definitely craving them right now and can’t wait to go back for more!