Creole in Winnipeg--Chamarel on Broadway
I just got back from Chamarel Restaurant at 336 Broadway. I've been curious to go in since they opened, as the sign describes it as a 'Creole' restaurant.
We decided to have the buffet, out of fear it would take longer than our lunch hour to order something off the menu. While the food was monochromatic greens and browns, I really enjoyed the flavours. Since "fricasee" is listed on the menu, I assume the chicken dish on the buffet was chicken fricasee, and it was delicious, although not much to look at. There were macaroni noodles with a black pepper sauce, which was spicy hot and probably best termed a 'pepperpot' preparation; these noodles were also very tasty. My favourite dish was the third; a summer squash and beef stirfry, with exceptionally tender and flavorful beef. A neutral tasting basmati rice and onion pilaf made a good bed for the beef and chicken. All three dishes contained an unexpected but welcome amount of heat for a lunch buffet, and I'm told the buffet changes daily. The buffet also included a fresh looking green salad, some tired looking melon slices, and some steamed carrots. The price of the buffet was $9.99 a person, and they take Interac.
When I asked the young boy who waited on us what 'Creole' meant, he described it as East Indian. I asked, "East Indian by way of South America?," and he agreed, so I'm taking a wild guess at Guyana, Suriname, or Trinidad and Tabago as the cuisine's place of origin. I've been unable to find anything about the restaurant online.
The decor is very modern in a 'Restaurant Makeover' sort of way, and it's spacious, very clean and comfortable. We only saw three other people come in while we were there, and that's a shame, because the food is unique and good. Since there really aren't too many lunch options on Broadway, other than street meat, I encourage the downtown crowd to try something out of the ordinary for lunch.