Damien’s Belgian Waffles – Richmond, BC


Damien’s Belgian Waffles
2-3891 Chatham Street, Steveston
Richmond, BC
(604) 304-2884

Perhaps one of the most personal (other than through immediate family and personal travels) exposures that I’ve had to international cuisine was during my days as an international college student. For a time, I had the pleasure of having a rotation of roommates in my dormitory flat – a four bedroom space that had a shared kitchen and dining area for our own personal use. I can still vividly remember each one of the fellows I shared my quarters with (will use nicknames here): first there was “D-dog” (from Minnesota, USA), “Dai” (from Osaka, Japan), “Franc” (from Paris, France), “GQ” (from Seoul, South Korea), “Afro” (from Ontario, Canada), “Vocal” (from Massachusetts, USA), and lastly the fellow who was there for my entire stretch of time in that residence, “Gelato” (from Brussels, Belgium).

Through each of them, I was able to learn about their family traditions and meal favorites, as we’d routinely have group chowdowns where we scrambled for cash to come up with grocery money after too many nights out drinking our savings and parents’ money away. But it was French-speaking “Gelato” who probably opened my eyes most to his country’s food culture. In my mind, I had some stereotypical images of what Belgians ate. And lo and behold, this fellow provided a living example in the flesh, as he would regularly be chomping down on bricks of dark chocolate, tartines with cheese, frites, and of course waffles. Some of these he would get sent to him as care packages from his mother in Belgium, and other times he’d venture out and get them at available supermarkets. The dude even had a waffle iron.

The warm, sweet scent of his waffle making mornings were  a delight.  With a strong cup of coffee, it often was the start of my weekends after a long week of school (and Friday night partying).  He was a few years older than us (due to his fulfilling his mandatory time in the country’s military) and took on this big brother role pretty well and always made sure there were plenty of sugar caramelized waffles to share.  Sadly, it has been many years since I partook in one of these authentic waffle-fueled mornings.

So during a recent visit to Steveston while walking around the town site, when I spotted the signage for Damien’s Belgian Waffles in a simple looking strip mall, I knew I had to go in and make a purchase despite us already having had a greasy spoon breakfast.  At the time, there were no other customers and the female proprietor’s two young girls were scurrying around having fun.  It seemed very homey and could probably benefit from a better decorated space but there is not much you can do in those commercially designed, architect-in-a-box complexes.

The distinct rounded, sweet and chewy-style Liège waffles here sure did bring back good memories of “breakfast ala Gelato”.  The richness and less airy texture of these, as compared to mainstream North American waffles, or even the crispy Belgian Waffles, is what to me, makes these fabulous.  Not to mention highly addictive.

Aside from the regular, plain variety, they offer an assortment of flavored versions.  For my take away box of six, I chose the plain, vanilla, cinnamon, chocolate and maccha types.   Each one had its distinct flavour profile, though I must say the maccha was the weakest in terms of transmitting the special ingredient it contained.  The consistency of the waffles themselves was solid throughout all six (yes, we ate them all in one sitting later that day).  It was recommended that since we took them as takeout, that we toast them briefly and that helped to soften them, as well as to create a slight melt to the chocolate waffle.  I was curious how this would compare to the dine-in experience, but I was certainly not disappointed with what I brought home.

I’ll be back, in lieu of being able to visit my old roomie, who is now somewhere else in the world.  But surely, he is probably still making a mighty fine and tasty waffle!

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10 thoughts on “Damien’s Belgian Waffles – Richmond, BC

  1. I’ve always wanted to try the waffles here and I’ve made several trips to Steveston where my main purpose was to go there.. but everytime so far I’ve failed and its been closed.. I think each time was a Sunday though so I guess I’ll try on a weekday.. looks really good though.

  2. Hi Shokutsu:
    I learned that Damien’s supplies waffles to restaurants. Chambar’s famous belgian waffles … well, they are from Damien’s. LOL! There are so much to discover in Steveston. Did you try anything else while there?
    Ben

    • Interesting to know, but not surprising given the similar country ties I suppose. Not had the waffles at Chambar, just other main meals. My eating adventures in Steveston have been few and far between, but nothing really memorable unfortunately. Any suggestions?

      • Hi Shokutsu:
        A few places comes to mind when it comes to Steveston. For one, it is where Sam Lau reopened his Zen Fine Chinese Cuisine. The writeup on chowtimes generated almost 50 comments (http://chowtimes.com/2010/04/08/zen-fine-chinese-cuisine-on-no-1-road-and-moncton-richmond/). It’s a controversial restaurant for use.

        Then there is also the Steveston Pizza which many claims to be very good. Most definitely the best pizza in Richmond.

        Alex Tung (http://chefsnightout.wordpress.com/) is both a blogger and the chef of Tapenade Bistro.

        During warmer months, Pajo’s Fish and Chips is a great place to just while away time.

        Diplomat Bakery is our favourite bakery in Richmond. Worth a check.

        That’s all I can think of at the top of my head.

        Ben

        • Thanks Ben!

          I did see the Zen place while there, and do remember your latest post. Pajo’s I’ve still been meaning to try despite passing on it during four visits of late.

    • I thought Eleanor Chow, the (former??) pastry chef at Medina made them. Perhaps that has changed recently.

      The key ingredient to Liege waffles is pearl sugar which is folded into the dough shortly before it is cooked. The pearl sugar creates little bombs of caramelized sugar throughout the waffle.

      I have been to Damien’s – good waffles. The chef (Phillipe Lereux) is married to a Japanese woman (Miho) hence the Japanese influences in some of his waffles.

  3. If you happen to jog or cycle @West Dyke Trail, fishing or watching the sunset @Garry Park, Ichiro Japanese restaurant is a convenient option.
    $20 will get you a deluxe bento.
    I doubt if you need to spend up to $75 for a sumptuous dinner.
    Service is reserve and unobtrusive.
    Premises is reasonably clean.
    http://www.ichirojapaneserestaurant.ca/whatsnew.htm

    The prices have gone up about 25%-30% from a year or so ago.

  4. patisserie lebeau on 2nd just east of burrard in vancouver – is my favorite belgian liege-style waffle. it’s great. only warning: closed on sundays and mondays, but it has fantastic pastries (in general), and sandwiches (made fresh with in-house baked buns i think).

    if ur ever in the east-kits/west-fairview area, definitely hit it.

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