No, there is no Noma in Vancouver, but for the longest time, the city lacked a true tasting menu. One where this no actual menu, with the diner in the dark about each course, and each course executed at a very high level of perfection in terms of creativity, presentation, and technical skill. The progression of each course needed to make sense. I think Vancouver finally has such a place. Let me introduce you to Published on Main.
The team reads like an all star line up with experience at Michelin star restaurants around the world including Noma. The talent shows in the food.
The restaurant serves an 11 course tasting menu which requires you to reserve in advance and specify that this is the format you want. I highly recommend it.
It starts with some “snacks”. My experience with tasting menus is that a lot of times the “snacks” will be mind blowing and then the rest of the meal deteriorates as if the chefs put all their efforts into the initial impression. This is not the case here. The meal only got better. As we were not presented a menu even after the meal, I will go by memory and may not remember the exact detail of every course.
One strike against Published, and there are not many, is that the servers and even kitchen did not always know the provenance of all the ingredients. This happened with the mussels, and later, with the Wagyu.
Next was a beef broth with beef shank and bone marrow dumplings. The broth was delicious and bordered on perfectly seasoned and salty. The dumplings were creative and delicious with the bone marrow flavor coming through but not overpowering or oily as it can be.
Next was a scallop dish. Very fresh and very well balanced. Very delicate jus with the flavors of celery used very well.
Wagyu (from Washington state) carpaccio.
…next, what may be my favorite dish of the evening, a fish from Winnipeg (if I remember correctly), which was nice to see as the chef was born there with rice cake and bok choy. The fish was perfectly cooked. The bok choy had a nice grilled/well seasoned wok taste to it, and the rice cake just brought everything together. Extremely well executed dish and use of Asian influences which is not easy to do well. These guys nailed it.
Next was a vegetarian dish which I do not remember exactly the composition, but it was good.
This was followed by another Vegetarian dish which was my least favorite of the night. Smoked mushroom and a poached egg. The smoke gave the mushroom a very unique/strange taste and the boiled egg was too much food at this point in the meal.
After that, perfectly cooked duck, amazing cabbage roll, delicious jus, spinach and spaetzle.
The cheese course was also creatively executed and incorporated as a tart.
…and finally two desserts and petit fours (not pictured).
The desserts were very creative and not typical, but I did wish there was at least one dessert with more sweet components. Overall, the service was good and the food was outstanding. I have already made reservations to come back shortly. Highly highly highly recommend you check this place out.