A new chef has been heading up the kitchen at Canlis for just over a year and I’d yet to try even after glowing reviews from critics. My friends got married here and were going to celebrate their anniversary a few months late since they moved overseas and invited me to be a 3rd wheel. They’re staying at my place so made the decision a fair bit easier when they assured me they like having company. After an up and down start to the meal it progressively got better and before we knew it, we had been enjoying the evening for over three hours.
Chef Williams is half Japanese and it definitely showed throughout the meal. The barley and duck dish had a more Asian combination of ingredients but tasted almost like duck a l’orange.
The one dish that fell very flat for me was the tomato course, while they were of excellent quality and flavor nothing had been done to them beyond being sliced and peeled. I expect them to be transformed into something better than just raw and served with beef fat and tofu. A complete 180 to this was the cabbage, I didn’t expect much given the simple description but it was incredible; the pickling of the cabbage and subsequent grilling really brought out a ton of flavor and complexity while the vermouth based sauce really added some nice smoothness. The duck and lamb were also amazing dishes, both had perfectly rare meat and a nice layer of fat that just melted in your mouth. I would have loved bigger portions of both although I probably didn’t have room for more.