This post covers my 2 separate visits to Heritage Asian Eatery. I discovered this new breakfast/lunch joint when I was working on a post for Vancouver Foodie Pulse on all the newly opened restaurants in September. It was exciting to see Felix Zhou, a young talented chef whose resume includes Beach Bay Cafe, The Parker and Big Trouble, as well as experience at established restaurants in London, starting a new journey and becoming a co-owner. And what’s more interesting is that, looking at their menu, I connect with the place immediately as this is the type of restaurants I want to open if I’m ever gonna do so. 🙂
I decided to visit the eatery with my friend Lou and his brother, who had just come from Hong Kong for less than 24 hours.
The canteen style dining area seems to fit about 40 people with a long communal table surrounded by smaller tables. I just like how bright, simple and clean the place is. And it is all counter service which makes it quick and easy to order.
We decided to get 3 lunch bowls and a couple of their sides. I saw the lunch baos on the menu too, but I had some reservation because I was not a big fan of bao sandwiches like the ones from Bao Down or Gyoza Bar.
The Duck Rice Bowl ($15) features duck in two ways: duck leg in Peking sauce and roasted duck breast thinly sliced, and topped with crispy onions, watercress and a slow cooked marinated egg. The duck leg was served in the “pulled duck” form, quite the contrast to the perfectly rendered duck breast. The sauce was made form Hoisin sauce, typically used for serving Peking duck. The slow cooked egg was flavourful and the yolk was super soft and delicate. Overall it was a pretty solid lunch bowl for us to enjoy.
The Pork Belly Rice Bowl ($12) was tasty as well. The pork belly was cooked to super tender, and complemented with the same ingredients with the duck bowl with the addition of the yuzu slaw, which I absolutely adored.
The Mushroom Rice Bowl ($11) was the only vegetarian rice bowl available, in which I could find black ear mushroom and finely chopped shiitake, and the flavours were quite similar to the pork belly bowl.
And all the sides are only $5. There are 5 wings in the Five Spice Chicken Wings ($5) and it’s a pretty good deal! The wings are fried to golden and crispy, and the amount of seasoning and spices are on point. My guests really liked them as well.
The Marinated Eggplants ($5) was topped with crispy onion and chopped fresh herbs. I like the heat from the chilli in the marinade and I can appreciate it as a cold dish. But it was a little salty to be eaten on its own. I think it would be nice to just eat this with a bowl of plain rice.
Later on I posted a photo of the eggplant dish on Instagram with my review of the dish in the description. The restaurant actually responded to it and thanked me for the feedback. Guess what? A couple weeks later when I visited the eatery again, they had removed the mushroom rice bowl and there was the Eggplant Rice Bowl ($11) on their menu! Someone might have taken my advice seriously, which would be such a warm-hearted gesture to a food lover like me.
So during my 2nd visit, I decided to give the lunch bao a try. I went with a couple co-workers and we all got the Pork Belly Bao ($7), which was loaded with pork belly, kimchi daikon, crispy onion & hoisin sauce. Oh boy the baos are so much better than the ones at Bao Down’s – they are thinner, light, fluffy and not super white with the sugary taste. The whole thing was delicious! I think it definitely helps when the chef is actually from China and knows how to make the the proper bao dough…
This time I also tried the Fried Cauliflower ($5), which has the same 5 spice seasoning with the chicken wings. Although it is delicious and makes a great vegetarian alternative to the wings, I still prefer the wings a little better. 🙂
I really enjoyed the lunch bowls here, especially the duck rice bowl. My other favourites include the pork bell bao and the chicken wings. It was great to see a classically trained chef cooking simple and delicious food with a little bit of finesse based on both his background and his training. And more importantly he listens, adapts and improves, which is always the right way for running a successful business. I will make sure to come back to try their breakfast bowls and breakfast baos!
Website and menu: