Sherman's Food Adventures: Heritage Asian Eatery (Broadway)

Heritage Asian Eatery (Broadway)

Long ago, I visited the very hot Heritage Asian Eatery located in Downtown Vancouver.  At the time, they were one of the first places to offer up Asian-inspired eats that didn't suck.  Let me rephrase that more eloquently...  Heritage actually tried to keep closer to their Asian roots and provided people with food that was not only appealing to look at, but also consisting of traditional Chinese flavours and techniques melded into a more modern presentation and construction.  I came away moderately impressed where some items were really good while others could've used a few tweaks.  They had opened up a Broadway location awhile back, but I finally got around to trying it as they rolled out their new Chinese BBQ meats.

As such, I got their 4 Treasures Plate consisting of BBQ duck, BBQ pork, soya chicken and Heritage egg.  If we look at this at an initial attempt by a place that isn't known for Chinese BBQ, I would say this was not bad.  I found the duck to be moist and natural-tasting where it could've been seasoned more aggressively and the skin could've been crispier and rendered.  The pork was fine, yet a bit stiff.  Best of all was the chicken was it was flavourful and moist.  Chewy and nutty, the rice was perfect for the sauce, however, there wasn't enough of it.  Furthermore, this was missing the classic ginger and green onion condiment and plum sauce.  I also got a classic item in the Wonton Soup.  If you look closely, they were more like Sui Gau where the filling consisted of shrimp and veggies.  I found the shrimp to be a bit lacking in snap, but the dumpling was pleasant enough.  The soup was also fine, but could've used stronger seasoning.

At first, the Xiao Long Bao didn't look very promising as the wrapper looked rather generic and not particularly thin.  People must understand that not all XLBs feature thin wrappers nor classic twirl nubs on the top.  There are a few styles in China that are all legit.  This would be the case here as they ate much better than they looked.  The skin was surprisingly delicate and not dense at all.  The filling was tender and moist while the amount of soup was adequate.  I found that it was mostly sweet and one note though.  From there, we moved onto 2 versions of their Bao.  I tried the Pork Belly Bao first and the bun itself was fairly thin and soft.  Inside, the large piece of belly was fatty and tender.  The braising liquid did come through as well as the kimchi daikon with a fermented spice and tang.  Adding crunch was crispy onion.  Trying to emulate Peking duck, the Duck Bao accomplished that with hoisin, crunchy cucumber and crispy onions.

We finished off with 2 of their bowls that consisted of the same ingredients as the bao.  Sporting plenty of fatty Pork Belly, lime cabbage slaw, crispy onions, daikon kimchi and Heritage egg, the flavours were very similar to the bao.  However, with the addition of the egg, there was an added silkiness.  Furthermore, the kimchi daikon was even more apparent here due to the increased amount.  As for the Duck Rice Bowl, in addition to the hoisin glazed duck breast, we found shredded leg meat, lime cabbage slaw, crispy onions and Heritage egg.  Once again, the flavours didn't deviate much from the bao and was the tastier of the 2.  For the items we tried here, this visit to the Broadway location of Heritage was good.  With that being said, some tweaks are needed to make it great.

The Good:
- Fairly solid eats
- Portion sizes are fair
- Increased selection with the introduction of BBQ meats

The Bad:
- Some tweaks required to make the BBQ competitive with the best in town
- There isn't anything particularly wrong with the food, yet it is just a step down from being even better

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