Better known for noodle bowls and modern Chinese small plates, this downtown lunch hub has recently seen a face lift and a rebranding. Now with a liquor license, comes a whole new concept.
As of Monday September 19th, 2022 their original Pender Street location will debut their cocktail menu which includes a selection of beer and wines for the very first time.
And to celebrate, the intimate space has been renovated and given a more timely appearance to match the offerings. An inspiration from Old Shanghai that includes framed patterned prints, mirrored display windows and a bar with seating.
We were invited down for a sneak peek that included the new sips and some of their signature dishes, now made small plates to best accompany their new beverage selection.
We would try each of their new featured cocktails and honestly, each was better than the last. Each unique to itself, and together all complimentary to the punchy sweet and salty flavours of Chinese cuisine.
The Guadalajara San, has the most unique mix including blanco tequila, plum Umeshu, fresh lemon juice, green tea syrup, and Whiskey barrel bitters. This was a slightly smokey cocktail with a refreshing finish.
The Berry Fraiche was the lightest of the three, and it drank like end of summer, finished off with a freeze dried strawberry slice. This is a blend of strawberry-infused vodka, fresh lemon juice, and Thai basil syrup.
Notable by its garnish of spun cucumber, the Dragòn del Mercado was my favourite. Watermelon infused mezcal, Amaro Montenegro, Aperol, and Hoja santa bitters. I liked how warming it was, a stiffer cocktail with the bold smoke of mezcal. Although I could not make out any of the watermelon.
And the Cold Fuchsia’n was a pretty sipper topped with an edible flower. a fruit-forward mix of blackberry-infused gin, pineapple, fresh lemon juice, and apricot liqueur.
And why have cocktails if you can’t enjoy them during happy hour? So Heritage will also immediately be launching their Happy Hour menu on Monday September 19th, 2022, available every day from 3 to 6 p.m.
Alongside specialty priced drinks, guests will find several Heritage favourites at a late-afternoon discount. The assortment includes wings, XLB (Xiao Long Bao), Truffle Siu Mai, Fried Cauliflower, and Black Sesame Balls. Here is my take on what we were able to sample that night.
We were given our bites as a plate, so as per my usual, I take one at a time working my way through what I feel would be my least favourite to the most, saving the best for last. So I started with the spicy tofu writing it off; but in actuality, this was one of my favourite bites that night, and one of the best renditions I have had of fried tofu to date. The texture was spot on with its crispy exterior and firm interior. Well-seasoned as is, but best with the heaping of sweet and sour chilli on top; a delicious mix of go chu jiang and chilli mayo. From there, like the cocktails it only got better.
This is the first time I have encountered spring rolls like this. Same crispy fried wrap, but instead it was stuffed with a shrimp meat loaf, much like you would find in hao gao (shrimp dumpling). All it needed now was more of the sauce above to dip into.
The Fried wonton was filled with a mix of prawn, pork and chives, it reminded me of the filling found in sui mai. Great textures and a tasty familiar filling, but once again we all wanted sauce on this. The typical dim sum chilli sauce and mustard combo would have sufficed here.
The Truffle siu mai was the most memorable of our happy hour dim sum. Steamed dumpling with prawn, pork, and mushroom; topped with truffle. It was fragrant and as good as you would have hoped.
I have had their Duck baos in the past, so can speak with confidence in declaring this version is a lot tastier. The skin of the duck was crispy and there was enough of it to not be just swimming in dough. Although I could have used more vegetable and sauce. But with drinks, this was delicious.
And for dessert we had their Black sesame sesame balls fresh out of the oven. Crispy, chewy, and filled with molten black sesame paste. Fragrant with the roasted white sesame, I was left wanting more from the black.
Glad to see Heritage evolving with the times, and taking advantage of not just their lunch time downtown business rush, but now the after work crowd as well. A great new spot for those looking to unwind or kill time after work, avoiding the gridiron traffic. A great place for easy approachable Chinese cuisine now made more happy.
Heritage Asian Eatery
1108 W Pender St, Vancouver, BC V6E 4J6