Heritage Asian Eatery
Hi. Frank here from T&S Tours.
You never forget your first time.
It was soft and steamy. Maybe a little spicy. But regardless, it tasted amazing.
I’m talking about the perfect bao.
For this special #takeout edition, I sparked and hit up a nearby bao joint, the Heritage Asian Eatery located in the heart of Vancouver’s financial district.
What is a bao? In my opinion, it’s the four star general and leader of all flour-based, food vesicles. Now, I don’t want to discount the other hand-held soldiers – tacos, souvlakis, pitas, etc. – but the bao is in a different class altogether. The upper echelon. Supreme.
The Main Event
As this was a pure bao mission, I grabbed one of each of the baos that Heritage Asian Eats has to offer:
- Pork Belly Bao, with pork belly, kimchi daikon, crispy onion & hoisin sauce.
- Duck Bao, with duck leg in Peking sauce, pickled cucumber & crispy onion.
- Shiitake Mushroom Bao, with sauteed shiitake, green onion & crispy onion.
In a take-out box, all three baos were neatly tucked away. The pork was fatty and nicely braised, and the duck as the great combination of sweet and salty. And for the vegetarian mushroom bao, it was wonderfully seasoned with great textures from the crispy onion.
Sadly, now the bad.
The anatomy of the bao (or, bao–natomy) is anchored by the bun. The traditional bao bun should be light, fluffy, and warm to the taste. For today’s order, the bun was little too firm and solid for my liking. Although it didn’t compromise the overall experience, it did serve as a negative. I was also hoping for a little bit of warmth, but I found that the bun cooled faster than I anticipated. By the time I got to my third bao, it cooled down significantly (and, in this case, the microwave didn’t really help either).
Frank is vibin'.
Although the bun situation was a slight deterrent, it wouldn’t eliminate Heritage Asian Eatery from my regular bao-craving rotation. The ingredients are premium and come at a bargain – you can tell the chef puts a lot of finesse in his craft. Just wish the buns were warmer, lighter, and fluffier.
Just shitty, and in retrospect, my strategy of eating the lesser desirable of the baos (shiitake) first backfired – I was chewing on some stiff bun and cold duck in the end. Not the best move.
Do I recommend taking the trip? You know, it could have been just a bad bun day. It could have been that I got distracted (despite trying my hardest to focus) and ate too slowly. So many variables to consider, that I would still support you making the trip.
For now, I give the baos a 3.5 out of 5.
Frank @ T&S Tours
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