Heirloom restaurant puts fresh vegan options on the table in Vancouver
Can Vancouver support multiple upscale vegetarian restaurants? We’re going to find out.
On the heels of the debut of the Acorn (3995 Main Street) in July, the larger and also much-anticipated Heirloom (1509 West 12th Avenue) opened on October 10 in South Granville. Five days later, I and a friend stopped by for dinner. Inside, we found a vegan-friendly restaurant with an attractive interior and attentive service.
The menu is divided into Some ($3 to $14 starters), More ($10 to $17 mains), and Li’l More ($10 to $12 desserts). Ten out of 18 dishes are vegan. Two more items had the “V” next to them scribbled out; they actually contain honey or bee pollen, which aren’t vegan. There are 13 gluten-free options, and two of these dishes are raw.
The drinks list features a vegan whiskey sour, which contains flaxseed instead of egg white. In addition to cocktails, there’s beer, wine, coffee, tea, and other non-alcoholic beverages. I ordered the house-made lemon-infused Earl Grey iced tea, while my dining companion selected a beer.
Our friendly server explained that Heirloom’s dishes are meant for sharing. So we decided to split a starter, two mains, and one dessert—all vegan. With the arrival of each dish, our server would enthusiastically identify the ingredients and return shortly to hear our assessment.
The first dish to land on our table was the wild and foraged mushrooms, and it turned out to be the night’s clear winner. Served in a bowl of coconut cream, fennel, garlic, dry cider, and shiso, the heavenly mushrooms were enjoyed on slices of walnut onion baguette.
Next came the stew, composed of white beans, parsnip, and cauliflower, and sprinkled with popped barley. The best part of this wholesome, gluten-free dish was the smoky tarry tea braised delicata squash on top.
Our starter, the dips, saw a perfectly fine beetroot sunflower-seed tapenade overshadowed by an amazing lentil pecan hummus. The accompanying sangak chips could have been crisper, however, and I would have traded the vibrant carrots, radishes, and grape tomatoes on the plate for more of that hummus.
Last, the chai pumpkin mousse was served in a glass. Topped with vanilla cashew cream, walnut date crumble, and a few organic Concord grapes, this gluten-free dessert was a pleasant Thanksgiving-y treat.
Our bill came to $63 before HST and tip. I’m looking forward to trying more of executive chef Georgia Morley’s creations, especially the avocado frites, so I hope Heirloom sticks around.
Heirloom is open for dinner seven days a week, starting at 5 p.m. The restaurant will add brunch and lunch service on November 1.