If anyone can draw people to the South Bund, it’s Austin Hu. The hype started almost a decade back at his first Shanghai restaurant Madison, with its booked-out brunch nearly every weekend, and has followed him ever since. Hu’s ‘go big or go home’ cooking has always gravitated towards comfort food – tater tot nachos (Union Trading Company), Ferrero Rocher pancakes (Diner, Hu’s since split), meatball subs (Madison Kitchen, RIP) – and Heritage by Madison makes it personal, drawing on the flavours of his childhood which was spent across Shanghai, Japan and the US for a menu of refined small plates. Addictive salted duck yolk lotus root chips, smoked Xinjiang almonds and lovely puffs of golden rye mantou
with a swipe of bright edamame hummus make for smart snacks before dishes like a velvety tea-smoked chicken supreme, charred octopus with four variations of kimchi or melt-in-your-mouth pork belly with shatteringly crisp skin.
By Cat Nelson