2005 Menu for Gung Haggis Fat Choy™ at Floata Restaurant

2005 Menu for Gung Haggis Fat Choy™ at Floata Restaurant

I just got back from the Floata Restaurant where I put the final touches on the 2005 Gung Haggis Fat Choy™
menu with manager Antonio Hung.  We first seriously discussed the
menu items back in November when we filmed the segments for the Dec 7th
broadcast of CBC TV's “The National.”  That was the first time
Floata chefs attempted “haggis wun-tun” and “haggis springrollls.”

Every year we balance lots of exciting and savoury combinations of
dishes with our favorite traditional Chinese New Year dishes and enough
to keep the vegetarians happy.  In 2004, with Flamingo Chinese
Restaurant, we presented “haggis wun tun” and “haggis
springrolls.”  Definitely a “hit” with the patrons and the media –
who “ate” it up!  Seriously!  I took haggis wun tun to Shaw's
“Urban Rush” and Global Morning News, as well as CBC Radio's The
Afternoon Show, and CBC TV's “Canada Now”

Our selections are not a real “traditional” Chinese New Year
dinner menu – but a blending of favorites, and brand new
fusion-fare.  It is created to help introduce “real Chinese
banquet fare” to Scottish-Canadians and to help make “haggis” safe for
Chinese-Canadians.

Here is the menu for 2005, subject to change at my whimsy and the kitchen's demands:

1 –  Appetizer Plate with Haggis Wun Tun, Haggis Spring Rolls, Shredded Jelly Fish, and Spicy Tofu. (Haggis
Wung Tun was first created in September 2003 when I walked into New
Town Restaurant in Chinatown with a Haggis from Peter Black's and asked
them to make wun tuns for me to take to the CBC Radio reception to
welcome Shelagh Rogers and “Sounds Like Canada” to Vancouver. 
Shredded Jelly Fish really is
made of Jelly Fish, and it is one of my favorites – yum!)

2 – Hot & Sour Soup (Always
a favorite for everybody – and vegetarian to boot!  Warms up the
innards on a cold January night.  I am sure Burns would approve.)

3 – Deep Fried Shrimp Balls (The
last two years, we have had crab & lobster at the Flamingo
Restaurant – but it has been very messy on the hands and fingers. 
This causes lots of problems for the musicians. In May I emceed the
West Vancouver Rotary Club's “Shanghai Nights Dinner” and was
introduced to Floata's “Deep Fried Shrimp Balls on Crab Claws… yum
yum!  We are dispensing with the claws to keep the costs down…
Can't have 60 crabs walking around the restaurant without claws, can
we?)

4 – Pan Fried Mushroom, Tofu and Vegetables. (After
the rich seafood, vegetables and tofu to clean the palate.  It
could be green beans, snow peas, Chinese broccoli… but it's got to be
fresh!  Tofu is great… I grew up eating it since I was a little
kid.  I know a lot of caucasians who detest tofu… maybe this
venerable bean curd staple is the Chinese equivalent of
haggis?)

5 – Sliced Beef with Broccoli  (Always
a good staple.  Tenderized slices of “Ngah -yook” Beef meat – one
of the first chinese food words I ever learned… actually it was
probably “Ngah-Nigh” which means “Cow's Milk.”  Stir-fried Beef
strips was also one of the first Chinese dishes I learned to cook – I
love adding it to my fettucine pasta with Teriyaki sauce.  What
can you say about the accompanying vegetable, except: Eat your
Broccoli!)

6 – Haggis (You
can't have a Robbie Burns Supper without Haggis… The first time I
tried haggis – I gagged.  It reminded me of poi – the Hawaiian
taro paste.  I put some haggis in with my rice… it wasn't
bad.  I added sweet & sour sauce.  Plum sauce was great
with it.  Then I learned that I didn't like the lard recipe haggis
and there were many other haggis recipes.  My favorite is from
Peter Black and Sons, found at Park Royal Shopping Centre in West
Vancouver.  It is savoury with Peter's unique and special
recipe.  Featured on CityTV's City Cooks for the past two years in
a row!)

7 – Vegetarian Lettuce Wrap (This
is always fun.  Imagine a hamburger without the bun.  Oops…
nothing is holding the patty together eithe and this time it's
vegetarian made up of diced mushrooms, carrots, celery, etc.  Add
the Hoi-Sin bbq plum sauce in the middle of your lettuce and remember
that when it comes to filling the lettuce – less is more. 
Otherwise your lettuce will crack and break and the sauce will run down
your fingers. Delightfully messy!)

6 + 7 = Haggis Lettuce Wrap (Combine
Haggis with a lettuce wrap…. people will think we are crazy. 
Oops, we are crazy.  This is Gung Haggis Fat Choy Crazy! 
Take a large spoonful of haggis, plunk it on a lettuce leaf, add the
vegetarian filling, smother it with Hoi-Sin Chinese plum sauce, and
voila – Another Toddish McWong culinary-fusion treat!  Actually we
taste-tested haggis lettuce wrap last year, at the Flamingo a week
before the Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner – just to see what would
happen… and it was G-O-O-D! but we were already committed to
marketing the Haggis wun tun, so we saved it for 2005)

8- Crispy Skin Chicken ( A regular for Chinese banquets – need
we say more? – better than Fried Chicken and healthier too! Everybody
say “Chioy Pei Gai”.  This is the dish that comes with the pastel
coloured deep fried shrimp chips – Always my favorite when I was a kid.)

9 – Buddha's Mixed Vegetables 
(So called because it is a favorite vegetarian dish for Buddist
Monks.  It is also a traditional New Year's fare to bring
enlightenment for the coming months.  Did you know that it was
Buddha who first summoned the animals to come see him, and that he
would name the years of the Chinese Zodiac after them? The Rat arrived
first. I was born in the year of the Metal Rat).

10 – Special Vegetarian Chow Mein with Mushrooms and Onions (Always
a Chinese New Year traditional dish, as the long noodles represent long
life.  Sounds kind of superstitious to me.  Just remember the
origins of Italian pasta go back to Marco Polo's journeys to
China.  He was also probably the one who smuggled maps of Chinese naval voyages to Italy where they ended up with Christopher Columbus.  Every had the Chinese version of pizza?)

11 – Young Chow Fried Rice (Non-vegetarian. 
I think we've put enough vegetarian dishes on the menu for 2005. 
This dish will have diced BBQ pork, and baby shrimp, and maybe diced
chicken… a good way to finish of f dinner – if you are still a wee
bit hungry after a Chinese banquet.  Not bloody likely! 
Whoever first came up with the idea that you are hungry an hour after
eating Chinese food – probably never ate at a Chinese banquet.)

12 – Dessert (This
will be a mix of puddings and pastries We do recognize that not
everybody like to have red bean pudding after a banquet dinner. 
Mango pudding and almond jello are my favorites.  We will
definitely NOT have blood pudding – Scottish resturant for that stuff)

Hope you enjoyed these delicious descriptions… 

Dinner
& show starts promptly at 6:00pm.  After first doing this
event in a restaurant since 1999, we've had plenty of practice how to
figure out how to combine an entertainment program with a simultaneous
dinner program.  Serve the dishes approximately every 15 minutes,
Performances for 10 minutes with a 5 minute intermission.  That's
the idea anyways.  It used to be pretty easy serving everybody
withing 5 minutes so there wouldn't be any waiters bringing food to
your table while performers will demanding your attention to the
stage.  But that was easier done, when we only had 4 to 20
tables.  Now we will have about 60 tables for Gung Haggis Fat
Choy.  I think we will have to be a little more lenient and
patient with the dinner schedule.

Toddish

Ó 2005 Todd Wong

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