Gung Haggis dim sum taste-testing a success!
Here's a picture from our haggis won ton and springrolls from 2005, picture from 2007 will be available soon! – photo Todd Wong
We taste-tested the world's first haggis dim sum tonight.
Floata served (to our specifications) deep-fried haggis won-ton, haggis
har gau (shrimp dumplings), haggis su mei (pork dumplings) + vegetarian
The haggis shrimp dumplings was the best. Very tasty… there
were positive compliments right away. Haggis pork dumplings were
good too. Har gau shrimp dumplings and su mei pork dumplings are
classic cantonese dim sum items. They are not overwhelmed by the
addition of the haggis. We asked the restaurant chefs not to put
too much haggis in – just enough to give it the taste. People
will like these new additions to our culinary menu.
“Dim Sum” actually translates to “touch the heart” or “pieces of
heart”- meaning wonderful little morsels of food that are endearing to
the heart. Even though traditional haggis is made from the heart,
liver of a sheep – this is all very coincidental that it should be
fused together for Gung Haggis Won Ton.
Unfortunately, it was a new chef and he didn't get the instructions to
make the haggis won ton with our secret ingredient of water
chestnuts. This makes the item crunchy. This will be fixed
for the January 28th dinner.
And the rest of the dinner was very good. We had vegetarian Hot
and Sour Soup. Shrimp balls with fruit salad, Ginger crab,
mushrooms + tofu + fresh vegetables, sticky rice with taro and chicken,
vegetarian lettuce wrap, traditional haggis (which we encourage
everybody to add to their lettuce wrap), and pastry
We have trimmed our menu from a 10 course dinner to a 8 course dinner
because…. everybody at the past dinners said there was TOO MUCH food,
and the number 8 is a very lucky number in Chinese culture.
And… we have also improved the quality of the food. The Ginger
crab, shrimp balls, and sticky rice are traditional banquet food items.
For the first time, we invited our performers to the pre-event
taste-testing, and we invited our Gung Haggis Fat Choy event volunteer
coordinators from the GHFC dragon boat team. Past dinners were
small and included GHFC dinner event coordinators + a food writer/
author such as Roland Tanglao (VanEats.com) or Tim Pawsey (The Courier)
or author/chef Steven Wong. Usually, we are so busy with the
performances and so overwhelmed by the large crowd, we don't get to
relax and enjoy ourselves. But we did tonight. We explained
that this was like the very first (now legendary) Gung Haggis Fat Choy
dinner back in 1998 when we first served haggis with a Chinese New Year
dinner, and between each dinner course, somebody had to get up to read a poem, sing a song, or play some music.
During the course of our dinner, we sang Loch Lomand, performed the
Burns poem “Address to the Haggis,” Silk Road Music performed a
traditional “Happy Song,” then led a singalong of the famous Chinese song “Mo Li Hua (Jasmine
Flower)”. We discussed the traditions of both Burns Suppers, and
the Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinners. We also played the video
of the CBC Gung Haggis Fat Choy tv special. We yelled out
whenever we recognized somebody on the screen that was sitting with us
at the dinner table. “There's Deb!” “There's
Todd!” “Here's Silk Road with Qiu Xia and Andre!”
“There's Joe McDonald with Brave Waves.”
It was a special dinner with all good friends from the Gung Haggis
dragon boat team, and our performers for the Gung Haggis Fat Choy
dinner event. We discussed the intercultural points of music,
literature and culture. This was also a good way to indoctrinate
some of our rookie GHFC paddlers and rookie performers such as Leora
Cashe into our Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner traditions. And to
the night, we all sang Auld Lang Syne – standing and holding hands.
We look forward to the January 28th dinner, knowing the entertainment
is going to be great, and knowing the food is going to be even better!