New York Times Frugal Traveler comes to Vancouver in search of Asian fusion cuisine and talks with Todd Wong of Gung Haggis Fat Choy
Riddle. The CEO of VisitScotland, Phillip Riddell had heard about “Toddish McWong's Gung Haggis Fat Choy Robbie Burns Chinese New Year Dinner” and tried some of the Haggis Wonton during a visit by the
Scottish Tourism Organisation to Vancouver, B.C., to promote the Year
of Homecoming Scotland 2009, on Tuesday, January 20, 2009.
Matt Gross writes his column/blog The Frugal Traveler for The New York Times. He came through Vancouver back in August 2009, and we connected through email and cell phone, as we found ourselves moving in different directions in the city and across Georgia Straight.
His newest blog/article is about Asian fusion cuisine, titled:
Asian Cuisine As Diverse as Vancouver.
Matt quotes me:
“Mixing things just becomes part of everyday life,” said Todd Wong,
a Vancouver arts advocate who during Chinese New Year hosts the annual
Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner, where Scottish haggis finds its way into
dim sum dumplings. “It’s not ‘Why are they doing this?’ It’s ‘Why not?’ ”
It’s an admirable attitude, and one that is producing some delicious
and affordable cuisines. Over four days, I pursued this accidental
(incidental?) fusion style around Vancouver, and the quest led me down
some strange and tasty paths.
This is from my original email to Matt:
Hawaii during the days of my youth.
Not really a lot of well-known Odd Asian fusion food – but you know… it happens when you least expect it. Vancouver has so many restaurants and ethnic groups. Things just end up mixing by accident
like peanut butter and choclate eg. Reese's peanut butter cups.
Check out the sushi restaurants…
heard of the BC Roll? Lots of smoked salmon rolls – sometimes called
Alaska Roll. But somewhere in Vancouver there is a Maple Leaf roll…
and in the Davie St. Village – homebase to our large Gay population –
there is a Queen's Roll…. and a Princess Roll…. a Snow White
Roll, Rainbow Roll, Canada Roll, Stanley Park Roll, Panda Roll, Flamingo Roll + lots more!
Check out Kadoya on Davie St.
I LOVE HAPA IZAKAYA
while the Robson location is one of Vancouver's hippest restaurants.
It is still a Japanese style bistro – so you can order a few dishes. We
feel like we are going out to a hip restaurant, but can keep the bill
small. We usually go to the Kitsilano location. Okay – so it's not
odd… but incredibly delicious. This is the restaurant we take our
out of town friends to. Try the Kabocha – $5.90 Japanese pumpkin, whipped into a light, sweet dip, served with cracker
A lot of traditional Chinese food in North America is really fusion cuisine. Chop Suey, is supposedly a “made up” dish for “White Americans” from table scraps….
Go to the Foo's Ho Ho restaurant for one of my favorite dishes. Curried potatoes with beef slices.
We always had it in the 1960's. But now Foo's Ho Ho is the only place
serving authentic “old style” cantonese cuisine in Vancouver. Think –
Where would you find potatoes in China? It's very North American!
Similar to Japa Dog – there is a Thai/Malaysian Hot Dog
stand on Broadway – East of Burrard. on the South side, in front of
Future Shop. The owners have some crazy Malaysian Thai garnishes as
well as the usual.
How about Congee with Ostrich meat?
Go to Kwong Chow on 3163 Main St.
or go to Congee House , 141 East Broadway
– Both are after-practice hang-outs for the Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team (that I founded and coach)
But the Chinese bakeries have these weird combinations. Almost everybody sells a chinese bun with a hot dog weiner –
only $1.45 to $1.95. It's gotta be the cheapest “hot dog” in town.
Try the one stuffed with mayonaise. For some reason Mayonaise is a
“sauce” in Hong Kong.
But… what about
Irish Natchos at Doolin's Irish Pub?
We go to Doolin's every 1st Thursday of each month for Kilts Night.
Wear a kilt – receive a FREE pint of GUINNESS
Go to The Irish Heather.
Famous for their curried potatoe fries
– okay great fries served with a curry sauce. Lots of other fusion
foods there too. And the batter-fruied squid rings with chorizo and
sunflower sprouts was VERY COOL and DELICIOUS! http://www.gunghaggisfatchoy.com/blog/_archives/2009/7/22/4264001.html
Lots of Asians in this city… so green tea or mango ice cream is great.
But how about Durian gelato?
Try out Casa Gelato
Try the black sesame gelato, and a host of other Asian
But the Durian gelato still stinks (is smelly).
Deep-Fried Mars Bars…..
at Mr. Pickwick's Fish & Chips
8620 Granville Street
Read Matt's blog about Galiano Island
An Island Frozen in Time and Price: