Monthly Archives: January 2014

Gung Hay Fat Choy – Happy Chinese Lunar New Year – Year of the Horse

Chine brush stroke picture of Horse, painted by my father – photo Todd Wong

I am descended from horses. My mother’s maiden name is Mar. My maternal grandfather was Sunny Mar, who paid the Chinese Head Tax, prior to the 1923 Chinese Exclusion Act.

Ma (simplified Chinese: 马; traditional Chinese: 馬; pinyin: Mǎ) is one of the mosSee more
Here is a bronze replica of the famous “Horse Galloping on Flying Swallow” – that I brought back from my 1993 trip to China.

This is one of my favorite pieces of art.  I first saw it in 1976 on a poster in my High School English 11 teacher’s classroom.  When I found bronze replicas at the Shaanxi Province Museum in Xi’an, China – I had to bring one home.

“Among China’s various craft masterpieces, Bronze Galloping Horse Treading on a Flying Swallow 马踏飞燕 is unique with its splendid designs and is a classical work of Chinese ancient aesthetics.

“Bronze Galloping Horse Treading on a Flying Swallow was unearthed in 1969 in the Leitai Tomb of the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220) in Wuwei County, Gansu Province. The bronze statue is a famous representative sculpture of the Han Dynasty. Wuwei County leapt to fame with the discovery of this national treasure.”




The Robbie Burns Poetry Marathon Reading at SFU Downtown

Here is Alma Lee, founder of the Vancouver International Writers Festival at the 2013 Burns Poetry Marathon Reading – photo Todd Wong

Happy Robbie Burns Day Eve… Join me tomorrow for the Burns Poetry Marathon Reading… 11am at the Burns Statue in Stanley Park with bagpiper Thomas Budd

Then at 12pm at SFU Downtown – where we will Rap the Address to the Haggis!

You can register to read a Burns Poem and join the fun:

We did the inaugural Burns Marathon reading two years ago in 2012 – Here is my blog story

Here is Leith Davies, director of the Centre for Scottish Studies SFU, Teresa King (descendant of Robert Burns), and me!

Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner postponed to March 16th

ANNOUNCEMENT – Dinner Post-poned to March 16th
Floata Restaurant, #400 – 180 Keefer St.
details to be confirmed.

Sorry to inconvenience everybody – but logistics and health have forced this difficult decision.

It is St. Patrick’s Day Weekend – so we will be inclusive of Irish, Chinese, Scottish and First Nations cultures for a reinvigorated Gung Haggis Fat Choy that will celebrate our province’s pioneer history and the cultural fusion of today’s diversity.

I will follow up with our guests – and we will have something special for your patronage and support.

– Tickets available online at

Cheers, Todd

Here is a picture of the Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team on St. Patrick’s Day 2013 – for the Celtic Fest St. Patrick’s Day parade.

2014 dinner menu for Gung Haggis Fat Choy Robbie Burns Chinese New Year Dinner

Every year we switch up some of the dishes for the Gung Haggis Fat Choy Robbie Burns Chinese New Year Dinner 

We pay attention to what we ate last year, what fits with the performance themes.  January 31, will welcome the Year of the Horse – and NO – we will not have horse meat.  But Horses will fit into the literary theme…  How about some Beef?

Half the dishes are vegetarian including: turnip cake appetizer, vegetarian hot and sour soup, lettuce wrap, buddha’s feast + efu long life noodles.  Meat dishes will be fish, chicken and a beef dish, + traditional haggis.  Our specialty appetizer items are deep-fried haggis & shrimp won ton, and haggis & pork su-mei dumplings… but we are considering bringing back spring rolls in place of the bbq pork.

This is the appetizer platter: Spicy jellyfish (center), , Lo-Bak-Goh turnip cake (front), BBQ pork (right) and haggis & pork shu-mei dumplings (left).  Delicious!  My great-grandmother always used to make the turnip cakes for me – to this day, they are one of my favorite dim sum dishes!

Our famous Haggis & shrimp Wonton dumplings! Utterly tasty…. It is one of our mentor Jim Wong-Chu’s favorite items on the menu that he looks forward to tasting each year.  Last year, we had accordionist Lewis Kane, fresh from Scotland attend out taste-test dinner. We asked Lewis to try one… to see if a real Scottish person would eat it.  And… he LIKED it…. he said it was real good… and that they should do this in Scotland!  HA!  Score one for Canada!

Last year we had Winter Melon soup… would be a staple if winter melons grew in Scotland.  Sublime in flavour, delicately balanced with mushrooms, cucumbers, carrots and lots of other good things. But… for 2014, we will return to a traditional Hot & Sour Soup – because the word “Sour” is very similarly spelled to the word “soul” – and good soul food always feels filling… and we are featuring author Janie Chang, whose new book is titled “Three Souls” – so we will have a Hot and Sour Soul Soup.  Nice alliteration, eh?

Here is the best way to eat haggis…  take a spoonful of haggis and add it to the Chinese vegetarian lettuce wrap.  Very tasty – just like a hamburger without the bun.  Remember to put lots of Chinese Hoi-sin bbq sauce inside.

Last year we had Steamed salmon – flavoured with hot oil and ginger, and topped with chives and cilantro.  This was one of the original dishes that I had personally prepared at the original Gung Haggis Fat Choy Dinner backin 1998.  So mouth-watering good… it melts in your mouth.

Buddhist’s feast is a traditional New Year’s dish, with lots of vegetables and bamboo shoots and mushrooms and Chinese funghi.  We figured if we are making Chinese people eat haggis, the Scottish people can eat Chinese funghi.  Afterall… it is considered a delicacy in Chinese cuisine.

This is traditional crispy skin chicken, served with shrimp chips.  They are always very tasty – and not greasy like American style deep-fried chicken from KFC and elsewhere.

Mogolian Beef – tasty sauce over slabs of beef.  The mongols had an empire that covered all of Asia and extended into Eastern Europe.  They were fierce warriors because of their horsemanship skills.  See… I told you I would work in the Year of the Horse theme somewhere…

E-fu noodles… these are lovely textured egg-based noodles, and also traditional at Chinese banquets.  Not the regular chow mein noodles many people associate with Chinese take-out.  This is one of my favorite dishes, and the long noodles symbolize good wishes for long life.

And then there is dessert…. need we say more than two words?  Mango pudding.

But please note – menu is subject to change… as availability and freshness is important to us.

The dinner event WAS originally set for Sunday January 26th – but NOW POSTPONED to Sunday March 16th, 2014

– Tickets available online at