Category Archives: 2007 Gung Haggis Fat Choy Dinner

Gung HAGGIS RAP Choy – Robbie Burns Address to a Haggis set to rap music

– Robbie Burns Address to a Haggis set to rap music

To my dear Scottish

literary friends…

musical friends…

intercultural friends…

Here is something to welcome Robbie Burns Day Eve.

My new musical gift to the world for Robbie Burns Day:

You guy are in INSANE!!  :-)
That's hilarious - I love it!!!!
- Heather Pawsey, opera soprano


(see MP3 attachment below)

performed by
Toddish McWong & Joseph McDonald w/Brave Waves
produced by Trevor Chan  – The No Luck Club Mix

Todd Wong aka “Toddish McWongis a 5th generation Chinese-Canadian who has been holding “Gung Haggis Fat Choy:
Robbie Burns Chinese New Year dinners for 10 years.  He is also a writer
and poet, and plays a mean but joyous accordion.

Joseph McDonald
is a multi-generational Scottish-Canadian
bagpiper/singer/songwriter and has performed at every Gung Haggis Fat Choy
dinner since 2001.  He is leader of the band Brave Waves .”

features new world music fusion with bagpipes, South Asian tabla drums,
chinese flute, sitar + other
world instruments.  The bagpipe instrumental track titled
Haggis Fat Choy” and is available on the Brave Waves album
Havens of Light

Trevor Chan
is Canadian born mastermind behind “No Luck Club“,
Chinese-Canadian instrumental hip hop band.  No Luck Club is
recently returned from a cross-Canada tour, and released their album
“Prosperity.” In 2005, No Luck Club released a mash-up titled Our
Story, that included historical quotes about the Chinese head tax.
Listen to it on
No Luck Club on or Dogma Radio



SEE the Live performance of Gung HAGGIS RAP Choy, at the 10th Annual Gung
Haggis Fat Choy: Toddish McWong's Robbie Burns Chinese New Year Dinner.

January 28th, Sunday 5:30pm
Floata Restaurant
#400 – 180 Keefer St .
Vancouver Chinatown

Tickets available from Firehall Arts Centre 604-689-0926

Fundraiser for Asian Canadian Writers' Workshop / Ricepaper Magazine, Joy
Kogawa House, and Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team

And now the guidelines…

This music file is intended for personal use only…

Please do not post in public or play in public or for profit, without

For written permission contact:

Todd Wong  

phone:  778-846-7090
e-mail:  gunghaggis @ yahoo .ca

Joseph McDonald


Copyright 2007, SOCAN

2007 Menu for Gung Haggis Fat Choy™:Toddish McWong's Robbie Burns Chinese New Year Dinner

2007 Menu for Gung Haggis Fat Choy™:
Toddish McWong's Robbie Burns Chinese New Year Dinner

– Anticipating the Year of the Pig

What:     Gung Haggis Fat Choy™ Dinner
When:    January 28, 2007 – Sunday
Time:     Reception 5:30 pm – with Dim Sum appetizers
             Dinner 6:30 pm
Tickets:  Call Firehall Arts Centre 604-689-0926
Advance Price:
$80 (+ $5 ticket charge) premium seating with wine
$70 (+ $5 ticket charge) regular seating

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.  And if you are Ukranian-Italian-Japanese-First Nations… that's alright too!

Here is the menu for 2007, subject to change at my whimsy and the kitchen's demands:

Haggis Dim Sum Appetizer buffet
This will be available upon people's arrival soon after the reception starts after 5:30pm
We have also told the restaurant to have TWO bars open for 5:30pm

1 –  Deep fried Haggis Won Ton
Haggis Wun 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 won tons for me to take to the CBC Radio reception to welcome Shelagh Rogers and “Sounds Like Canada” to Vancouver. It's been a favorite ever since.  We ask the restaurant to mix the haggis with water chestnuts to make it crunchy – yum yum!

2- BRAND NEW –  Haggis Haw-Gow (Shrimp Dumplings) and Haggis Su-Mei (Pork Dumplings)
Both of these new items to haggis cuisine were greeted with approval.  Shrimp dumplings (Haw-Gow) and Pork Dumplings (Su-Mei) are classic cantonese dim sum.

3 – NON-Haggis Dim Sum – Vegetarian Spring Rolls + Haw-Gow (Shrimp Dumplings)
Because we knew there would be people who wouldn't want Haggis in the Shrimp Dumplins or  their Vegetarian spring rolls.

4 – 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.

5 – Ginger Dungeness Crab
The West Coast equivalent to Nova Scotia Lobster and better tasting too! Flavoured with Ginger, it's always been one of my favorites.  The best way to eat crab is to have somebody else crack it and de-shell it for you.  If your husband, wife, boyfriend or girlfriend won't do this – invite somebody else.

6 – Sticky Rice Taro
I can hear the voices already saying… “What?”  As a kid attending family dinners, my favorite dish was always my mother's special sticky rice dish “noh-my-fan.”  This dish was recently served at my grandmother's 95th birthday dinner and I LOVED it. Why the taro?  Why the haggis?  It's icky and slimy and better than tofu… well maybe it's worse.  But the Hawaiians love it.  And Hawaiian culture is Soooo multi-cultural!  Taro is the main ingredient of poi – their traditional starchy staple dish.  But the best way to have Taro is as “taro chips” – just like potato chips – but starchier.

7 a) – Haggis
You can't have a Robbie Burns Supper without Haggis… We serve the best haggis that I have found.  It comes from the Highlands of West Vancouver… or rather the Lowlands of West Vancouver's Park Royal, from Peter Black & Sons.  Over the years, I have always tried to entice Peter to come attend Gung Haggis Fat Choy.  One year, I even brought them deep-fried Haggis won-ton.  Finally, Peter came last year, bringing his family.  And guess what?  His youngest son has a Chinese girlfriend!
Peter's haggis is like a nice liver pate.  It is not too oaty, and it has many nice spices.  Try it with sweet & sour sauce.  But the Plum sauce is best. 

7 b)  Lettuce Wrap
We serve a vegetarian lettuce wrap.  We had so many vegetarians who lamented that they couldn't eat the duck or the pork or the beef lettuce wrap… so now it is a vegetarian lettuce wrap.  Very tasty.

We encourage people to combine Haggis with the lettuce wrap…. 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 it's great.  People really like it.  Before we invented the haggis lettuce wrap, there was always plenty of haggis left over.  But now… everybody eats it up.  We blame it on the lettuce wrap.

8 – Buddha's Feast 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.  The long fun-see rice vermicelli noodles are like “angel hair” pasta.  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 Rat.

9 – Deep Fried Shrimp balls with fruit salad.
This is a Floata Restaurant specialty.  The shrimpballs are lightly deep-fried to a nice light crunch.  The salad is melons with a mayonaise sauce… very much Hong Kong style.  While, not one of the Chinese-Canadian dishes that I grew up with, but the Chinese members on our Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team really like it, and they assure me that it is a traditional style food dish for Chinese New Year.

10 – Dessert 
This will be a mix of traditional Chinese New Year pastries We do recognize that not everybody like to have red bean pudding after a banquet dinner.  We will definitely NOT have blood pudding – Go ye to a Scottish resturant for that stuff

Hope you enjoyed these delicious descriptions…

Each year we are challenged by the logistics of serving 400 to 500 people at the same time, in coordination with a fantastic musical and literary show.  Every year we try to improve on the presentation and the execution of our event, while making it fresh with adjustments to both the menu and the performance schedule.

So…. reception starts promptly at 5:30pm.and the dim sum appetizers will be available because we know people will be hungry.  TWO bars will be open, and wine will be available for the Premium tables, so you won't have to wait in line at the bar.

After meeting numberous challenges at the 2005 dinner, we have resolved many problems.

1- Tickets purchased prior to January 20 have been mailed out, along with seating plans – to avoid queue lineups at the door.  Tickets purchased after January 21st are held at the door.  There will be 3 lineups:  A-L, M-Z, and VIP, sponsors & Performers

2 – Patrons are assigned table numbers and tickets will have the buyer's name + table number on it
If your table number is odd, you go through one door, if your table number is even, you go through the other door.  We will have ushers to guide you.

The 2006 show will focus more on the performances and the food will be enjoyed when it shows up.  We will try to serve the food in a timely manner, that hopefully will not disrupt the major performances.
This is dinner theatre… it is interactive with singalongs and we wish people to have fun.

And of course… the entire program and menu is subject to change.  We do our best to create a fabulous meal and evening of entertainment.  And the best way is to be sensitive to the audience, the performers, and meeting any challenges that come our way.

I have brought together exciting new performers for 2007, as well as some favorites from years past.  We are very happy to see the return of Silk Road Music and opera soprano Heather Pawsey… and they will be leading a collaboration together!  New for this year is Leora Cashe and No Luck Club.  Leora sings wonderful jazz gospel, and we plan to include her in a singalong too!  No Luck Club will provide our reception music, and producer Trevor Chan has been working with Joseph McDonald & myself on refining our new and improved version of “Address to the Haggis” that we call “Gung HAGGIS RAP Choy.”

On the literary edge, Lensey Namioka is our featured author, reading from her young adult novel Half and Half, about a family that is… half Scottish and half Chinese!  Margaret Gallagher returns not as a host or singer – but as a poet and author.  Margaret has contributed to a new anthology titled All Mixed Up which highlights Hapa (Half Asian culture).  We have a sneak preview of a brand new play written by Charlie Cho and Grace Chin.  It's fun and appropriate, and know you will like “Twisting Fortunes.”  And Robbie Burns… is represented by Dr. Ian Mason, president of the Burns Club.

I look forward to sharing the surprises and joys of Gung Haggis Fat Choy™ 2007 with you!


Ó 2007 Todd Wong

Vancouver Sun: Todd Wong & Gung Haggis Fat Choy in Malcolm Parry column “Town Talk”

Vancouver Sun: Todd Wong & Gung Haggis Fat Choy in  Malcolm Parry column “Town Talk”

Here's what Vancouver Sun's social columnist had to say today:

Vancouver Sun, Saturday, January 20, 2007 – page B4

TODD WONG, the three-decade city assistant librarian, is in the midst of a yearly program that is truly one for the book.  It's a Gung Haggis Fat Choy, the mini-festival of the Sino-Scotch arts he launched in 1998 with a Robbie Burns Chinese New Years dinner for 16.

Some 500 are expected in the Floata restaurant Jan. 28, when “Toddish McWong” and broad-caster Priya Ramu will emcee at a banquet involving haggis-shrimp dumplings, haggis-stuffed tofu and haggis won ton.  Diners and guest artists will also sing Scotland the Brave, My Chow Mein Lies Over the Ocean and other favourites.

The Kilted, plaid draped Wong kicked off this year's shenanigans with multi-cultural poetry readings at the library's central branch Monday.

Gung Haggis Fat Choy is as nuttily indigenous – and therefore as praiseworthy – as the now-defunct World Bellyflop Championship and the Nanaimo-Vancouver Bathtub Race.

Perhaps the future will include a scholarly comparison of the Great Wall of China and Hadrian's Wall, the former built to keep belligerent troublemakers out of China and the latter to keep them in Scotland.

note: I actually told him I was a library assistant.

Media Alert for Gung Haggis Fat Choy: Global TV with Erin Cebula's Global Village

Media Alert for Gung Haggis Fat Choy:

Global TV with Erin Cebula's Global Village

Erin Cebula interviewed me on Monday evening, just prior to the start
of the GHFC World Poetry Night at the Vancouver Public Library.  I
had first met Erin when she was co-hosting Urban Rush on Rogers, in
2004.  That interview was all about the then upcoming CBC tv
special “Gung Haggis Fat Choy.”

In 2004, we hosted 2 GHFC dinners on the Saturday and the Sunday, each
around 220 to 240 people attending.  I brought some haggis won-ton
to the show which Erin easily tried… but her co-host Russell took a

“I'm the one with the stomach of steel,” laughed Erin, when I recounted our first meeting.

This time Erin was amazed that our little dinner has grown into an
informal  festival with four related events.  She wanted to
feature me for her show “Global Village” and also asked for some
pictures of previous dinners to show the audience what it was
like.  I sent her a picture of the 2005 dinner with myself and
then Mayor Larry Campbell – both dressed in Chinese jackets with our

Look for Global Village to be running from today and through to next week!

Media Alert for Gung Haggis Fat Choy: Malcolm Parry in Vancouver Sun

Media Alert for Gung Haggis Fat Choy:
Malcolm Parry in Vancouver Sun

Wow!  I've finally made the Malcolm Parry society news column.
Mr. Parry came by on Monday to the GHFC World Poetry Night at the Vancouver Public Library, and took a photo of me.

I have met him in the past at Ricepaper, ACWW, and Vancouver Asian Film
Festival events…. and he did drop by the GHFC 2004 dinner.

But in this morning's Vancouver Sun's preview for Saturday… there was
a little picture of me, with reference to a Sino-Hibernian
celebration.  We'll have to check Saturday's Vancouver sun for the
whole picture and article.

Media Alert for Gung Haggis Fat Choy: CFUN's “Best of Food & Wine”

Media Alert for Gung Haggis Fat Choy: 
CFUN's “Best of Food & Wine”

Listen to CFUN 1410 AM on your radio, for Saturday 12 noon, January 20.
I will be interviewed by Kasey Wilson (food) and Anthony Gismondi (wine), for their live show Best of Food and Wine.

Kasey called me today, and she is thrilled to have me on their
show.  She loves the intercultural spirit of Gung Haggis Fat Choy
and agres that FUN is important.

I will be telling her about the haggis dim sum we are preparing, and
how the Robbie Burns Chinese New Year dinner concept developed.

Advance Price for Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner extended to January 22st

Advance Price for Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner extended to January 22nd

We have extended the advance pricing for the 2007 Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner to Monday, January 22nd. 

Regular seats $60 + $5 service charge
Premium seats $70  +  $5 service charge (closer seating + 2 bottles of wine at the table) children 13 and under 50% off.

After January 22nd
Regular seats $70 + $5 service charge
Premium seats $80  +  $5 service charge (closer seating + 2 bottles of wine at the table)
children 13 and under 50% off.

Call Firehall Arts Centre for Tix
Monday to Friday 9-5pm

increase price of $10 from last years reflects the increase price of
food and the increased quality of food.  We have an amazing array
of talent for our show + great door and raffle prizes.  People
have always said we offer incredible value and fun!

Gung Haggis dim sum taste-testing a success!

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
spring rolls.

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 ( 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!

CKNW radio interview for Gung Haggis Fat Choy

CKNW radio interview for Gung Haggis Fat Choy

I just did a radio interview with CKNW AM 980 reporter Nafessa Karim.

Nafeesa was really interested in
learning how Gung Haggis Fat Choy began as a small dinner with friends,
and is growing into a festival. 

“It's all about community,” I told
her.  “The Gung Haggis concept resonates with people, and they
want to be a part of it.  In 2004, we paired up with World Poetry
Night at Vancouver Public Library, to create an event that celebrates
the poetry of Robbie Burns, the traditions of Chinese New Year, plus
sharing the work of contemporary Scottish-Canadian and Chinese-Canadian
poets.  We add in some bapipes and singalongs and everybody has

“So now we are celebrating the 4th
annual Gung Haggis Fat Choy World Poetry Night at the Vancouver Public
Library, 7:30pm on Monday, January 15th.

“In 2005, SFU Recreation department
approached me to help create a way to celebrate SFU's Scottish heritage
with the large Asian student population.  We came up with SFU Gung
Haggis Fat Choy Canadian Games, drawing on the idea of “Highland Games”
but with a Monty Pythonesque twist.  There will be “dragon cart”
races, “human curling,” and a haggis eating event.”

Nafeesa asked if there was something special that led to the pairing of Scottish and Chinese events together.

“Canada,” I answered.  The Scots
came from across the Atlantic, and the Chinese came from across the
Pacific.  They met in the middle, in this land called
Canada.  At first they had their differences, their clashes, but
they came around, started inter-marrying and having babies.  And
that is where we are today.

To find out exactly what I said, and what time allows Nareesa to edit into the story.  Listen to CKNW 980 AM starting
late tonight or early tomorrow morning.  Hopefully it will be a
slow news day… and more of Gung Haggis Fat Choy will be shared with
the CKNW listeners.

2007 GUNG HAGGIS FAT CHOY press release January 12

Here is my latest press release for Gung Haggis Fat Choy 2007

January 12, 2007 – for immediate release –

Gung Haggis Fat Choy
Toddish McWong's 10th Annual Robbie Burns Chinese New Year Dinner Spectacular

January 28th, Sunday,
5:30pm reception and appetizers
6:30 dinner

Floata Restaurant
#400 – 180 Keefer Street

Ever had Haggis Dim Sum appetizers?
Expect the Unexpected!

surprises await… the world's first haggis dim sum appetizer buffet will
greet arriving guests.  Imagine haggis shrimp dumplings, haggis spring
rolls, haggis-stuffed tofu??? in addition to the now famous haggis won

along to “Scotland the Brave,” and Burns' perennial favorite, “Auld
Lang Syne;” and the culturally fused “My Chow Mein Lies Over the
Ocean,” and “When Asian Eyes Are Smiling,” plus many more surprises!

Featured performers for 2007 include:

Silk Road Music, World fusion music
Heather Pawsey, Opera Soprano
Brave Waves – Bagpipes and tabla musical fusion band,
Leora Cashe – Jazz gospel singer
No Luck Club – Instrumental Hip Hop
Dr. Ian Mason – Burns Club of Vancouver
Lensey Namioka – Author “Half and Half”
Margaret Gallagher – Writer “All Mixed Up” anthology
“Twisting Fortunes” – sneak preview of play

Co-hosted by Priya Ramu (CBC Radio) and Todd Wong

Haggis Fat Choy does more than mix East and West. It blends them
together and turns them upside down and shakes them out sideways. It
highlights Canada's Scottish and Chinese heritage and pioneers. It
breaks down barriers and is an impressive forum for the emerging
intercultural Canada where everybody can claim and celebrate Chinese
and Scottish culture and everything in-between.

great cultural fusion music between East and West, as Scots musicians
play Chinese music and Chinese musicians play Scottish music…

and everything in between and beyond!

Gung Haggis Fat Choy is growing into a Festival with 4 related events

Haggis Fat Choy started out as a small fundraiser of 16 people in 1998
in a crowded living room.  Ten years later it serves 500 people at the
biggest Chinese Restaurant in North America, and has spun off a CBC
television performance special, and the SFU Gung Haggis Fat Choy
Canadian Games.

is the “Little Dinner that Could” which is now growing into a
festival!  Creator Todd Wong has been interviewed by BBC Radio
Scotland, plus local and national media.

it is a major fundraiser event for Gung Haggis Dragon Boat team, Asian
Canadian Writers' Workshop, and Kogawa House Committee – helping to
create positive examples of inter-culturalism in our community!

January 15th, 2007. Gung Haggis Fat Choy World Poetry Night
Vancouver Public Library, 350 West Georgia St., Vancouver
– featuring bagpipes, Scottish born Chinese-Canadian poet Fiona Tinwei
Lam, Dr. Ian Mason (Burns Club of Vancouver), Leon Yang, Shelly
Haggard, Joe McDonald and Bagpipes + singalongs.

January 21st, 2007. Haggis and Rice – Cric Crac
presented by Vancouver Society of Storytelling
Hodson Manor, 12254 West 7th Ave. Vancouver, 
Todd Wong will read poetry + tell stories

January 25th, 2007. SFU Gung Haggis Fat Choy Canadian Games
SFU Convocation Mall, Burnaby Campus
– Look for Dragon Cart racing, Haggis eating contest + World's first human curling event.

January 28th, 2007
Catch the infamous Gung Haggis Fat Choy: Toddish McWong's Robbie Burns Chinese New Year Dinner.

Tickets now available at Firehall Arts Centre

Call Monday to Frieday – 9am – 5pm

Early bird tix available until January 21 $60 adult,  $70 for premium seats.
Children 13 and under 50% off.
After January 21st – prices go up to $70/$80

Book a table of 10 and receive a gift basket (value $50)

For more information contact
Todd Wong
Phone: 778-846-7090