Category Archives: 2010 Gung Haggis Fat Choy Dinner

77 pounds of haggis are ready for the 2010 Gung Haggis Fat Choy Dinner

77 pounds of haggis for dim sum and traditional one pounders, to be served with Chinese Lettuce Wrap

2009_Scotland_1 024 by you.
Haggis display at the Kelvingrove Museum in Glasgow, Scotland.  The furry figure top left is described as a “wild haggis”.  The bottom right figure wrapped in plastic is described as a “domestic haggis”.  – photo T. Wong

There are 77 pounds of haggis that I have just picked up from Peter Black & Sons at Park Royal South in West Vancouver.  I will deliver them to Floata Restaurant tonight, enroute to my appearance to “Address the Haggis” at the Burns Supper for the Vancouver & District Labour Council.

Many people outside of Scotland revile the poor wee haggis.  It is the butt of many jokes.  While in Scotland, I visited the Kelvingrove Museum and even found a display of a “wild haggis.”  (see the picture above).  There was an accompanying sign that read: 

Some believe the haggis is a small creature with shorter legs on one side of its body, so it can run around the hills more easily. To most people, haggis is a delicious Scottish food, best served with “neeps and tatties” turnips and potatoes.

Haggis model
Haggis scotticus
created in Glasgow Museum's workshop 2005
created in a Scottish kitchen 2005

A “ceremonial haggis” should be “as lang's my arm” in length.  It is also called a “piper's haggis”, because it is piped in at dinners on a large serving plate for everyone to see.

Dim Sum can be translated as “pieces of the heart”
or “touch the heart” or “pieces of heaven.”  These are small portions
of food that are succulent and delicious.  But what happens when you
add haggis to this little heavenly morsels?  Will haggis, one of the
world's most celebrated and reviled foods ascend to the celestial

But you cannot give a proper “Address to A Haggis” if it's already cut up into little wee piece.

Scots still like to see a traditional haggis at a Burns Dinner.  We
serve a one pounder of haggis to each table.  It might be not enough
for 10 Scots guests – but it is more than enough for 10 non-Scottish
diners.  To solve the problem we encourage people to share.

also serve a 7 pound banquet haggis that is “as lang's my arm” to our
head table.  This ensures that it is pretty in pictures… as well as
extra leftovers for any of our guests.

GHFC2008 VF2_1709.JPG
Bagpiper Joe McDonald does the honours at the 2009 Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner – photo VFK.

His knife see rustic Labour dight,
An' cut you up wi' ready sleight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like ony ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Warm-reekin, rich!

– 3rd verse from Robert Burns poem “Address to A Haggis”

Watch Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson cut up the haggis at the 2009 Dinner

Gung Haggis Fat Choy 2009
8 min – 29 Jan 2009

imagine layering a little bit of haggis with Chinese plum sauce, adding
crispy noodles, finely diced vegetables and Chinese water chestnuts,
and serving on a delicate leaf of lettuce.  This is our Gung Haggis
lettuce wrap, a cultural and culinalry fusion twist. But people say
they have never seen people eat so much haggis, or eat haggis so

And what does our traditional haggis maker think of all this?

Peter Black describes himself as a haggis rancher.

2006, we were paid a high compliment when haggis rancher Peter Black
attended the Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner with his family!  Peter loved
what we had done with his haggis.

Peter Black & Sons, at
Park Royal Mall in West Vancouver, is BC's largest producer of haggis. 
Peter's haggis is a family secret with extra spices.  It is different
from a traditional lard recipe – which I have occasionally gagged on. 
I describe a Peter Black haggis to be like a nice liver pate, suitable
for serving with crackers at your next Super Bowl party.

Be sure
to visit Peter Black & Sons at Park Royal South – because there is
an annual display of “live wild haggis.”  Often the haggis is sleeping,
and you have to be very careful not to disturb it – but if you're
quiet, you can sneak up on it.

Peter Black & Sons with family at
the 2006 Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner, linking hands to sing Auld Lang
Syne to bring a finale to the dinner event – photo Ray Shum

Here are some of the menus from our past dinners:

2009 Gung Haggis Fat Choy menu revealed… to welcome the Year of the Ox

2008 Gung Haggis Fat Choy menu announced: now with Mongolian Beef to celebrate Year of the Rat

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

2006 Menu for Gung Haggis Fat Choy™: Toddish McWong's Robbie Burns Chinese New Year Dinner – Celebrating the Year of the Dog

2005 Menu for Gung Haggis Fat Choy� at Floata Restaurant

Special new dishes for 2010 menu at Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner – not just haggis & spam

What is being served at the Gung Haggis Fat Choy Robbie Burns Chinese New Year's Eve Dinner to welcome the Year of the Tiger and Rabbie Burns' 151st Birthday?

The haggis is ordered from Peter Black & Sons @ Park Royal.  Next up is the secret taste-testing dinner which is essential to the
planning of the Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner.  We we want to make
sure the food selection is right.  And it is also a wonderful way to introduce
the performers to each other, as we combine our talents and creativity to try out new ideas.  I remember many rehearsal taste-test dinners when the performers brought out their musical instruments and started playing.

Deep-fried haggis dumplings + Spring rolls – from our 2005 menu – photo Todd Wong

year we re-adjust the menu for the Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner.  We try
to find new ways to eat haggis, and new dishes to introduce to people
not familiar with Chinese food. 

2010, I am adding two of my favorite dishes that haven't been featured before.  People have enjoyed having
deep-fried haggis won ton for the past few years, done both Cantonese and Shanhai styles.  We have served up haggis-stuffed pork dumplings (su-mei) and shrimp dumplings (shrimp dumplings).  When I created the first deep-fried haggis won-ton in 2003, it was a gift to welcome CBC radio host Shelagh Rogers and her Sounds Like Canada crew to Vancouver. The gift was all about food and family connections, which included: Pan-fried Turnip cake (Lo-Bak-Goh) that my great-grandmother used to make for me, Apple tarts like those my father would bring home from Chinatown, and for our future generations we created the now legendary deep-fried haggis wonton. “Neeps and Tatties” always accompany traditional Burns dinners – so this year the “neeps” will be found in pan fried turnip cakes, which are usually found at dim sum luncheons.

other new dish will be Pan-fried spicy salted prawns (Jew-Yim-Hah).  It is one of my favorite dishes and is served shell on.  Past dinners have found that while people liked the ginger crab, cracking the shell is kind of challenging and messy.  With the spicy salted prawns, you can just chew through the shell for more taste and roughage.  That's what I do!

More menu items will be discussed in the coming days…  in the mean time, check out our past menus.

2009 Gung Haggis Fat Choy menu revealed… to welcome the Year of the Ox

Cultural Connection interview: What is the connection between Chinese New Year and Robbie Burns Supper?

Gary Jarvis interviews Toddish McWong for “Culture Connection”

Gary Jarvis is an Englishman in Canada.  And he is involved in Vancouver cultural and music scene.  He hosts a program on Co-op Radio Last Call on Vancouver Coop Radio every Wednesday midnight to 2amish. He does interviews for The Rational too.  And he's involved with Evolution 1079 online music radio station.

year Gary attended the Burns Supper hosted by Vancouver District Labour
Council, and was amazed by my reading of Burns' “Address to a Haggis” –
and my Chinese/kilt fashion combo. He asked me why???

Listen to Gary's interview of Todd Wong, creator of Gung Haggis Fat Choy, as he explains the Scottish and Chinese and BC roots of his brain child – a cultural fusion Robbie Burns Chinese New Year Dinner.

See More
Todd Wong explains Gung Haggis Fat Choy by Gary Jarvis on MySpace
Blogs! New blogTopics added every minute. Todd Wong AKA Toddish McWong
explains the c

TIX ON SALE: 2010 Gung Haggis Fat Choy Robbie Burns Dinner – January 31st.

Now Available: Tickets for Gung Haggis Fat Choy Robbie Burns Chinese New Year Dinner

– It's the 12 Anniversary of the “little dinner that could.”

January 31st, Sunday 2010
Floata Seafood Restaurant
Vancouver Chinatown
Contact Firehall Arts Centre:
phone 604.689.0926

The Gung Haggis Fat Choy Robbie Burns Dinner has created an awareness of cultural fusion that has spanned international media, and been featured at the 2008 BC Canada Pavillion in Bejing during the 2008 Summer Olympics, the Royal BC Museum celebration exhibit of the 150th Anniversary of the province of BC, and a 2009 touring exhibition in Scotland titled This Is Who We Are: Scots in Canada.

2009_Scotland_ThisIsWhoWeAre 096 by you.
Gung Haggis Fat Choy creator Todd Wong at the Scottish Parliament exhibition of THIS IS WHO WE ARE: Scots in Canada.  The exhibition featured a life sized photo of Wong and a video interview about the Gung Haggis Fat Choy Robbie Burns Chinese New Year Dinner, which features the acknowledgement of Chinese and Scottish pioneer history in Canada and contemporary culinary and cultural fusions.

Tickets are now on sale for the 12th Anniversary Dinner.
January 31st, Sunday, 2010
Floata Seafood Restaurant
Vancouver Chinatown
Doors open 5pm
Dinner starts 6pm

$60 + $5 service charge
$600 per table + $20 service charge
prices for students and children available.

Raffle Prizes are featured, as this dinner has traditionally been a fundraiser for: Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team, Asian Canadian Writers' Workshop/Ricepaper Magazine and Historic Joy Kogawa House.

Contact Firehall Arts Centre:
phone 604.689.0926
Visit the Firehall Box Office, 280 E. Cordova Street.

Box Office hours are: 9:30am – 5:00pm, Monday through Friday.

For media information
– contact: Todd Wong 778-846-7090
– email:

The origins of the dinner started with 16 people in a living room in 1998.  The next year it expanded to 40 people in a restaurant.  Soon it outgrew the first restaurant and expanded to 220 people in 2002.  Moving to a larger restaurant for 2003, and expanding to a 2-night event in 2004, serving over 500 people.  2005 saw the move to North America's largest Chinese restaurant and present home of the dinner where 570 people were accomodated.

A 2004 CBC telelevision performance special, Gung Haggis Fat Choy, was inspired by the dinner, and received two Leo nominations for best music performance, and best director of music performance.  In 2007, a CBC television documentary Generations: The Chan Legacy featured interviews with dinner creator Todd Wong, and film clips of the dinner.

A wide range of musical performers have been featured over the years including: fusion musicians Silk Road Music Ensemble, Dragon River Chinese Music Ensemble, Blackthorn celtic band, The Mad Celts, Chinese erhu master Ji-Rong Huang; opera singers Heather Pawsey, Veera Devi Khare; Jazz singer Leora Cashe.  Featured poets have included: Joy Kogawa, Rita Wong, Fred Wah, George McWhirter, Fiona Tin Wei Lam, Jim Wong-Chu, Sean Gunn and Tommy Tao.  The past 3 years have also featured sneak previews of Asian Canadian plays including: Mixie and the Half-Breeds, The Quickie, and Twisting Fortunes.

2009_Scotland_ThisIsWhoWeAre 111

Todd Wong visits Scotland for Homecoming Year, the 250th Anniversary of the birth of Scottish poet Robert Burns.

For the 2010 dinner, creator Todd Wong has just returned from Scotland after visiting the birthplace of Scotland poet Robert Burns, and researching the displays of Burns for Homecoming Scotland, and museum exhibits on Scottish history and emmigration to Canada.  Wong is active in Chinese Canadian activities and visited Bejing and Xian in 1993.  He hopes to combine a merger of Scottish-Canadian and Chinese-Canadian history and culture in the Gung Haggis Fat Choy Robbie Burns Chinese New Year Dinner.

Another extravaganza of culinary and cultural fusion are expected for the 2010 dinner.  Details will be released each week leading up to the event.  Special guest speakers, media hosts, poets and musicians are confirmed or being confirmed.  The 2010 dinner will feature old traditions and new surprises, something borrowed and something brewed – especially created for the 2010 Gung Haggis Fat Choy Robbie Burns Dinner.

Tell your friends, and put a table of 10 together to enjoy the singalongs!
or come as a single or a double, and meet 8 brand new best friends for the evening at your table!
It's the most fun and intimate dinner for 500 you will ever attend!