Saturday's 2004 Gung Haggis Fat Choy Dinner was more subdued than last year (somehow I didn't rent a kilt like I promised I would last year, maybe next year!) but just as compelling and just as uniquely Canadian.
I missed the over the top but heartfelt passion of Ulla Shines and Pat Covernton's Eat The Haggis done to the tune of The Proclaimer's 500 Miles but no matter, I am sure they will return and the 2004 dinner brought its own delights.
For example, I loved the new for 2004 lineup of Brave Waves especially Hareesh Kumar's incomparable groove on the tabla. Pure magic when combined with Joe McDonald's bagpipes. Talk about Canadian, talk about fusion, talk about the best of all worlds! We bought their CD and we recommend you do too, but it's best appreciated live.
I also loved Mark Ferris's world premier violin piece combining Chinese and other musical influences.
The food was even better this year. The flavours for the hot and sour soup were cleaner and clearer. There were more vegetarian choices. The new for 2004 Haggis Wun-Tun and Spring Rolls were winners and should definitely make a re-appearance in 2005. And I loved the deep-fried sesame balls filled with lotus paste and the jello at the end.
What next for Toddish McWong and his clan of multi-cultural subversives? I say bring it to the rest of Canada in 2005. Show them our singular take on the wonderful tapestry we call Canada.