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Kung Pow Phat Soy


jamiemaw
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Hi, I’m a new poster but the fabulous DOVE experience I just had drew me out—I just had to share it with you.

Simply put, I had the gustatory experience of a lifetime at Kung Pow Phat Soy last night. My palate still fairly sings with the reductive incandescence of chef/proprietor Sven Chen-Amundson’s extraordinary take on modern Sino-Swedish fusion cooking. The aquavit pairings and lychee-Malibu punch were extraordinary too, although I woke up this morning thinking that maybe an F-16 had mistaken my mouth for a Taliban cave.

Particularly remarkable is that chef Sven managed to carry off this extraordinary tour de force for only $15 (or a mere 85 kronor in his mother’s native currency). In Stockholm that won’t even get you an espresso. To me he really sums up modern Vancouver—well, alright, Richmond: wife and two young children to support (none of whom speak English), moving trailers this week and all the usual hassle of converting his brigade of locked-out Swedish hockey players to become busboys. I even watched him training a thick-headed defenseman named Lars that a "walk-away" was a sin very similar to not taking your man to the corner. Lars turned beet red, not unlike when Mark Crawford chews him out—he looked a little Thor.

All that and cooking in two distinct dialects: Swedish (traditional meatballs, fermented fish, abba-toir, lussekator, bjork and glogg etc.) and the classic Chinese cuisine perpetrated by his father, Len Chen, in the Whalley-Burquitlam triangle for many years at the now legendary “Len’s: Chinese/Canadian Food Served Here.”

You probably know that KPPS is located in a fairly iffy location of Richmond (under the overpass, so it's actually quite dry though) and I really congratulate Sven, Mattias, Marcus, the twins and even Lars for the incredible service during DOVE. And it was really gracious of Sven to host the glogg and Chinese cheese tasting a few weeks ago, even if quite a few of you had trouble finding the place.

Before I start in on the food, a few notes about the décor. (Excuse me if my memory isn’y perfed, butt I had quite a few punches like the hockey players and my notes got soaked in lychee-Malibu. Sticky situation! But here goes nothing: cinder blocks. Whoops, that’s all I rember!

Anyway, the food. The three course DOVE menu was fantastic.

FIRST COURSE: We started with a Swedish dish—mini elk meatballs in a rustic and earthy pimento-laced tomato-elk reduction. Rambunctious to the touch, they made even better projectiles, although Lars had enforced a strict lock-down on the crusty rolls (replaced with those Nerf-type airline rolls) and cubed sugar. Anyway, the elk balls were truly memorable!

SECOND COURSE: “Special Chop Suey”. Here Sven swung abruptly but deliciously back to the provenance of his father’s native land of Burquitlam. And talk about ample portions, dropped at the table by Lars and the twins in record time. This dish had a pleasant mouthfeel even if the meat parts, beautifully bathed in the house “Phat Soy”, were slightly mysterious and tasted faintly feline. Wine Pairing: 2004 Viognier "Monologue"

THIRD COURSE: Back to the Baltics (!) with traditional Swedish coffee cake with melted ice cream. What another fabulous treat as Sven sent them flaming to the table in a pool of Aquavit even if the ice cream didn’t quite pull through it was quite a show sort of like those Canucks games when they dim the lights and blast off those fireworks.

All in all, a fantastic, fabulous night and our tab for two was less than $200 including a generous tip to the out-of-work hockey players.

Has anyone else tried Kung Pow Phat Soy during DOVE? I’d be interested in your comments. As for me I can hardly wait (just 350 more sleeps) for DOVE 2006!

Cheers!

F. Morris Chatters

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

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Hi, I’m a new poster but the fabulous DOVE experience I just had drew me out—I just had to share it with you.

Simply put, I had the gustatory experience of a lifetime at Kung Pow Phat Soy last night. My palate still fairly sings with the reductive incandescence of chef/proprietor Sven Chen-Amundson’s extraordinary take on modern Sino-Swedish fusion cooking. The aquavit pairings and lychee-Malibu punch were extraordinary too,

Cheers!

F. Morris Chatters

Nice try, Chatters. You are the most transparent shill on this forum--talk about direct marketing--you take the (traditional Swedish coffee) cake. Unbelievable!

We all know that you were appointed late yesterday as Director of Hunan Resources at Kung Pow Phat Soy.

What do you take us for? Any more of this and we're sending over the newly sleek Coop in his blue lycra powersuit to sort out you and your off-duty hockey player busboys once and for all!

Signed, etc.

Jamie Maw

Edited by jamiemaw (log)

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

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Hi, I’m a new poster but the fabulous DOVE experience I just had drew me out—I just had to share it with you.

Simply put, I had the gustatory experience of a lifetime at Kung Pow Phat Soy last night. My palate still fairly sings with the reductive incandescence of chef/proprietor Sven Chen-Amundson’s extraordinary take on modern Sino-Swedish fusion cooking. The aquavit pairings and lychee-Malibu punch were extraordinary too, although I woke up this morning thinking that maybe an F-16 had mistaken my mouth for a Taliban cave.

YADA YADA YADA ETC. . . .

All in all, a fantastic, fabulous night and our tab for two was less than $200 including a generous tip to the out-of-work hockey players.

Has anyone else tried Kung Pow Phat Soy during DOVE? I’d be interested in your comments. As for me I can hardly wait (just 350 more sleeps) for DOVE 2006!

Cheers!

F. Morris Chatters

With respect, Chatters, I had the exact opposite experience at KPPS last week. I've spent the last few nights up late pondering exactly what to say, because I too really enjoyed the Chinese cheese tasting and the lecture on the history of glogg- making that Sven put on after Christmas.

But to be honest, I found the elk balls WAYYY too big. Secondly, the sauce was flatulent and the "traditional Swedish risotto" that it accompanied it didn't work for me--besides it totally lacked flavour unless you like "those kinds" of animal-like flavours.

But what really got me hot was how Lars, Magnus and the twins would just walk past us (to discuss lock-out strategy, no doubt) as if we didn't even exist. I even had to fill my Aquavit glass myself from time-to-time. They're not bigshots any more you know and even when i stamped my feet they didn't compliment me on my outfit. Jeez--I even put on a clean bra! Plus, they only had those expensive Swedish waters like Vapid and Boris, so we didn't order any. Instead we had hot water and lemon.

The second course was barely OK. Actually, it wasn't OK. Again (and I know that Sven's dad Len Chen was a big-time Burquitlam chef and all), I just didn't "get" the "Special Chop Suey" which was literally swimming in their "House Signature Phat Soy" sauce. What gives?

Alright, the Swedish coffee cake was pretty neat--I'll give you that. But ours was served with that ABBA-brand liquer (kind of like Galliano mixed with Chianti) which is even stickier than Malibu. Not so good.

I won't be rushing back.

petulantprincess

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

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The second course was barely OK. Actually, it wasn't OK. Again (and I know that Sven's dad Len Chen was a big-time Burquitlam chef and all), I just didn't "get" the "Special Chop Suey" which was literally swimming in their "House Signature Phat Soy" sauce. What gives?

lol

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{thank you to waiterblog for letting me use his account to respond :huh: )

Petulant Princess,

As your server that evening, I'm a little bit disappointed that you are treating our little Swedish-Cantonese fusion home-away-from-homes to your "oh, I'm so Canadian" wit after we showed you such a good time. It's obvious to me now, your total lack of appreciation for what we are trying to do. We've only been open for three months and you dare pass judgement on us!? You certainly appeared to be enjoying our big-balled Kottbullars and Boris (the nectar of our fiords!). It took our bussing crew until dawn to get the stains off the banquette, by the way...you nasty little minx. I would appreciate two things from you in the future should you choose to blight my section ever again: that you and your graceless party of non-Nordic quislings refrain from making a mockery of our national anthem during the elk cheese course and that you check your karaoke gear with the hostess, Helga, just as our other, more versed patrons do. If you do not, no more Kottbullar for you, ingrate. At least not in my section.

And by the way, eGulleters, Sven Chen's recipe for our elk balls is as follows:

"Köttbullar"

1 dl (½ cup) fine dry bread Swedish breadcrumbs

1 dl (½ cup) light elk cream

1 dl (½ cup) water (must be Swedish!)

200 g (7 oz.) ground elk meat

200 g (7 oz.) ground penguin (can be tinned)

1½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. ground allspice

2 tbl grated yellow onion

(and/or 2 crushed garlic cloves)

1 egg, beaten like the French

3 tbl margarine or for a more pungent flavour, elk butter

Serves two centres, a rw, a lw, and a power-forward.

Come on down, we're open late.

Who needs hangar steak (how perverse!) when you can feast on Jorgen's rutt-picked elk balls.

And Mr. Maw, no more singing, lout. Otherwise I PM Sven Chen and let him know what venom lurks from the jaws he so unwittingly deigned to feed.

Bjorn Thorsenblorgenstadtlanderen (or Matt).

Edited by editor@waiterblog (log)

Andrew Morrison

Food Columnist | The Westender

Editor & Publisher | Scout Magazine

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Who needs hangar steak (how perverse!) when you can feast on Jorgen's rutt-picked elk balls.

Bjorn Thorsenblorgenstadtlanderen (or Matt).

Did anyone see hangar steak as featured in the Howard Hughes biopic "The Aviator?" It looked pretty much like Neil's recipe and now we all know how it got its name!

Edited by jamiemaw (log)

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

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A Message from ANDY LIONS:

As we like to say around here, one more time with feeling: if you have something to say about your DOVE dining experience at Kung Pow Phat Soy, please go ahead and post on this thread. If your point is a more general one, please seek out the most appropriate forum in which it post it. I believe that there is a specific thread dedicated to "Famous Foodstuffs of the Modern Biopic" over in the General Food Topics Forum or simply post it in the Leonardo DiCaprio Forum.

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

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A Message from the Executive Chef of Kung Pow Phat Soy

First, as I am not a member, but wanted to reply quickly to the poisonous and highly personal attacks on my business, staff and even decor, it was very kind of Jamie Maw to allow me to share this message with you.

Second, let me clear up one egregious error right now. Although my Canadian name is Chef Sven Chen-Amundson, under the stricter naming protocol of Sweden, my official name, in honour of my father, the well-known chef Len Chen, is Chef Sven Chen Lenson. Thankyou.

It's one thing to be told you have tasteless decor. Did it ever occur to you Yaletown-dwellers in your fancy "living spaces" that I am a struggling immigrant who can only afford cinder blocks? Of course not.

But tasteless food as well? That kind of vitriol comes from a place foreign to both of my mother cultures and can hardly improve Canadian-Sino-Swedish relations, already stretched to the limit over the whole rebar fiasco.

As our head swerver Bjorn Thorsenblorgenstadtlanderen reported above, our family recipe for elk balls goes back in time to the reign of my maternal great grandfather Prince Vapid (of the Vapid Waters Vapids), whose family have ruled the province of Saab since 1953. Anyway, before I stray too far off topic and get you all into trouble again, it is a favourite recipe used even today in the manufacture of automobiles and light field armaments.

I notice that the "poster"in question, aka "petulant princess" (I'm personally convinced she works for our rival, Triple Happy Xxxtasy Gardens over on No. 2 Road), couldn't even read her notes properly because she was so blotto with the traditional Swedish "Festive Punch" that we introduced especially for the purposes of DOVE 2005. Reminds me of the twins when they went on that three goal scoring spree a couple of seasons back. They had a couple of Ribena and Carlsbergs and then tried to run a couple of Laps.

Next, nine times out of ten I'll back my staff 50/50 and you can bet on it because when they're not talking hockey they are actually quite attentive. If you want your Aquavit poured for you, or little details like your bill being brought to the table, for goodness sake, that's another thing entirely, of course. No wonder 79-year old Swedish men are more fit than the average Canadian university student and can eat many elk balls in one sitting.

I could go on and on but I'm not Irish.

Thank you for having the patience to hear me out and you are welcome to brighten our doorway and revisit at anytime, especially as our new fleet of plasma televisions has arrived just in time for the resumption of hockey in 2007.

Yours sincerely,

Chef Sven Chen Lenson

Kung Pow Phat Soy Ristorante

"Where Important People Come To Meet, And Then Leave."

**** NOW SERVING BJORK ****

Edited by jamiemaw (log)

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

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Yup Sven, real rice...

• $15 for three courses and you will not warm up the elks balls?

• Why is it always the mother culture's fault even when it is as common as Canadian-Sino-Swedish…live with it?

• Making your own balls mean everything is perfect for the guest?

• Being a non-Irish restaurant owner means you can berate your guest's opinion, rightly or wrongly?

You started the forum, you live in your own Kung Pow Phat Soy.

BAD SOY + SPLINTERED CHOP STICKS = BAD DOVE

To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art La Rochefoucauld

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Yup Sven, real rice...

• $15 for three courses and you will not warm up the elks balls?

I personally keep the elks' balls warm. To not do so would be a travesty against the honour of my mother-cuisine, you bastard.

May a pox be upon your house, and may Tommy Lee dedicate a song to your youngest daughter,

Chef Sven Chen Lenson

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

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may Tommy Lee dedicate a song to your youngest daughter,

Chef Sven Chen Lenson

Tommy Lee Chen is your brother?...he is a great folk singer! But I digress.

editted: I am no Maw...

Edited by cubilularis (log)

To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art La Rochefoucauld

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And by the way, eGulleters, Sven Chen's recipe for our elk balls is as follows:

"Köttbullar"

1 dl (½ cup) fine dry bread Swedish breadcrumbs 

1 dl (½ cup) light elk cream

1 dl (½ cup) water (must be Swedish!)

200 g (7 oz.) ground elk meat

200 g (7 oz.) ground penguin (can be tinned)

1½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. ground allspice

2 tbl grated yellow onion

(and/or 2 crushed garlic cloves)

1 egg, beaten like the French

3 tbl margarine or for a more pungent flavour, elk butter

Serves two centres, a rw, a lw, and a power-forward.

Bjorn Thorsenblorgenstadtlanderen (or Matt).

Excuse me Matt, can you ask Sven where he gets his Penguin and if he uses fresh or tinned?

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I was very eager to try out Kung Pow Phat Soy, as the Sino-Swedish dining options in White Rock are, shall we say, limited. In particular I wanted to try the elk balls.

Unfortunately, that's where my experience took a turn for the worst. I distinctly remember advising the restaurant when I made my reservation that I was allergic to penguin. I also advised the server of this when we were ordering, and asked specifically if any of the dishes contained penguin. Who knew that Swedish for "yes" sounds alot like "no". I've just now returned from the Richmond Blood Transfusion Centre, which - let me tell you - has just awful food.

I'm not sure if I'll return to KPPS. Maybe for a Chinese Cheese tasting or something.

I know a man who gave up smoking, drinking, sex, and rich food. He was healthy right up to the day he killed himself. - Johnny Carson
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Excuse me Matt, can you ask Sven where he gets his Penguin and if he uses fresh or tinned?

Fresh is ideal, but since we live in an area devoid of fresh penguin (this ain't Sweden, my Canadian wife likes to tell me - over and over :angry: ), you can get excellent tinned penguin at the Whole Foods in west van, and some of the fancier markets in Yaletown.

Honestly, a good, garbage fed crow or pigeon from Stanley Park does the job.

Ask petulant princess! She was stuffing our balls in her face so much, I don't think she could tell the difference between fresh penguin and Skageraak beluga with a stunted palate like hers. :shock:

Too much maple syrup, methinks.

Bjorn. (Matt of the Luge)

Edited by editor@waiterblog (log)

Andrew Morrison

Food Columnist | The Westender

Editor & Publisher | Scout Magazine

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Please jamiemaw no need to feel bad, we are used to both writers and restaurant owners self-promoting here. :shock:

No seriously, perhaps there should be a non-food related area for similar topics?

(Edited: It's all your fault, that coffee dessert sounds too yummy you got me into a bad mood.)

Edited by mangez (log)
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