Ukrainian Dim Sum Pop-up at What’s Up? Hot Dog!

We went to a totally fun Ukrainian Dim Sum Pop-up tonight at What’s Up? Hot Dog! on Hastings near Nanaimo. Hosted by @whatsuphotdogvan, with food by Mike Scorgie (@scorgiesown), and some front-of-house assistance from Sarah from @communitypizzeria. It was one of those great, street-level events that are happening all around you if you keep your eyes open 😉

NOTE: this was a one-time-only pop-up!

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Mike Scorgie is a chef from Edmonton. I’ve previously eaten his food at a Community Pizzeria pop-up back in May at the 337 East Hastings space (home of the upcoming Dixie’s BBQ), and also at one of the Hawkers Market events. He’s also Ukrainian, as is Jenna (the co-owner of What’s Up?), so this event was a no-brainer!

Coincidentally, the previous night was Local Omnivore’s collaboration dinner with Handtaste Ferments that was also Ukrainian-themed, so it was one of those weird synchronicity-type things. Unfortunately we had a Chinese banquet to go to, so we had to miss out on that event…

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The menu. All your Ukrainian classics, which basically means borscht, perogies, and cabbage rolls 😉

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Once they get some better beer, I’ll be back to try their gourmet hot dogs. I’m craving that SNAP of the casing! Y’all know what I’m talking about!!

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We’ve never actually been to What’s Up? Hot Dog! before, although it’s been on my radar ever since they opened. They’ve finally got a liquor license so that makes it an even better destination for me…except…well:

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They only had PBR 🙁 so I sucked it up and ordered one. Just one.

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The Ukrainian Dim Sum Cart getting filled up for service. Funny that not even Chinese dim sum restaurants use carts anymore. It was so fun to see Ukrainian food served in this way. Totally reminded me of eating at State Bird Provisions in San Francisco, who made their name out of serving modern west coast cuisine dim sum-style.

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Seriously, one of the menu items was “Safeway Buns and Butter — Just like Baba served!” 😀 I love it to bits.

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Awesome way of serving this type of food — individual portions that you can actually see before making a decision to order. These were the salads: a potato salad and a tomato & cucumber salad.

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Borscht getting loaded up onto the cart.

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We got the Olivier Salad with potato, dill pickles, carrots, peas, apples, house-cured pork, and mustard seed vinaigrette. I brought my own chopsticks…cuz it was DIM SUM! Great potato salad with different tastes and textures going on. Lots of dill tonight, which feels great heading into the tail end of summer and into the fall.

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Borscht with beets, veggies, sour cream, dill, and horseradish. Wicca liked this a lot. Felt very comforting and homey to me. Would be great during those cold Vancouver winters 😛

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Cabbage Roll with pork, mushrooms, and brown rice. This was freakin’ fantastic! The BEST cabbage roll we’ve ever eaten. Wicca’s actually from Edmonton and her high school was 75% Ukrainian people and they served perogies and cabbage rolls in the school cafeteria. She thought she knew cabbage rolls until she ate THESE cabbage rolls. Amazing. And sadly, never to be repeated because this was a pop-up! 🙁

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Inside of the cabbage roll. Amazing flavour. I can’t even begin to describe it. Meaty. Umami. Perfect balance of sour, salty, sweet. Extra meatiness from the mushrooms. Brown rice added body and nuttiness. Good god…

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Perogies with aged cheddar, potato, chives, bacon, and onions. I was actually a perogy fiend growing up. I loved the chewy perogy skin slathered with sour cream or even ketchup. Cheemo…Hunky Bill’s…didn’t matter, I loved cooking up and eating a huge plateful by myself. These were a touch classier though and really enjoyable.

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Dill Sausage with crispy potato straws (Kartoplia Solimkoi aka shoestring potatoes aka hickory sticks :P). I would’ve liked the casing to be browned more, but that’s just minor picky stuff cuz the flavours were great. I liked the crunchy element from the potato straws too.

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Nalysnyky, which is a whey crepe with fresh cheese and dill cream. I liked the flavour of the fresh cheese, but texturally it was…what it was.

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Cross-section of the whey crepe.

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Cottage Cheese Donuts with cherry gastrique. I believe the cottage cheese was worked into the dough, but even *Wicca* liked these and she HATES cottage cheese.

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Yummmmm… Great way to end the meal.

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This event was so fun and we had great company. We’ll be back to What’s Up? Hot Dog! to try their actual menu. 🙂

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