Chinatown historian and longtime patron Jim Wong-Chu reflects on what makes Foo’s so special. Liz Lee shares her thoughts on how Foo’s feels like home.

Museum of Vancouver

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Transcript

NARRATOR
Chinatown historian and longtime patron Jim Wong-Chu reflects on what makes
Foo’s so special.

JIM WONG-CHU
Foo’s Ho Ho serves a very unique kind of food. It’s an old-style Chinese food.
The pedigree of the Chinese food is probably over a hundred fifty, two hundred
years old.

It’s a food that was brought from the villages. That’s very different from a lot of
the Hong Kong style, Cantonese-style foods that are now present.

And this food was really unique. It’s been hybridized and made Canadian in
some ways. That’s where your Egg Foo Young comes from, your sweet and
sour, and chop suey, and all these dishes.

You know, this place makes the best Egg Foo Young in town. And it’s a certain
style. It’s a very humble dish, but to make it well is not easy.

NARRATOR
After her husband passed away in 2009, Foo’s Ho Ho owner Joanne Lam Sam
needed help to keep the restaurant going. Liz Lee, a longtime patron and friend,
stepped in to lend a hand in managing and running the restaurant. Liz shares her
thoughts on how Foo’s feels like home.

LIZ LEE INTERVIEW #1
I think people come down here because of the home-like atmosphere that we
have here. You know, it’s not a “Come dressed up.” You come as you are.

I’ve had all my children’s moon-yets here. That’s a celebration of their first month
of life. And all my grandchildren, six of ‘em, we’ve had our celebrations of their
moon-yet here, too.

And my mother, we’d always come down for Mother’s Day, or we’d go cook at
home, but we’d rather enjoy coming down here instead. But I think that’s what’ll
keep this place going, is tradition.

NARRATOR
Despite a strong community of loyal customers who love the food and adore
Joanne, the future of Foo’s Ho Ho is uncertain as Chinatown continues to
change. Here’s more from Jim Wong-Chu.

JIM WONG CHU
Chinatown is changing and, you know, we’re living day by day. We don’t know
where it’s going to go, but you know, we’ll do what we can with it.

You know, you’re tasting food that is almost impossible to find. It’s like traveling
back in time. It’s something very precious and very unusual. And I think that
that’s worth saving.


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