Dim sum experts, Ping Pong have turned ten years old and for Spring/Summer 2015 have added some fantastic new dishes to their menu. We visited the branch in Great Marlborough Street, London to check out the new additions and to remind ourselves of how this chain continues to bring brilliant dim sum to our palates.
One of the great things about Ping Pong is its accessibility. If you’re a dim sum aficionado or have never had a char sui dumpling in your life, you won’t be confused by the menu. All ingredients are listed in detail – and there are even gluten-free options available and clearly marked. It’s not all about the dim sum either – there are other options like the tofu, mushroom and black bean rice pot which is also gluten free and vegetarian.
Working from the Spring/Summer menu and following the recommendations of our waiter, we decided to choose a selection of dishes from across the board. The specials that we tried included chilli squid which came with a dipping sauce and was beautifully dry in a fine tempura. Soft and fresh, it melted in the mouth. The chicken beggar’s purse was chicken, mushroom, mooli, red pepper and spring onion in a crisp pastry parcel served with a sweet chilli sauce. Finally from the specials menu we opted for the seabass dumpling with prawn, waterchestnut and carrot in a red cabbage pastry which looked as good as it tasted.
Moving on to more traditional fare from the Ping Pong menu, we sampled vegetable sticky rice served in a banana leaf, a delicious chicken salad in peanut dressing, lemon verbena char sui (little pork spring rolls) and beef fillet dumplings. The perfect sized portions for lunchtime.
The drinks menu is interesting at Ping Pong. They specialise in teas, often that burst into flower when hot water is added in the glass. There are also a great range of cocktails, all very reasonably priced and fragrant, but being lunchtime we ordered a fresh watermelon iced tea and a lemon and lychee mocktail which complemented the food perfectly.
Heritage is important to Ping Pong. They take from the ancient traditions of the Chinese tea-house and their interior design is minimal with dark accents and Chinese latticework. Oriental patterns and designs are evident but not overpowering and things are kept clean and simple for a mixed crowd at lunchtimes. City workers, students, office workers and tourists alike will feel comfortable and well served in this lunchtime venue.