The Soho Series - Ping Pong Review
Formerly called Ping Pong Soho (before another Ping Pong was opened) this past Tuesday I visited for my first taste of Dim Sum.
Dim Sum, for those of you who may not know, is a Cantonese style of food traditionally served as brunch. Small, bite sized pieces of food are usually placed in bamboo steamers or on plates that are pushed around on steam heated carts. In China, it’s common for numerous servers to rotate around the restaurant with portions of dim sum ready to be collected by customers. You basically take what you want, mark the quantity on your personal card, and pay for what you’ve eaten at the end.
Obviously here in the West we like our traditional way of eating out and so at Ping Pong, you mark everything your table is having on a menu sheet and it’s brought to you. There are some restaurants in China that serve Dim Sum à la carte this way too.
So, basically you choose the single things from a menu and they’re all delivered at the same time. Most baskets have three pieces of food with larger foods served singly or in pairs.
I am a pescetarian so there wont be any meat dishes reviewed here although looking at the things my friends had and the silence around the table as we gobbled food down, the meat dishes were really good.
First up I had Vegetable Spring Rolls.
They were lovely, but nothing special. But then again I didn’t expect them to be. What was really nice was the crispiness of the pastry and the dipping sauce. I have no idea what’s in it, I can’t say I want to know either but it just gave a really fiery kick to the dish.
Now the next thing, Seafood Dumplings. I was so excited for these but when I took the lid off of the little basket I was like….. Oh. crab, prawn and I think squid were supposed to be inside but I only really saw prawn. And if someone could tell me why I expected a type of pastry and got yellow slime that tasted like pork then that’d be great. They tasted fantastic but the texture was a little hard to get used to especially when it felt and tasted like I was eating pork fat.
And just because Ping Pong is a Chinese restaurant, I had to have some rice. Again, I went with the seafood option which came steamed and wrapped in what I’d imagine is a Banana leaf (the menu didn’t specify). The rice was just perfect anyway. Simple, but full of flavour.
I also had a cocktail to wash it all down, because well, this is me, I love a good tipple! I had the Long Strawberry and Passion fruit .
‘fruity, sharp, strawberries, limes, passion fruit juice, josé cuervo traditional tequila, topped with a sprinkling of Asian basil seeds’
This was a really nice accompaniment to the food. It was sweet and sour at the same time but you couldn’t taste too much alcohol. The chunks of strawberry that kept blocking the straw were quite annoying though.
I really enjoyed the food at Ping Pong, there’s not much to say other than that. It’s definitely somewhere I’d visit again for a light lunch. But I could see it getting really expensive if you were to go for dinner seen as everything is priced by the item.
I’ve been saying for ages that I’d like to visit China and I’d really love to compare what I now think of as ‘Dim Sum’ to the real deal. Fingers crossed that trip will happen for me sometime in the next couple of years.
Ping Pong 45 Great Marlborough Street London W1F 7JL Oxford Circus Tube Station