Monday, 30 June 2014

Ping Pong

Once upon a time on a dreary Wednesday evening, the boy and I stepped outside after a lovely Thai massage (ooh la la) and wondered what to do for dinner. 

"I know!" the boys says, "why don't we go for some Dim Sum seeing as we've just had a Thai massage?" 

For saying he is pretty well traveled, how he linked a Thai massage to Dim Sum I will never know, but I was happy to oblige. So off we trotted to Ping Pong. There is definitely no shortage of dim sum restaurants in London but Ping Pong is probably the better known due to being a chain. I find chain restaurants can sometimes be a bit same-old, same-old, but Ping Pong provides plenty of versatility on its menu.

The location we went to was St. Christopher's Place, just behind Oxford Street. This location is on the small side to say the least so, because we hadn't booked, we were invited to wait at the bar until a table was ready. Luckily, a couple left 5 minutes later so we were seated pretty quickly.

With regards to food, you have two options: you can either choose one of the set menus (ranging from £8 - £17 per person) or you can flip the menu over and tick against the options you'd like. You can select as many items as you like and, once your waiter takes the menu away to put through the kitchen, you are presented with a brand new unmarked menu in order to repeat the whole process again and again! It's very easy to over-order this way, especially if you're hungry and you want to tick every box, but I would strongly advise that you select 3-4 items at a time. The food comes out very quickly and, like I said, you can keep asking for more until you're fit to burst if necessary!

Anyway, on to the food. We ended up ordering 12 individual items (plus dessert...yes, I went against my own advice above), so we had quite a selection! There are a lot of variants of fish based steamed dumplings which, in my opinion, tasted all the same. We even had a spicy pork dumpling arrive at the same time as one of the fish orders and even that was hard to differentiate! 

To branch away from the traditional steamed dumpling selection, we went for a few alternatives. The four mushroom puff was gorgeous. The pastry was so light and fluffy and there was plenty of filling to balance out the puff pastry. We also opted for a chicken wonton soup; the chicken wonton part being nice enough, the soup part being a bit bland! The best round of food we got was the final one (we were both stuffed by this point). We chose squid, prawn and coriander cake(delicious! Not at all like the rubbery fish cakes you usually end up with), vegetable spring rolls (average... I can picture the Iceland shopping bag they arrived in), and a Vietnamese rice paper prawn roll (this was probably my favourite. It was very light but had so many flavours going on, helped along by the fish sauce it came with).

Other items were ordered and other items were devoured but, after a while, they seemed to blur in to one.  The pros of Ping Pong is the food comes out very quickly and the staff are generally very accommodating. The cons are, if you ask for tap water, you will be waiting a long time. As it's free, it's clearly not one of their priority items! We also had a side of steamed broccoli that we didn't receive so we had to remind our waiter on the next order about it. 

As I said earlier, be careful in your ordering. Go slow and steady. Not only will you eat more than you need, but the bill will come along and punch you in the face (we both underestimated by a good £20)! Speaking of which, the bill also took ages to get to us... it was as if they enjoyed seeing us squirm when it dawned on us how much we probably spent!

Overall, Ping Pong is OK. It wasn't terrible by any means, and I would definitely go there again if I fancied that style of food. It just didn't leave me jumping for joy at the end of it all. Mind you, that's probably because I was weighed down by the volume of food I'd just eaten...


No comments:

Post a Comment