Spring has arrived and with it so have the Spring Summer menus of London’s favourite places to dine out. If you are fairly new to the concept of Dim Sum you will love Ping Pong with its straightforward and unintimidating menu (now including Gluten free options) catered for both the experienced and inexperienced Dim Sum diners.
Location: Ping Pong currently have eight restaurants located all over the Capital, from Soho to South Bank, there is bound to be one near you. We headed over to the South Bank location, situated next to the South Bank Centre and a short distance from the Tate Modern and the London Eye. Surrounded by the excitement of the fast paced city and its landmarks, this has got to be one of the London hot spots for dining out.
My Impression: There is no doubt that Ping Pong has become a popular meeting point for the modish and sophisticated Londoners. With the striking two-storey high, all glass building, Ping Pong impresses before you’re even within. Upstairs awaits the lounge cocktail bar, with a buzzing atmosphere and unbridled energy in which people wait for their table whilst browsing the grandiose cocktail menu and absorb their surroundings.
Décor: Ping Pong has a minimal yet alluring dark decor with gestures to the ancient traditions of a Chinese teahouse, with Chinese lattice screens and large paper lanterns covered in Chinese writing casing the dimmed lights. Cut into the dark walls are various oriental patterns and designs. The combination of the oriental décor and enticing atmosphere establishes Ping Pong as a dining experience and step away from your usual restaurant.
The Event: Whether you are looking for a meal for two or catering for a large group, Ping Pong caters to all needs, but be warned, they do not allow booking for fewer than 6 persons, so be prepared to queue for a table!
The Menu: Ping Pong’s new Spring Summer Menu included various new and exciting dishes and cocktails, but also gluten free options.
What We Drank: Straight off new the Spring Summer menu, we went for the peach earl-grey julep, a delectable twist on the classic, but with peach, bourbon, homemade earl-grey syrup and mint served in a metal tin. We also tried the Chinese Mule, off the 2015 10 year anniversary specials menu, bringing back some of Ping Pong’s most popular dishes and drinks. The Chinese Mule is a refreshing take on the mojito, containing vodka, sake, coriander, limes and ginger beer. After cocktails we moved onto something a little cleaner to accompany the meal. We opted for the lemon and lychee mocktail, a deliciously sweet drink to accompany the often-salty dishes and fresh lemonade perfect for the summer heat.
What We Ate: We decided to opt for the full Dim Sum experience filling the table, with small dishes and sides to share. Most people think of Ping Pong primarily for serving Dim Sum, however there are actually lots of other dishes available, such as a tofu, mushroom and black bean rice pot, which is gluten free. I loved all the variations of dumplings from prawn and chive (gluten free), spinach and mushroom, to chicken and cashew nut; there really is something for everyone. I was especially interested in trying the spinach and mushroom dumplings as they were griddled rather than steamed. For simple accompaniments, we opted for the long stem broccoli, drizzled with a chilli garlic sauce, mixed vegetable spring rolls and potato and edamame cakes for more variety.
The Verdict: With such a selection of locations dotted all over London there really is no excuse for not popping in and trying a different sort of dining experience from your usual Zizzi or Wagamama. The combination of the swanky venues and the non-intimidating menu makes for anyone looking to try new food in a new place.
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