Lucie Loves... Food // Wondering where to eat on South Bank? Try Ping Pong Dim Sum
I’m still fairly new to dim sum dining, having initially been introduced to it by my good friend Pauline Wong, and I’m enjoying learning more about it each time I have it.
When Ping Pong Dim Sum got in touch and asked us if we’d like to visit one of their restaurants, I said yes and was keen to compare my rather refined dim sum dining experience with the contemporary version on offer at Ping Pong.
The Wikipedia definition of dim sum is: "a style of Cantonese or Hokkien food prepared as small bite-sized or individual portions of food traditionally served in small steamer baskets or on small plates.“ Think of it like a Chinese version of tapas whereby you order lots of different dishes to share, but wash it all down with tea instead of Spanish beers or sangria.
JMG and I arrived for our 7:30pm booking at Ping Pong’s South Bank restaurant. Being a Friday night the place was absolutely heaving! We were greeted warmly at the reception, handed a wireless device with a number on it and told that it would buzz when our table was ready for us. We ordered a couple of cocktails from the drinks menu to get us started: a wasabi and amaretto cocktail for me - a very reasonably priced £6.65, and mocktail for JMG.
After a short wait in the ambiently lit bar we went back downstairs and took our seat at a table, one in a long line of tables that ran the length of the restaurant. JMG could see the London Eye and Big Ben from his seat, such a fantastic view.
We ordered eight dishes to share from the menu:
- Duck spring roll
- Crispy prawn ball
- Beef and chilli parcels
- Roast pork puff
- Honey-glazed spare ribs
- Honey-soy chicken wings
- Char sui bun
- Monkfish and lime dumpling
- Cardamon and espresso cocktail, to share (for dessert)
What did we think?
This is the sort of place where you can go, order lots of little dishes and be rest assured that your eyes are bigger than your belly! Make sure you keep tabs on how much you order though as this place, like Yo Sushi! and their colourful little dishes, can soon add up if you get carried away. We tallied up what we’d ordered and it came to around £60 for the two of us, including drinks.
We could have kept on nibbling our way through that menu all night!
If you’re after a dining experience that offers exceptionally personalised service, you might be a little disappointed. However, the food more than makes up for the slightly indifferent waiting staff. They seemed to be more focused on crossing items off our menu than purring down our necks every 5-seconds to find out how much we were enjoying it. This is a place for casual dining, pre-theatre meals and cocktails with friends or family. Not overly showy romantic meals and wild declarations of love.
* Thank you to Ping Pong Dim Sum for having us come and try your delicious food. We look forward to visiting again and trying some of the other dishes that people have recommended.*
Photography © Lucie Kerley