My latest food crush is dim sum, I absolutely love it. I've always been big on Chinese cuisine, but never really bothered with the little steamed parcels. That's until I tried them during the Summer, and I've been hooked ever since. Mmm, give me a spicy chicken or black prawn filled dim sum and I'm quite content. My passion for the dumplings is so much that when I was invited to try the new menu at Ping Pong Dim Sum, I couldn't refuse!
The restaurant chain takes its inspiration from an ancient Chinese tradition. Here's the story: Hundreds of years ago, merchants on the Silk Road would stop at tea houses en route to rest their weary feet, relax and drink tea with their fellow travellers and share Dim Sum – baskets and dishes of little sweet and savoury snacks, usually steamed, baked or fried.
Ping Pong restaurants have kept all the best bits of that ancient tradition, providing a relaxed communal place to meet and relax, whilst offering a delicious range of Dim Sum, and fragrant tea. (Only now Cocktails are also on the menu to bring the tradition into the 21st Century).
Friday night, I took my mum out for a girlie catch-up and to convert her from the standard special fried rice (which she always orders) and convince her to try some steamed goodness. We visited the south bank branch sitting opposite the Royal Festival Hall and we sipped delicious Cosmopolitan cocktails whilst sampling a yummy range of dishes.
The new menu features some great additions to traditional dim sum, including a rather tasty Crispy hoi sin duck spring roll. I was also impressed with the Crab spring roll; a mixture of crab meat and prawns, doused in chili and served with Thai fish sauce. Mum was pretty smitten with her starer of Seafood puff; mini puff pastries filled with scallop, prawn and ginger.
The moment came to convince mum that steamed parcels of meat and vegetables are not only healthy but so good to eat. She looked apprehensive but once she tasted Ping Pong's Spicy chicken dumplings, she gave her approval. And so the the Dim Sum marathon commenced; Pork Shu Mal, Har gau prawns, Coriander dumplings and finally the Crunchy golden; A turmeric dumpling filled with stir friend vegetable, shallots and garlic.
The atmosphere at the restaurant, was chilled yet lively; families were out for celebrations and friends were enjoying after work bites. The interior was distinctly modern with hints of Chinese calligraphy, achieving harmony between the old and the new.
There are 12 Ping Pong restaurants in London and each dish costs on average between £3.39 - 3.99. Visit the website for the restaurant most local to you.
Ping Pong Dim Sum
Tel: 020 7960 4160