Pardon me for being so late but I have a post related to Chinese New Year!
A few weeks ago I was invited to dine at Ping Pong to celebrate their special Chinese New Year menu. I had only ever been once before and I was nicely hungover so wasn’t able to appreciate the food – so when the invite came, I duly accepted. What I didn’t realise was that we were only going to be dining with a handful of others and that we would get to try almost everything on the menu, including any extras from the regular menu that we might want.
Despite Chinese New Year falling on 3rd February this year, the special menu at Ping Pong ran for the whole month of February. We dined at the original venue on Great Marlborough Street in London and I found the restaurant to be well designed and very sleek. I looked at the special menu and was excited to try everything. Chinese isn’t my favourite cuisine, which is no secret and I think various trips to dodgy Chinese restaurants when I was younger are to blame. No Chinese restaurant would be at the top of my list when i’m thinking where to dine out. Having said that, my last trip to Ping Pong wasn’t dire and I wanted to see if this trip might be able to change my mind. Read on to see if it did.
To start, we were brought a pear and elderflower collins, which was a delicious and welcome start to the meal!
The dishes started flowing thick and fast but to start we had roasted wasabi nuts, spinach prawn crackers and pork scratchings. You’ll have to excuse my photography – my good camera was broken at the time so I had to use my point and shoot!
Can you tell these are my own photos?!
The main dishes just kept coming but my favourites were the Chinese five spice mushrooms and black fungus and the king prawn and fish shu mai. I tried making my own Dim Sum at Angela Malik cookery school a few months ago and the king prawn dish reminded me of those, very delicious.
For dessert my boyfriend and I shared the chocolate brownie with blood orange sorbet and I’m glad that we did share because by this time I was incredibly full, feeling that I might pop any second! Desserts at chain restaurants are always tricky for me as I know that the majority of them aren’t made fresh on the premises. With a dessert, I just love when it looks and tastes home made. This brownie was tasty but, as I bake a lot myself, I know that I could probably make a tastier version. I didn’t like the chocolate sauce that had been piped on the top because it kind of tasted like it had come out of a bottle but the blood orange sorbet was delicious and I like the fact that they are using seasonal ingredients on the menu.
I wouldn’t by any means say that it’s one of the better restaurants in London, nor is it one of my favourites. However, it’s one of those great places to go if you’re out in town, you haven’t had a chance to book anywhere and you are in need of some quick, honest, well priced food that is tasty.
In my opinion (and i’m sure there are many out there that will disagree with me), it’s better than any dim sum restaurant I have been to in China town and I’m sure that there will be a few trips back to Ping Pong as a result of this meal.
45 Great Marlborough Street
020 7851 6969
The problem I have with Ping Pong is that it’s incredibly overpriced for what it is – everything is made off site and simply heated and served to you. For a £20 lunch at Ping Pong, I could have a far tastier and better value lunch in Chinatown. (Jen Cafe, Hung’s, Four Seasons, Baozi Inn).
I do agree that it is expensive. It’s really good to hear some recommendations for good places to eat in Chinatown. I have a feeling that I’ve just visited the rubbish ones! Will have to try them, thanks.