So I recently visited Ping Pong, an aptly named restaurant in Central London serving mainly dim sum.
Now I've always enjoyed dim sum, but struggled to find places that serve halal options, or offer enough variety in seafood and veg. I even ventured to Hong Kong in search of dim sum, and thought I'd struck gold when I chanced upon a halal restaurant which serves the steamed up delights, only to find they stopped serving the stuff at 3pm. Damn you.
Whilst Ping Pong didn't serve halal food, there were luckily enough fish and vegetarian options, so I didn't miss meat. In fact, it was a rare opportunity to veer away from my usual choice of chicken.
The great thing about Ping Pong was that there was enough variation and excitement on the menu too, with unusual fusions such as potato and edamame cake, and scallops, prawn and chive dim sum.
The wonton vegetable soup was divine. With just the right amount of coconut milk, so it wasn't too creamy or too light, plus a fusion of lemongrass, I would definitely order this again.
The vegetable spring rolls were tasty but standard fayre. I mean I don't think you can go far wrong with spring rolls.
But the business end of the lunch was far more interesting...
With exotic flavours such as scallop and shitake, crab and prawn and har gau gf(made of king prawn and bamboo) every bite offered a different dining experience. While I didn't love the steamed buns (they had a strange sweetness that didn't quite taste right), the rest of the dim sum was a great mezze-esque medley.
So would I go again? Definitely. It would make a great place for a business lunch which would impress any client (though if you're not handy with the chopsticks they'll be less impressed). And you don't miss meat at all. Honest.
Ping Pong in a nutshell...
Price: Dim sums come in threes and cost under £5. Starters also around the fiver mark.
Halal: No, but lots of seafood and veggie options.
Great if... You want to try and variety of different flavours in one sitting, and prefer nibbles rather than big plates of food.
Not so great if... You don't like dim sum (well duh), or prefer your meals plentiful. You'll be satisfied at Ping Pong, but not stuffed.