Ping Pong Dim Sum* | Dinner/Bar | Stratford Westfield | Website
– reservations available –
Don’t let the name fool you, dim sum at Ping Pong is no game. A few months ago I fell for their cocktails, and some particularly delicious chicken and cashew nut dumplings. I knew that a masterclass wasn’t enough, so when they invited me back to try out their new Autumn/Winter menu I squealed with excitement.
The idea of adding and removing dishes based on the season may not come as much of a surprise to most food lovers, however I still delight at the sight. This time round Ping Pong have added 4 new dim sum dishes, 1 dessert dish and 2 new cocktails to the menu. Naturally we wanted to try them all, but we decided to just go for the lobster dumplings, the vegetable fun guo and the forbidden martini. We also chose a few other nibbles, such as the extremely photogenic soft-shell crab and the black prawn dumplings…alongside some well-known favourites (yes I did order the chicken cashew dumplings again). We rounded off our visit with a couple more cocktails (who ever thought wasabi would work in a beverage?), some coconut mochi and mango pudding.
The Forbidden Martini certainly lived up to the high expectations I have for Ping Pong – this is a restaurant that I often tell people to go to purely for the cocktails – and it was a great start to our meal. The beautifully presented lobster dumplings arrived first, with the rest of our dishes following shortly after. The dumplings were topped with a chunk of lobster, with the rest of the mixture hiding inside the sticky cases. The pink parcels of seafood were both delicate and delicious. Unfortunately the vegetable fun guo failed to excite us, as we both decided they were bland and under seasoned. However the black prawn dumplings were seasoned perfectly (a must for garlic lovers) and the soft-shell crab tasted as good, if not better, than he looked. Although the accompanying sauce tasted as though it had come straight from a bottle – I will leave it for you to decide whether that’s a good or bad thing. The dessert dishes were underwhelming in size (only just big enough for 1 person), but the mango pudding was full of flavour, and the coconut mochi tasted authentic.I realise I haven’t mentioned everything that we ordered but if I had then I’d be here all day, and you’d no doubt be bored before you’d even read half of the post. Nevertheless that doesn’t mean that the quality and taste wasn’t as superb as the dishes I did mention.
I love the whole experience that comes with eating dim sum, and Ping Pong have captured that surprisingly well for a chain restaurant. The service is impeccable and the waiters/waitresses (at the Stratford location) are incredibly friendly. Some dishes are hit or miss, but overall the quality is above average and the cocktails are a must. The only downside is the price – the bill for 2 people came to £70+ which is considerably more than I would usually spend on a casual meal out with a friend at a chain restaurant. That said, I would definitely visit again. There’s not much more you could ask for then sharing delicious food with friends/family. So if my photos and words haven’t convinced you enough (oh the insanity), take a peek at the Ping Pong menu or find a restaurant near you.
You can read more of my restaurant reviews on Zomato.