Chinese New Year began on the 3rd February this year and I was invited along to Ping Pong to sample some of their special dishes and drinks to celebrate the year of the rabbit.
Ping Pong is a bit of a favourite of mine and Grace's and we often take friends and family if they are visiting and have also held a couple of work outings there. It's package of decent dim sum, good drinks list, quick service and well designed restaurants is a winner for me.
Anyway, we started off with some of the Chinese New Year specials before Khin, Ping Pong's development chef, ordered us a selection from the main menu to sample. I'll pick out some of my highlights from the evening. See if you can spot Ping Pong's PR photos v my phone ones... ;)
My favourite of the specials was this hotpot. The slow cooked chicken and the mushrooms both soaked up all the flavour from the cooking juices and were delicious.
As well as being aesthetically pleasing, the seabass was also very good with a generous chunk of seabass being surrounded by bits of water chestnut and prawn. As a bit of a soy sauce addict I added a generous splash on it which I thought went well with the seabass.
From previous visits I knew the duck spring rolls (like a deep fried duck pancake) with hoisin sauce and the sweet and sticky char sui buns with honey roast barbequed pork were both favourites and I was pleased when Keith had included these in his order. Both lived up to expectations.
Out of dishes that I hadn't previously tried then two stood out.
The green chive dumplings with king prawn. They were a lurid green colour, but you could really taste the chive in the pastry and they were completely different to anything else we had.
I also enjoyed the Vietnamese prawn rolls, which you wrapped in a lettuce leaf and a sprig of mint.
My only disappointment was the prawn toast. It used to be a favourite, but a couple of visits ago they changed the recipe and I don't think it's as good as previous.
Another big plus point of Ping Pong is the drinks list. They have one of the best range of non-alcoholic drinks I've seen and the cocktail menu is excellent.
We were given a couple of the special Pear and Elderflower Collins to kick start the evening before I moved on to my favourite Lemongrass and Lime.
Overall Ping Pong remains a guilty pleasure and one that I'll continue to go back to.
I'll be honest and say that I haven't visited any of the top London dim-sum places like Royal China or Yautacha (and I'd like to go and compare), but in a dozen or so visits to Ping Pong I haven't had a complaint and the people I have taken along have always enjoyed it.