As I look out of the window, it feels as though summer has well and truly ended. But there is still somewhere you can grab that last bit of summer. I introduce to you Ping Pong’s Dim Summer menu…
Ping Pong is a well known dim sum restaurant with nine restaurants across London. I visited Ping Pong for the first time four years ago and it was where I had first tried dim sum and where my love for it began. So I was so excited to visit again and also try a branch I had never visited before by the Southbank Centre.
The restaurant was so busy and had a great vibe to it. There was music playing and there was a great ambience about the place with beautifully coloured fish artwork adorning the walls and dimmed lighting. It was a whole different style to the Ping Pong I am used to in St Christophers Place but I loved it – the Southbank branch seems like the much cooler, fashionable and louder sibling.
I ordered the Green Temple cocktail (right) from the Dim Summer menu. Priced at £7.75, the Green Temple is a light and refreshing concoction of Finlandia vodka, Limoncello, fresh lemon juice and basil with a hint of black pepper to give it that extra kick. Karl went for the Kumquat Mojito (£7.75) which is featured on the menu all year round.
Ping Pong makes ordering easy as you are given a list and pencil so you can simply tick off your options and hand it to your waiter. But this can be dangerous! As so many of the options sounded so tempting we got a bit carried away as usual…
I’ve mainly stuck to ordering dim sum at Ping Pong in the past so I thought I’d try a variety of their other dishes. We went for the Crispy aubergine rice burger sliders (£9.25) from the Dim Summer menu. We were served a wooden slate with three delicate rice burgers with black sesame, crispy aubergine, seaweed, spinach, crispy wonton pastry, carrot and hoi sin sauce which were so light and delicious.
We also ordered another cocktail each. I stuck with the summer vibes and went for the Hong Kong Colada, a twist on the classic summer cocktail with Rum, Abruzzo liqueur, coconut, pineapple juice and lime all served in a bamboo cup.
Next up was the Crispy duck bao (£15.95) – the alternative to crispy duck pancakes in a Chinese restaurant is how this dish is best described. I adore bao buns so I loved the idea of building your own (there’s also the option for aubergine bao buns).
This dish came complete with 3 very fluffy (and so tasty!) white steamed buns with shredded duck – which was cooked to perfection – as well as spring onion, cucumber and plum sauce.
We were only just getting started and also realising that perhaps we had possibly gone overboard on the ordering. So next we dug into the Honey-glazed spare ribs (£7.75) which were as expected – extremely tasty and each with a generous helping of pork.
Then we finally decided it was time for what Ping Pong is renowned for, dim sum!
We then struggled (but managed!) to make our way through a table of dim sum dishes including:
Crispy duck spring rolls (£5.35)
Edamame with honey garlic sauce (£3.75) to snack on.
Of course I had to order my absolute favourite – Roast pork puffs (£4.55). This was the first time I’ve had them at Ping Pong, and they were as tasty as I had hoped with their sweet, sticky honey glaze.
More fluffy buns! We went for my favourite Char Sui buns (buns filled with sweet honey barbecued pork – £4.10).
Steamed chicken and cashew nut dumplings (£4.05).
Pork and prawn Shu Mai topped with goji berries (£4.55)
And we had to be healthy and order some Long stem broccoli (£3.95) which came served with a gorgeous creamy roasted white sesame sauce.
We were way too full to order dessert so I went for a refreshing Lychee and roses martini (£9.60) instead. A beautiful cocktail which cleansed the palate, containing Tanquerary gin, rose petals and fresh lemon and lychee juice.
We had a fantastic evening at Ping Pong and were really looked after during our visit despite it being completely packed out on a Wednesday evening. I could not fault any of our dishes or drinks, it was all totally perfect and my food baby proved that. I would recommend bringing two guests with you to Ping Pong as most dishes seem to come in threes and it’ll save you fighting over the last piece like we did each time…
Ping Pong Southbank
Festival Terrace Southbank Centre