"Dim sum afficianados will undoubtedly be well-versed in the menus of Ping Pong..."Review Rating: Reviewed by Laurel
Dim sum afficianados will undoubtedly be well-versed in the menus of Ping Pong. With nine restaurants around London the chain has become synonymous with tasty, affordable menus, but this spring they’ve launched their Innocent Indulgent menu offering something a little bit lighter for those who fancy embracing healthy hedonism.
While it wouldn’t be my first port of call for a healthier meal, it’s good to have the option of a few lighter dishes to go alongside the standard fare, the best of which do tend to be the little fried parcels of deliciousness. With Innocent Indulgent dishes including things like a Purple Power Chicken Salad (£5.95) of rice berry, smoked almond, black eye beans, sugar snap peas and rocket, it’s certainly not boring.
I paid a visit on a recent Saturday lunchtime; rookie error in that it was never going to be quiet visitng the South Bank branch (note to self: hangover + hyperactive weekend children + family restaurant = not ideal) but the service was fast and the food good.In a bid to couteract the effects of the night before I tried a Booster Juice, including wheatgrass, vitamin B12, new ingredient DMAE - a natural ingredient that apparently boosts memory and skin elasticity - honey, banana, almond milk and yoghurt. So far, so tasty.
The Innocent Indulgence menu’s Rainbow Salad is a brain-boosting combo of spinach, beetroot, carrot, bean curd, red cabbage, rocket, cucumber, bean sprouts and pomegranate with peanut and lime satay sauce, a big dish of colourful crunch, though it could do with being pre mixed so you get a little bit of everything in each bite while the crispy fried aubgerine with hoi sin sauce and a hint of sichuan chilli is just fried enough to feel a little bit naughty.
Of course, the Innocent Indulgence menu is only really
meant as an accompaniment
to the classic menu, so we obviously indulged in some favourites as well. The cirspy duck bao and honey glazed pork puffs never fail to disappoint, with the former a tasty upgrade to the standard pancake and the latter always perfectly sweet, sticky and melt in the mouth. I tried the Shanghai xiaolongbao for the first time, a traditional Shanghainese soup dumpling with pork, ginger, spring onion in wheat pastry, with chinkiang vinegar and ginger - certainly flavourful, but slightly tricky to eat without leaking the soup out everywhere en route to your mouth. Be warned. I’m a big fan of the crunchy golden dumpling, crispy stir fried veg in a turmeric pastry but, to be honest, the majority of the menu is good; I could sit here all day rattling of the best dishes but you’re probably better off heading out to try it for yourself.
While it not be the most high brow restauant in the world, for tasty, affordable, fast and family-friendly dim sum, Ping Pong’s got it covered. Just avoid the South Bank branch on a Saturday lunchtime if you have a raging hangover and don’t want to be in the presence of children…
Laurel reviewed Ping Pong on Tue 30 May 2017