I'd heard quite a lot (of good things) about Ping Pong, so popped in for a dim sum lunch last saturday. I found the whole thing a little disappointing to be honest. The ordering process, which is like a multiple choice exam, is quick and easy but didn't really promote the opportunity to ask about various dishes with which I was unfamiliar, or for the staff to enthuse about particular dishes.
Our choices made, we awaited our cocktails which, though they arrived toward the end our light lunch, were delicious. The puff pastry chicken parcel was like pukka pies chicken and mushroon slice, limp and bland, and tasted like it had been heated in a microwave. Next course – the dim sum proper: chicken and coriander steamed parcels, the filling was not melt-in-the-mouth, as it should be but was bland and like a slippery bullet, overpowered by the liberal use of coriander. Steamed spicy pork dim sum, was better, a tasty mixture but unceremoniously arranged so that the sticy dough, did just that – stuck to the side of the bamboo steamer so that when I tried to lift the parcel it split and the contents just spilled out. Incidently, this happened with the chicken ones too. I thought I was just being inept, but my partner had exactly the same problem. Cripsy duck spring rolls, fared better, but still way too average – good filling, but outer casing a little cardboard.
I found the interiors to be tired and unkempt – could really do with a re-paint and a little more contemporary pan asian design. The asian influenced garden was covered with an ugly blue tarpaulin, which rather spoils the whole Zen serenity thing! Ping Pong has long queues almost every night, have i missed its charms or does it owe its popularity to the paucity of decent places to eat in that nether region of west soho?