Ping Pong has been on my radar for a little while now. With a catchy, unforgettable (and rather intriguing name) and a number of branches in and around London, I finally got round to booking a table last month and couldn’t wait to see what all the fuss was about.
Since we were passing by the area, it made sense to go for the Wembley edition (there are others in Southbank, Soho, Shepards Bush and Stratford) which is located within the London Designer Outlet mall – just a two minute walk from Wembley Stadium station. With an array of colourful lights inside and out, it makes for a rather photogenic place during the evening!
The concept of Ping Pong is rather simple – with a contemporary feel and a simplistic menu full of bite-sized Chinese dishes, focused on steamed dim sum. You’re advised to order between 3-5 dishes per person (depending on how hungry you are), a mix of rice, griddled and fried items – and rather than trying to pronounce each one (in my case, always terribly) you get off rather lightly, as you can simply tick your desired dishes off the menu form. A waiter comes to check your choices (although you can add more on later if you fancy) and they soon start arriving at your table.
But before we get onto the food, let’s just talk about the drinks – which are a concoction in themselves. I opted for the strawberry puree lemonade (which you can mix yourself – great if you only want a hint of fruitiness) and David chose a more adventorous Hibiscus Spritz, with a prosecco and elderflower base and blackcurrant and hibiscus soda.
Just a few sips of our cocktails later and the dishes soon start flowing…
Black sesame seed prawn crackers, with extra helpings of plum dipping sauce. An unique (but delicious) alternative to your average accompaniment.
Mixed vegetable spring rolls with spicy mango sauce. I could have eaten several more plates full of these – as they were amazing – fried to perfection with fresh filling but not at all greasy.
Vegetable sticky rice with bamboo shoots, carrot and asparagus, steamed in a giant banana leaf.
Chilli pork tenderloin, which admittedly don’t look like much – but were incredible, with a sesame and chilli marinade.
Chicken and garlic dumplings. These were a little too watery for my liking and the garlic wasn’t strong enough – however I’m glad I gave them a try.
Long stem broccoli, steamed to perfection with a soy sauce marinade and crispy onion sprinkled on top.
Char Sui Buns with a sticky honey barbecued pork centre. Mmm…
The great thing about ordering lots of little dishes to share (the majority are only £3.75 each) is that there’s constantly something new to try and you won’t ever get bored of one singular dish. Each new item served a new talking point for the conversation, so it makes a perfect place for a date!
Rather than a pudding, we decided upon one of the flowering teas after our (empty) dishes had been cleared – as they looked incredible in the menu – and I was intrigued to see what all the fuss was about. Essentially, they come in an assortment of flavours, not only providing a hot herbal infusion but a gorgeous colourful flower within the tea.
A giant copper teapot is brought over to the table, in addition to a strange looking brown ball.
Hot water is poured and within minutes, your tea starts to bloom.
If you’re looking for a place to go where you can enjoy cocktails and amazing food in a really chilled (but luxurious) venue, then Ping Pong is definitely the place to go. In terms of locality and quality, the price point for the dishes is really great value and I’d recommend if you’re after an experience meal, rather than just a quick ‘in and out’ for food.
Have you ever been to Ping Pong before – what did you think?