Saturday, August 06, 2005

Ping Pong

It's one of those odd things about London, that whilst it can be forwards thinking and ahead of the game in some aspects of it's culinary landscape, some aspects lag behind. Occasionally, something will kick off and food that wasn't terribly popular or just part of the general background hum suddenly becomes very popular. Dim Sum is one of those peculiarities.

Alan Yau opened Yauatcha (Hakkasan his other venture still pulling them in) to pretty much universal acclaim and much like red buses, 3 others turn up.

Ping Pong is one these very trendy arriviste dim sum houses and I turned up last night with the usual undercurrent of terror that I have when eating dim sum. I am very very allergic to shrimp and crab, so eating in one of these places is like playing Russian Roulette with every mouthful unless I'm very carefully guided through the menu. Having said that, the staff were superb, despite the colossal hangover our waiter seemed to be suffering. They made sure all the potentially deadly stuff was separated out from things I could eat.

Anyway, the dim sum started arriving thick and fast, I just had time to watch the jasmine flower unfurl in my tea and we were off. I was impressed to be honest. Lovely fluffy buns ,the dumplings were firm and tasty and sticky rice was workmanlike but still good.

The decor is dark wood minimal and there is a very impressive water feature thing, a still slab of water that seems to produce concentric ripples every so often out of thin air. Pretty cool watching after a couple of beers.

We were however left in a bit of a quandary towards the end of the meal. A single dumpling sat in a steamer basket. Was it the prawn and bamboo or the mushroom? No one seemed terribly sure, the little sticker on the side of the basket had fallen off. After some discussion it was still pretty much 50/50.

I went for it.

No, I'm not writing this from a hospital bed, tasty mushroom though.

1 comment:

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