Thursday, 6 March 2014

Ping Pong, St Katherine Docks

The weekend arrived and with it came a familiar little face from Bristol, Jess had come to play!

The sun was streaming in through our living room window and was making the docks look like St Tropez rather than central London so there was only one thing for it. We had to have lunch out. 

The docks plays host to a whole load of different places so we decided not to venture far, mainly because Maddie was feeling a little under the weather due to having a rather over indulgent Friday night. We took pity on her and headed for something which would sort out any hangover; dim sum and cocktails.  

As dim sum goes it certainly isn't the best ever but it's pretty good. I'm only picky because I grew up on the real deal out in Hong Kong. 

It is 100% my type of food. Lots of different bits that everyone shares meaning that you can taste everything. I also really believe it's the most sociable way of eating. 

I remember the dim sum places of Hong Kong, giant bustling rooms where people are sat at giant tables for lunch, in places like this you never eat lunch alone. Dim sum is strictly a lunch time affair, old ladies wheel round carts stacked high with different bamboo baskets containing hidden little treasures, both steamed and fried. The baskets always contain 3 items, a lucky number, and are always handmade works of edible art. After choosing your basket, the piece of paper you received on entry is stamped and when you are done eating, the stamps are totted up and you pay for what you have eaten. 

Ping Pong isn't like the halls I remember but it still serves pretty good dim sum and you can get cocktails. It's also less than 5 minutes away from our house, so all in all, it was the chosen place. 

As we sat in the window with the sun streaming in Jess reminded us that she had never had dim sum before, Ping Pong is a great introduction. I grabbed our piece of paper and took it upon myself to order. 

First things first, we needed to get Maddie some hair of the dog and ordered a round of cocktails. I opted for the Strawberries and Passionfruit, Jess had a Hong Kong Colada and Maddie chose the Kumquat Mojito. 

 Tall glasses of goodness. 

The way you order in Ping Pong is the same way you would order dim sum in a Chinese restaurant, you get given a paper version of the menu and mark the dishes you want. The paper then gets read by a waitress and as if by magic the dishes start to arrive. 

Things don't come all at once though so make sure you dig in as they come! 

We kicked off with crispy prawn balls and crispy squid which is a seasonal special. The prawn balls were the winner out of these two!  

Next to join the party was another seasonal special, shanghai pork noodles. For me, these fell a touch flat, they were a bit wishy washy and lacked flavour. 

My disappointment was over ridden when the main events arrived. My all time favourite things in the universe. Char Sui Buns. 

Little white fluffy buns that remind me of clouds, filled with BBQ pork. 

Total heaven

One minor, minor niggle. There were only 2 in a basket. I felt cheated. Good job we got 2 baskets. 

Chicken and Cashew nut dumplings. Very tasty. 

Another special, Pork and Mushroom Stick Rice dumplings. These were really not good. Even with lashings of soy sauce. Rice in a dumpling was just not the best idea ever. 

We got these guys too. King Prawn and Scallop sticky rice. 

Cooked in a banana leaf these lacked a little flavour but were still yummy. 

We polished off every last bite, ordered another round of drinks and sat catching up in the sunshine. 

The best thing about dim sum is you feel full without feeling stuffed. 

We wandered back across the docks feeling very contented and Jess is now a full convert to the wonders of dim sum. I shall be dragging her to China Town the next chance I get. 

On Sundays Ping Pong do 'Lazy Sumdays' which is all you can eat for £21.95. That sounds like a challenge and one I shall be taking up soon.  

Square Meal

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