Hidden underneath all of the beauty lovin', I'm a massive foodie. There's nothing I love more than heading out for a nice meal out and actually, I'd usually choose that over doing pretty much anything. I've been feeling a little meh with my blog lately and thought it was about time I changed it up a bit. I have always planned to post a little bit about everything on Studs and Dreams but I always get stuck into the routine of just posting beauty. But now I've handed my dissertation in, I want to actually finally revamp my content a little bit and say hello to some new series, like this food and restaurant one, but don't worry, beauty isn't going anyway. It will still be the main feature, but I know some of you out there will be a food lover also, and so hopefully you'll love these posts just as much.
Oooh yeah, it's probably worth noting that I don't eat meat. I do it fish though, so I guess you could call me a pescetarian. I'll be looking at restaurants, namely in London from a vegetarian or fish-eater's perspective.
Ping Pong* is a contemporary Dim Sum restaurant serving cocktails and all the bite sized dim sum you could ask for. I am a massive lover of trying new cuisines and although I had been to a Ping Pong a long time ago, I couldn't really remember it so it was almost as though I was trying it afresh again! We headed down to the Soho branch and I fell in love with the interior all over again. I remembered coming here for a lunch a long long time ago, but there was something a whole lot different about coming in the evening. The restaurant was packed and people were queuing at the door to get their dim sum fix. This gave me super high expectations, but don't worry, I'll give you a spoiler - they lived up to them!
They have an amazing range of cocktails and I was blown away by the choice for a restaurant. Spoilt for choice, we opted for the Flaming Passionfruit Martini and the Spiced Elderflower Saketini - both very different cocktails! The Flaming Passionfruit is more on the sweet side and something for those that don't like their alcohol to taste too alcohol like, on the other hand, the Spiced Elderflower Saketini is the complete opposite, tasting a whole lot like it with more of a bitter taste. The Saketini wasn't to my taste as I'm not usually a fan of your drink tasking like a shot, but we got through it and the Flaming Passionfruit more than made up for it - it was heavenly and super exciting as it came on fire like the name suggests!
On to food, and of course why you're reading this. Starting with my beloved Edamame, i'm obsessed with this stuff. Please tell me you can buy it in bulk somewhere? We also got some of the Black Sesame Seed Prawn Crackers with a Spicy Mango Sauce or 'posh prawn crackers' as we liked to call them. Both amazing to start with and totes wet our appetite for all food that was to come.
From the Fried and Griddled section we got the Crispy Prawn Ball with Fish Sauce. This was beautiful. King prawns covered in crispy shredded pastry, sounds like heaven right? It was and completely worth the mess of the bits of pastry flicking off everywhere as you ate it. It's a 'dive right in' kind of dish. The Spinach and Mushroom Dumplings (pictured, second) are also served with the spicy mango sauce that I totally fell in love with. Again, I'd totally recommend these, a definite favourite. Although we didn't order them, I remember having the potato and edamame cake before, really lovely and the prawn toast, portobello mushroom's only just missed the order, next time!
From the baked section we tried the Four Mushroom Puff (pictured above, 1st). I'm talking beautiful flaky puff pastry with a sweet and sticky glaze that just worked beautifully with the savoury filling of the mushrooms, carrot, mange tout and cashew nuts.
On to the steamed dim sum, and we tried the prawn and chive dumplings (pictured, the green dumplings above) - these weren't to my taste but the black prawn dumplings (pictured directly above) and the chaozhau vegetable and peanut dumplings made up for it. Again, I just can't tell you how beautiful the black prawn dumplings were. I could eat tonnes of these (alongside the thai soup) and I'd be happy. If you're a garlic lover too then these will be right up your street, but if not, then I'd probably steer clear. The chaozhau vegetable and peanut dumplings were good too and the peanut made them even better adding a little crunch to the squidgy dumplings.
The flavours were insane and it was so much better than I had remembered. We were so full after all of this food, but we just had to try the deserts out didn't we? Of course for the sake of this review only, we didn't really want them (biggest lie I've ever told). As I mentioned before I'm a total coconut milk fiend and as soon as I saw the Mango Pudding was made with coconut milk I was sold, and as you can tell from my love of the spicy mango sauce, I'm quite the mango fan also. We also ordered the Baked Ginger Cake served with Vanilla Ice Cream (pictured above), if you love ginger, cinnamon and sultanas then this ones for you. A gorgeous spiced cake served with cooling and creamy ice cream to calm it down. Both deserts were really light and didn't leave me feeling as though my stomach was going to explode. In fact, the whole meal didn't. I was super full and so satisfied but I wasn't left feeling bloated and as though I'd over eaten - bonus!
As you can probably tell I was SO impressed with Ping Pong. A new favourite of mine, I'd go back in a heartbeat even if it was just for the Thai Style Vegetable Wonton Soup (please do bigger bowls of this Ping Pong, one just wasn't enough...) and the Black Prawn Dumplings. I'm talking heaven on a plate here people. Trust me, it's worth every penny. Plus the atmosphere of the evening made it that bit better and that bit more exciting. I'd definitely recommend going on evening, the atmosphere makes it. Next time I'll definetely try some new bits, as we weren't really sure whether we'd like the Black Prawn Dumplings, but they were favourites! The Monkfish and Lime Dumplings and Long Stem Broccoli is on my list. Oh and the flowering teas. These sound amazing too. Can I just list the whole menu?
Totes recommend Ping Pong. Have you been before?
*The meal was kindly provided by Ping Pong, but as always my opinions are my own and the soup really was that delicious!