Hell, Patito has practically devoted her blogging career and social life to tracking down the perfect specimen. And, when it comes to our favorite cocktail, we tend to think that it’s a case of “the simpler the better”. Ice-cold Grey Goose, a plump juicy olive and just a hint of vermouth (“Just show the glass the vermouth bottle” a wise old friend used to say.)
So imagine our buttoned-up horror when the waitress at Ping Pong delivered a Tigertini into our unsuspecting hands: a thick, goopy, orange concoction with a jelly tiger’s tooth hanging precariously from the side of the glass.
Our horror turned to pride-swallowing though as we took our first sip: a combination of vodka, mango juice, vanilla and lime, the Tigertini was simply delicious! It was phenomenal in fact. We downed it and promptly ordered another.
The Tigertini is part of the dim sum chain’s New Year menu: a selection of new dishes and cocktails that celebrate The Year of the Tiger. And, like Ping Pong itself, it knows when to take off its tie, let its hair down and just have some fun.
To enjoy Ping Pong – and we did – you have to do the same: don’t take it, or yourself, too seriously.
We visited Ping Pong’s Westbourne Grove branch last year and had something of a mixed experience, but when they invited us to sample their new dishes, we couldn’t resist. This time, we tried the Marylebone branch in James Street.
Maybe it was the smaller dining room and its more bustling ambiance, perhaps it was the slicker, friendlier staff, or the effect of two large Tigertinis in a row, whatever the reason, we thoroughly enjoyed every part of our meal.
We started off with some of the new ‘Year of theTiger’ specials. The Lucky New Year pastry wrapped fish was fresh and vibrant. The chicken with black pepper and sesame seeds carried a hint of spice that worked well with its black vinegar dip.
Then, we started attacking the rest of the menu. One of the pleasures of Ping Pong’s approach is the huge variety of dishes you get to sample in one meal. And the happy surprise is that the variety really does shine through, each dish having its own distinctive personality. Highlights in our book include the scallop and shitake; the king prawns in chive and the Sichuan rabbit dumplings. All three dishes were genuinely impressive.
As we said when we reviewed the Westbourne Grove branch last October, Ping Pong isn’t the most authentic of Asian dining experiences but that’s hardly the point. It’s affordable, good fun and – crucially – a step above the food quality you’d expect from a chain. We recommend you try it and when you do, don’t forget to complain if there isn’t a piece of jelly hanging from the side of your martini glass. That’s right, just loosen up, Tiger!
Ping Pong, St Christopher’s Place, 29a James Street, London W1U 1DZ, Tel: +44 20 7034 3100
Loosen up Tiger, meet us at Ping Pong
We take our martinis very seriously around here. Very. Seriously. Hell, Patito has practically devoted her blogging career and social life to tracking down the perfect specimen. And, when it comes to our favorite cocktail, we tend to think that it’s a case of “the simpler the better”. Ice-cold Grey Goose, a plump juicy olive […]
Our founder and editor-in-chief, the self-proclaimed "greatest wit, raconteur and bon vivant of our age", borders on delusional. Over the years, the fool has squandered more money on fast cars, Swiss watches and electronic gadgetry of all kinds than he – or Mrs Fool – cares to remember. Come nightfall, he can invariably be found stumbling out of Dukes mumbling “just one more Martini; I could have handled just one mmmmm… [thud!]”
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