Perfectly blending a traditional dim sum menu and a chic and modern setting, newly-launched Ping Pong Wembley embraces a cool, urban vibe, and brings an extra culinary dimension to Wembley’s designer outlet.
Its large, open dining space is separated into 3 separate decorative themes: on the one side is Shanghai chic, which comprises the main dining space. Textured panels in hues of mustard and brown cover the walls, and cleverly designed lighting creates archway-shaped shadows on the panels, giving the impression of an oriental Chinese palace in terms of setting. Blue leather sofa seating and red dining chairs reinforce a contemporary feel, and a mesh panelled wall divider creates depth to an open space.
In contrast, the bar area depicts Chinese street graffiti art inspired by a modern China. And perhaps the focal point of the room, the traditional dim sum bar is anything but traditional. With a gloss black worktop surface and red bar stools, a specially commissioned piece of urban artwork by Chinese artist Suw Zhuoyoug hovers above the bar, creating the perfect blend between traditional oriental customs and a modern China.
As Ping Pong is renowned for its cocktail menu, we decided to begin with one of its exotic mixes. The lychee and rose martini cocktail was floral and fresh, and made a nice change to the usual fruit juice-filled offerings. Served with a dried rosebud floating on top, it was the prettiest cocktail I have ever drank. This was followed by a jasmine guava martini. A light and floral cocktail with hints of lime and elderflower, it was elegant and incredibly refreshing.
Jasmine Guava Martini
Our dishes arrived quickly, and it’s worth noting that Ping Pong have a fantastic and extensive nut free menu: which put a nut allergy sufferer like myself at ease when ordering from the menu.
Tucking first into the seasonal specials, the honey roasted chicken puff, with a cube of pineapple served on top, combined sweet and sticky honey with savoury pastry to create this heavy and hearty filler.
Honey Roast Chicken Puff
Next up were the beef dumplings. Served in a bamboo tower, the beef was well seasoned with a hint of chilli to give it a kick, and the sticky dumpling gave the dish an interesting texture.
Following the beef was the mushroom and vegetable rice pot, topped with an ample serving of black been sauce. The perfect accompaniment to the beef dish, the shiitake and straw mushrooms were caramelised to perfection.
Mushroom & Vegetable Rice Pot
Another seasonal special, the Yin Yon pork, which was essentially meat encased in sticky white rice and seeds, was rich and flavoursome. The pork filling was juicy and worked well with the sticky rice/crunchy seed combination.
The hoi sin vegetable puff arrived on a black rectangular plate looking like a miniature sausage roll. Hearty and filling, the bamboo shoot vegetables encased in puff pastry were glazed with honey to give the dish a sticky texture and sweet taste.
The garlic and black pepper prawn crackers were to die for. With strong hints of crushed peppercorns and only subtle hints of garlic, they were the perfect light snack after filling up on heavier dishes.
Up next were the duck spring rolls, served with a side of hoi sin sauce, followed by the Wu Xiang lamb spring rolls, accompanied by Wu Xiang sauce. Both were incredible. The flaky and crispy texture of the thin pastry around each provided the perfect contrast to the meat filling. The duck was supple and tender; the lamb spicy and well seasoned.
Looking like savoury cupcakes encased in yellow wonton pastry, the chicken shu mai parcels, filled with chicken, asparagus and mushrooms, were light and juicy.
Chicken Shu Mai Parcels
Hoi Sin Vegetable Puff
Despite being far too full for dessert after the classic dim sum mistake of ordering far too many dishes, we were persuaded to try the Valrhona chocolate bun. Brought back to the menu by popular demand, it was an indulgent and tempting snowy white igloo oozing with hot dark chocolate sauce that was impossible to resist.
Valrhona Chocolate Bun
And no dim sum dine would be complete without a traditional Chinese tea. Ping Pong’s selection was fantastic, offering floral, fruity and assam-based teas. Having chosen the blackcurrant and hibiscus tea, it promptly arrived at the end of our meal in a traditional bronze teapot; the teabag hanging off a bamboo skewer balanced over a hi-ball glass: chic and modern yet still traditional.
Blackcurrant & Hibiscus Tea
With wonderfully polite staff and a cool and chic dining space, the all-new Ping Pong offers the great taste of China in an urban oriental setting, all in the heart of Wembley.
Ping Pong Wembley
Unit 68-70, First Floor, Level 2, London Designer Outlet Wembley Park Boulevard, Wembley, London, HA9 0FD