What is it about dumplings that make the girls go crazy? Perhaps it’s because they are tiny morsels of goodness that makes us feel as though we’re consuming less calories than we actually are? Or is it because they are just a marvelous way of trying so many different items on the menu at an Asian restaurant without feeling guilty? Regardless of the reason, I turn to putty each time I visit Ping Pong Dim Sum, a London import now making its way to the US with its first two locations in Washington, DC.
My friend Whitney Stringer introduced me to this gem back in 2010 and I’ve been obsessed ever since. I went to Ping Pong Dim Sum in Chinatown with two of my favorite bloggers, who also happen to be Glamazon Diaries contributors, Krystin Hargrove and Trisha Penn for a Sunday evening happy hour. Krystin loves this place so it was the natural choice since many of the Gallery Place/Chinatown restaurants were booked up for dinner.
We were seated in a cozy corner within five minutes and immediately greeted by our smiling server, who alerted us to the happy hour prices.
- $5 creative cocktails (including that super delicious Lychee Martini)
- $4 Bottles of Import Beer (Tiger, Tsingtao and Sapporro Reserve),
- $3 Baked Puffs, Chicken and Black Pepper Roll, and Veggie Spring Roll.
FYI: Happy hour is from 4p.m. – 7 p.m.
All three of us start with lychee and roses martinis- I am not big on sweet cocktails but our server insists this is a must have and boy was he right – and then proceed to order several savory dim sum, baked puffs and crispy prawn balls, Crispy Prawn Balls served with sweet & sour sauce, Crispy Duck Spring roll filled with cucumber and spring onion and a few more dishes. The service is pretty fast with careful attention paid to details. I comment on the perfect platting and garnishes of each dish that comes out. They are so simple and beautiful yet delicious.
The crispy duck spring roll is marvelous. Each of us has a roll and are tempted to order another round, after all it’s happy hour and a round would cost just $3. We do refrain however, because we have other items coming out. The calamari is tender on the inside but crispy on the outside. You don’t even need the accompanying dipping sauce but we dive in anyway. The steamed dumplings are out of this world. Each one is seasoned to perfection and hot enough to burn your tongue if you rush into having it in one bite. Such an amateur move. We all know the secret to eating a steamed dumpling is biting the pouch carefully to let some of the steam out before popping it in your mouth.
We noshed on several rounds of food until last call for happy hour prices was announced. We all ordered another round of those delicious lychee and rose martini – I have no clue how many calories is in each drink but who cares right? – before asking for the check. Our friendly server chats with us for a few minutes about fashion blogging since it’s a bit slow at the restaurant. He wants to get into blogging and all three of us give him the resounding encouragement to go for it. We do need more male fashion bloggers.
We each ended up paying less than $30 for our meal, a reasonable price for three drinks each and several dim sum menu items. Ping Pong Dim Sum is the perfect place for a date or night out with the girls. It is interactive, sexy and with a reasonably priced menu, your wallet will thank you. They have two locations in Washington, DC as well as a flagship in London and another location in Dubai. If you ever find yourself in DC, make yourself a reservation, especially during happy hour, and try these little pockets of deliciousness.