I've known about it being open for a while, but I finally got around to trying the relatively new Ping Pong Dim Sum in Chinatown at the end of January, with J and her friend. None of us had been there before so it was a good chance to try out the place- also helped that they have a good Happy Hour (I think it's 4pm-7pm?, selected dim sum is $3, drinks start at $4).
Earl Grey Julep
I ordered the Earl Grey Julep above, which is "Buffalo Trace bourbon infused with earl-grey tea, stirred vigorously with mint and sugar". Two problems with the drink, both my fault: 1) I didn't look at the menu long/carefully enough and just picked it for the "earl grey" aspect; and 2) I hate bourbon. The drink was interesting, it's just that the strong bourbon taste totally killed it for me. But like I said, it was totally my fault for ordering something I don't like, haha.
The food that we ordered is more or less about 90% of what is offered during Happy Hour. Each table has a little checklist of dim sum dishes- the ones that are offered at the Happy Hour discount are marked accordingly. You check off which ones you want, the server takes your order that way, and each item is crossed off as it is delivered to the table. Here's a look at what we ordered to share:
Crispy prawn ball
Vegetable spring roll
Spicy vegetable dumpling
My favorites of the bunch were the crispy prawn ball and the spicy vegetable dumplings. The prawn ball was a horrific mess to eat (the fried "noodle"ish parts shattered and flew all over the table when I tried to bite in to it, haha) but it was tasty, especially with the dipping sauce. The spicy veggie dumplings had a great flavor to them and had a good kick to them.
Overall the food was good, but I was a little disappointed at the lack of variety in the Happy Hour food offerings. As you can see the items were a little repetitive in terms of the preparations. Obviously you are welcome to order off of the regular menu, but since the prices were good for Happy Hour we stuck with those (with the exception of the coriander dumpling, I believe). The atmosphere was v. modern but comfortable. I would like to try one of their set lunch menus sometime, which will have to be on a weekend since I work in MD.
As you will see in a later post, I had a much better experience here at their Chinese New Year party about a week after we came here for Happy Hour, especially in the Drinks department :o)
After Ping Pong Dim Sum, I walked over to the Verizon Center to check out the Lakers/Wizards game with my friend P. It was fun to see them play, since there's about 0% chance of me ever seeing them among the celebs in the Staples Center in LA, haha.
Random swag bag
In addition to being Free Wizards Scarf night (which we saw people carrying, but didn't get ourselves), we also were handed these Census-sponsored tote bags, which contained a snack bag of Veggie straws. Random.