When my friends took me to Ping Pong Dim Sum last year, the name alone made it sound like the best place on earth. Now, after trying it for myself, I can affirm that dining at the attractive restaurant is nothing but fun.
The chic Asian-fusion eatery is located right in Dupont Circle, which makes it a happy hour hotspot for anyone who works in the area. However, the restaurant offers killer deals for lunch, dinner, and my favorite, unlimited brunch, as well.
Ping Pong Dim Sum has a bit of an industrialized feel. The restaurant is quite large, full of tables low to the ground. It boasts a large bar area and outdoor space, making it a great place for groups. Though very dark inside, which is a bit of a strange atmosphere for brunch, its sleek decor makes it seem like the hottest restaurant in D.C. at night.
When you sit down, you’re handed an order slip with the restaurant’s daily offerings.
Be warned: this can get overwhelming when eating with a large group, but the restaurant also offers an unlimited option. Ping Pong prides itself on its Chinese roots, though it may not look very much like it.
The food ranges in price depending on whether or not you opt for one of the restaurant’s special deals. Happy hour includes a $5 dim sum and drinks special from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays. While the selection is very small, some of the best dishes are offered for quite a steal, especially great for college students.
For a flat fee of $36, the restaurant offers a choice between unlimited deconstructed mimosas with a selection of five dim sum dishes (more than enough) or the unlimited dim sum option.
Dinner is tragically pricier, featuring individual set menus for $25 or a set menu for four people for $108. Dishes can also be served a la carte, but be aware that the dim sum adds up quickly.
Ping Pong rotates its menu monthly in order to ensure their food is made with the finest and best quality ingredients. My favorite dinner entree was the fried chili calamari served with a sweet chili sauce ($7.25). Our table also devoured the fried tofu, which is no longer on the menu as of last week.
We also ordered the pulled duck and hoi sin buns ($14.50), served with cucumber and onion.
The dumpling selection at Ping Pong is an extravagant take on the classics. For example, we ordered the garlic and shrimp dumplings ($6.75), wrapped in a black squid ink pastry. Equally extravagant were the edamame and truffle dumplings ($6.75).
The experience was not dim sum in the sense of any run-down Chinese restaurant serving food in shiny metal tins and wax paper.We did test some of Ping Pong’s more authentic offerings like the crispy prawn balls ($6.75) and the char sui bun ($7.59). Both were quite good and definitely gave my local takeout restaurant a run for its money.
I will say that this swanky eatery could be known for its drinks. The bar scene was lively when we ate at around 8 p.m. Friday.
The drink menu is incredibly creative, offering many Asian-style takes on classic drinks. The hibiscus spritz ($11) seemed a favorite among the crowd, mostly for its amazing presentation. It’s served with a hibiscus flower set in an ice block and a craft of Prosecco and elderflower liquor poured on top.
Additionally popular were the unlimited deconstructed mimosas, served as a glass of champagne accompanied by an assortment of boba to supplement the juice in the mimosa.
All in all, every meal I’ve had at Ping Pong Dim Sum’s swanky Dupont location has been a fun experience. The configuration of the space and the amazing offers make it a great place for big groups and special occasions. If you’re looking for an authentic dim sum meal, you can find much better in D.C. for better prices, but Ping Pong is a spectacle that is worth its price tag.
Have a reaction to this article? Write a letter to the editor.