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October 20th, 2010 BEN WATERHOUSE | Food Reviews & Stories
 

Ping: Restaurant Guide 2010

     
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11 am-10 pm Monday-Friday, 5-10 pm Saturday. $-$$$ Inexpensive-expensive.
[EAST ASIAN SNACKS] I spent an evening last December downing sake and skewers of grilled chicken in a smoky second-story restaurant in a Tokyo suburb; it was one of the finest meals of my life. Ping aspires to a similar sort of experience, without the smoke and with a menu that draws from bar and street food from Japan to Singapore—this is drinking food: fatty and salty and lip-scorchingly peppery. Any diners refusing a beer will regret their decision a few bites into the lime-and-chile-marinated baby octopus skewer or the chile-dappled yam mama ramen salad. The capsaicin-averse should stick to sweeter bites like the salapao, a steamed bun stuffed with sweet pork, or the pork meatball skewer. Don’t care for meat? Ping doesn’t offer a lot for vegetarians, but don’t worry—the salty-sweet-smoky shishito chile skewer is the best item on the menu. I could eat hundreds of these things. BEN WATERHOUSE.
Ideal meal: Four hishito skewers, octopus skewer, Vietnamese-style short rib, salapao, Japanese cucumber salad.
Best deal: Ping’s happy hour (2-5:30 pm Monday-Friday) offers discounted bites and some specials—try the Kobayashi dog, a Sabrett frank with teriyaki sauce, wasabi mayonnaise and bonito flakes.
Chef’s choice: “Ju pa bao [fried pork chop in a bun] because it is about as simple a dish as you can imagine, yet completely unusual and specific to its origin [Macau], and somehow tastes a lot better than it sounds.” (Andy Ricker)

 
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