I’m snacking on a veggie puff pastry after a cold Yuengling and a sake based bloody mary, when I think to myself, “This wasn’t what I expected.”
I’m at Ping Pong dim sum, a few blocks Northish of the Friendship Gate in Chinatown , and I’m eating what I can only call upscale non traditional dim sum.Â Dim sum tapas is an accurate descriptor of this self created niche.
Thankfully, this niche is delicious.
My first experience with Ping Pong was actually the day before, I had spent some time there and I felt it warranted a return trip.
It’s a Monday evening, and it’s quiet.Â It’s six o’clock and the after work crowd hasn’t come in yet for happy hour, which is four to seven.Â Five dollar cocktails, all of which are exotic takes of traditional bar offerings.Â For instance, the amaretto sour has wasabi paste in it, and the bloody mary is sake based.Â Both were tasty.Â I also had a passionfruit amaretto based cocktail which was also delicious.Â Also good was the lychee and rose martini.Â For the record, I didn’t drink all of these at once.
Elise, our waitress from Sunday is off duty, but hanging out and she recognizes me as I step up to the bar.Â She tells me to order the wasabi amaretto sour that I didn’t order on Sunday.
My second cocktail is something with passionfruit and almond in a tall glass.Â Sip by sip, Monday is fading.Â It’s a new beginning for the evening.
The ramp up from quiet bar to happy hour “spot” is fast, and dare I say, furious.Â Bartenders have moved into full production mode, and more than once I’m the target of an over eager muddling of lemongrass, lime, or lychee.
My bar fare arrives, hotter than I’m expecting, soÂ I sip on my drink to pass the time.
There are actually two bars, but one is actually just a seating area in front of the kitchen where you can watch the food being prepared.Â I haven’t sat down there yet, but it does look interesting.
I’ll be coming back.