The full review can be read here. I'll upload pictures from my phone as soon as I get it back (it's off for 'service'), bear with the screenshot of the PDF version until then (or just buy a copy of today's Bangalore Mirror :) ).
Food - Good, and if you're fine with dim sums, then great!
$$$ - moderately expensive, about 350 to 400 or so per head, if you go all out. This could vary depending on the size of your group and your appetite.
Service - Good
Verdict - Must visit
Extra Info - Turn into the lane next to Sukh Sagar, drive up ahead and park anywhere on the left where you see others have parked
Ping, #130, 1st Cross, 5th Block, Koramangala, Bangalore. Phone: 41521773
The full review can be read here:
Dim sum means “a bit of heart”, and is the name given to a Chinese cuisine which involves a variety of dumpling-like dishes served traditionally along with Chinese tea. Koramangala saw a new specialty restaurant, Ping, open recently, specialising in dim sums — over 30 kinds. According to owner Rajanikanth Manchi, formerly with HP, Ping is derived from a Chinese character ‘Ping’ which means the best, of the highest standard and applies to food, among other things.
Speaking of the best, my guests for the evening were Dr Arnab Mukherjee, an Assistant Professor of Economics at IIM-B (at 32, one of their youngest) who’s spent time in Japan and California, and Priya Nair, a six sigma service and quality ‘champion’ with Thomson Reuters. Conceptually, the idea of having a place that directs a lot of its focus on various forms of one type of dish was appealing, and Rajanikanth confirmed that there was a trend of patrons moving towards more ‘starters-based’ meals so that they could savour more during a meal.
We couldn’t resist the dim sum platter, having a variety of meats — chicken, fish, crab and prawns, which were either steamed, fried or grilled. The threaded crab dumplings with wasabi mayo stoodout, with the fish and shitake coming close second, while the steamed prawn dim sum felt doughy, preventing us from appreciating its taste.
We had decided to go all out on dim sums — it’s not always you get to binge on ‘starters’ alone and enjoy it — and so we ordered a few more: prawn and cilantro sui mai, fire cracker prawns, spicy chicken and basil cheong fan, and shitake and green onion cheong fan. The ambiance helped nurture hope of a fine meal amidst conversations about a professor’s life in an IIM and other gastronomic topics.
The fire cracker prawns, served with an orange and chilly dip, was fabulous — the sweet from the orange contrasting with the heat from the chilly, yet blending together with the roll-shaped batter-fried prawns, with the tail sticking out like the wick of a cracker. The sui mai tasted good, but since I knew there were essentially two types of sui mai (Cantonese version, which are smaller, firmer pieces, while the version from the south is larger and tougher), I had hoped there would at least be a mention of it. The cheong fans are more a Southeast Asian dish, and are rolls with rice or rice noodles with meat, covered with a chilly and soy sauce mixture. Texture and taste wise it was nice, although how someone could eat something this flimsy with chopsticks is a mystery to me.
Moving on, we then had a chicken wrapped in banana leaf, and a signature dish called lotus leaf parcels with chicken and shitake. The chicken wrapped in the banana leaf was very good — spicy enough for the Indian palate to appreciate, yet subtle enough to not overwhelm you. The flavour imparted by the lotus leaf to the steamed concoction of sticky rice, chicken and shitake was great, and although the contents by themselves came across as being a little bland, the unique lotus flavour and the aromas alone would be appreciated by any gourmand. We ended our main course with a sea food pan fried noodles, which had pieces of lotus stem tossed in giving it a nice crunchy texture and a unique taste. Unfortunately, the fish in it played spoiler, neutralising the good work done by the rest of the ingredients. The end of the meal saw us being served with little pieces of white chocolate-wrapped paan, which to me is an acquired taste.
Although the dessert section says ‘Dessert Bay’ and made us imagine we’d have a variety of desserts to choose from, the only variety was a multitude of ice creams, and a handful of non-ice cream dishes (of which I liked the blueberry tart).
Rajanikanth mentioned that this menu is still a work in progress, and the plethora of ice creams is primarily to attract the swarms of college students in the area, who’d otherwise end up in a Barista or Coffee Day. Numerically, this meal would get a 3.25 out of 5, but since the icons we use don’t allow a quarter, let’s make do with a 3. I hope that in the coming weeks and months, the Dessert Bay would become just that — an alcove of rich indulgences everyone desires.