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New Macanese-inspired Seasonal Specials at Ping Pong

Published 14 February 2013

In order to celebrate Chinese New Year, Asian fusion restaurant Ping Pong has released an extended menu with Macanese-inspired seasonal specials. The delicious dishes were showcased at the menu’s launch party, situated at the sultry St Katherine’s Dock branch, just a stone’s throw away from Tower Bridge.

Macau, a special administrative region of China, is something of a cultural oddity due to its former colonisation by Portugal. Macanese cuisine, as a result, is a delightful blend of Eastern and Western tastes. This becomes apparent as the nation, very much hot on its dim sum, frequently makes use of traditional Portuguese ingredients and flavours such as salt cod, pork, egg custard and cardamom.

My personal favourite of the night was the Cod & Tudou Balls – a light take on the fish cake. Fluffy and delicate on the inside and crisp on the outside, the cod balls slipped down a treat with subtle heat from the red pepper and coriander. Though amazing alopinne, the cod balls were even better accompanied with the addictive Guava Tea Party – an aptly-named cocktail that really danced on the tongue with a vanilla kick and spicy chilli punch. The sweet ending came in the form of a wonderfully gooey Macanese custard tart. The pastry was perfection – layer upon layer of flaky butteriness – and the egg custard itself was lush, with the all-important, drool-inducing caramelised pockets. To wash it all down, there were Chinese beers Tsingtao and Sun Lik, with Tsingtao just about coming out on top during the evening.

Offered alongside the specials were items from the standard Ping Pong menu, including the ever-popular char sui buns and crispy duck spring rolls, both oozing full-on meatiness and umami zing.

The Macanese dishes were developed with the help of international chef, David Wong. Wong has been an integral player in culinary courses at the Macau Institute for Tourism Studies and is one of the founding members of the Macau Culinary Association. His cookbook, ‘The Art of Modern Portuguese Cuisine’ has won a number of awards, including the ‘Best Book for Food Professionals in Macao’ in the 2012 Gourmand Cookbook Awards.

With dish prices ranging between £2.85 and £6.95, a meal at Ping Pong doesn’t have to break the bank, meaning that you can save your red envelope money for something else. But if you want to try these Macanese treats, you’ll have to visit soon as they are only available until 8th April. With Macanese cuisine being a rarity in London, a visit to Ping Pong is highly recommended for those seeking unusual bites.

To celebrate their new menu, Ping Pong are offering you the chance to win a trip to Macau. For more details on the competition, visit the following website: www.ppoffers.co.uk/cny

The line up of new Macanese-inspired dishes and drinks at Ping Pong:

Pao Cai & Mushroom Dumpling
Shiitake mushroom, carrot and cabbage in carrot pastry.

Chinkiang Prawn Wrap
Fish and prawn-stuffed cabbage rolls with chinking sauce on a black fungus bed.

Spiced Pork Stew
Pork pieces, shiitake mushroom, black fungus and broccoli stew with hints of ginger, black cardamom, star anise, served on jasmine rice.

Cod & Tudou Balls
Salted cod, coriander, red pepper, fluffy potato and a crisp coating with chili bean sauce.

Macanese Custard Tart
Crispy and flaky crust with caramelised custard filling, served with traditional vanilla ice cream.

Guava Tea Party
A delightfully well balanced creation with tropical flavours and hints of chilli – Bacardi superior rum, peach, Rubicon guava juice, limes and jasmine iced tea.

Peach & Guava Iced Tea
Sharp and refreshing with hints of chilli – peach and Rubicon guava juice, mixed with fresh lime juice and jasmine iced tea.