March 2, 2009

Ping, ping, ping went my heart.

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I was excited when I found out that Andy Ricker of Pok Pok was opening a new restaurant in Chinatown. Since Pok Pok is so popular, I knew it would be busy, but Wednesday night, 7:45 - I didn't think it would be THAT busy. Wrong.

"So, I'm thinking about 35 minutes," the host at Ping said. "Because of safety reasons we can't have you wait inside, but I've been telling people to go to that coffee shop across the street, Backspace to wait - they have tea and coffee and all that. I'll call you when your table is ready - it will be an 801 number." We agreed. Then started to walk across the street. As Ansley brought up on our way over to Backspace, it might be unsafe to wait inside, but have they checked out the neighborhood? Not sure it's all that safe outside either. In all fairness, we only had one request for money on our way to the coffee shop.

The coffee shop was random and great people watching. But I was relieved when my phone rang with that 801 number. I was starving! Okay. Not starving. But really really hungry.

It was crowded and a little loud, but quite lovely. I particularly loved the old radios they had on a shelf on the back wall. The enthusiastic waiter explained the menu - order a few things and share, he said.

I ordered the steamed pork bun, the grilled bread with coconut egg jam and the cuttlefish. Chelsea ordered the green salad - which was by far my favorite dish. It had shrimp, chicken, egg and bright, flavorful dressing. I could not get enough.

The steamed pork bun was soft and chewy and full of rich shredded pork - (it's going on my comfort food list). The cuttlefish was like jerky, flattened and dried and spiced to light your mouth on fire, with a sweet chili sauce to cool. I loved that - the flavor was intense enough to satisfy my appetite without a lot of filler. I love that.

And I pretty much loved Ping. There's so much more I need to explore though, it's a little daunting. I'll whittle away at the menu til I try every last thing. Even the chicken butt skewers (which I have to say, I told my nephew about, to which he replied, "Ewwww. You don't know what's been in there.")

Ping is delightful. But be prepared to wait at the coffee shop across the street. I'm pretty sure it will only get more busy as word gets out.

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chelsea said...

I've been dreaming of the green salad ever since that day. Let's go back soon. Like tomorrow??

Hey, It's Ansley said...

The green salad was amazing!