South Bank, London
South Bank Centre, Festival Terrace, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX
- Waterloo Station (0.3 km)
- Embankment Tube Station (0.4 km)
- Waterloo Railway Station (0.3 km)
- Waterloo East Station (0.5 km)
- Contact us:
020 7960 4160
- Opening hours:
County Hall, Riverside Building, Westminster Bridge Rd, London SE1 7PB
“Zen China specializes in Imperial Beijing cuisine, with a focus on traditional North Chinese regional cooking, influenced by the imperial tradition. Zen China’s signature dish is the Authentic Beijing Roast Duck, as known as Peking Duck. We are...” more...
34 reviews of Ping Pong in English
Oh, and if you're thirsty, consider ordering a tea. They are served in lovely insulated glasses, and you can get one of the blossoming one, making for a beautiful slow motion show while you eat.
Came here for a good friend’s birthday. We were sat right near the door and it got a bit chilli after a while. Good thing is, we didn’t have to share a table. The food was okay. I had a set vegetarian meal which was £9.95. I really enjoyed it. I also had a dessert but it tasted pre-cooked. Our waiter was very friendly and helpful. Not many people know this but you also get student discount! 20% off if you have your student ID on you. I was very pleased with. The drinks however were stupid prices. Almost £4 for half a glass of orange juice!
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My first experience of Ping Pong, first though was oh, we have to share a table. Which isn’t that bad, but there was just 2 of us, so if there were more people it could be difficult to chat to everyone as the tables are round and fairly large.
I did enjoy the food, but it wasn’t all that. I don’t know why, I don’t think I am that keen on dim sum really, but if you are then it’s great.
I love the style of ping pong restaurants. They are really nice to look at and well staffed.
It is expensive for what you get, but can be convenient for a light dinner. Dim Sum is well made and tastes good. I would prefer more choice.
Offers loyalty cards which gets you some free nibbles. This place charges 12.5% service
Reviewed using Android. Get the app
Great atmosphere – interesting set up inside – if you’re in a small group don’t be surprised if you are sat on a bigger table with strangers. There was 4 of us, sat on a table with 2 ladies and a couple. The tables are so big though that you don’t feel like you’re imposing on anyone or vice versa.
The food is great – a good range, soups, noddles, dim sum and very helpful staff to explain the process of ordering etc.
Each dim sum dish is usually a portion of 3 dumplings. There are set menus for those who are new to the idea of dim sum and have no clue what to order. The set menu for one comes in at just under £10 and you have a good variety of dumplings and tasty morsels provided within that!
I have been twice to this particular Ping Pong, I haven’t tried any others in the chain. I am very impressed and it is great if you are on a budget as all items are priced fairly cheaply.
beyond terrible. I would give it 0 starts if I could. The service is unbelievable, well...there isn't any. They sit you at a table then disappear until you physically have to get up and hunt one down. Everything we ordered on the menu was out of stock, the restaurant was full and people all around us were being told they didn't have this item or that item, even the tea, I was told they'd run out of jasmine tea. Took an hour for the food to arrive and it was insipid and cold and tiny portions. The bill was incredibly bad value for the food and service we recieved, in fact we and many others around us refusedd to pay the full amount. They even had the cheek to add a 10% service charge which amounted to £5.50, for service which we never recieved! avoid at all costs.
Really love this restaurant. Like a wagamama you sit at tables with other people and get to enjoy the bustling atmosphere as it is always busy.
Amazing dim sum with dumplings that look like clouds and taste even better.
You do need to be a non-fussy eater and possibly lover of fish, as the menu is quite fish heavy as well as being dumpling heavy.
Fresh lemonade with your choice of syrup/fruity flavour is excellent and the flowering teas are amazing!
Really great place to meet friends for lunch or dinner. Even better if there is a bigger group of you!
Reviewed using iPhone. Get the app
Ping Pong opened the last year I was with my old company, and we had our departmental Christmas dinner at the original branch opposite the London Palladium. It was packed solid, and I remember it was difficult to get a booking. I had the day off due to moving into my new home that day and met my shortly to be ex-colleagues for what was a very fun evening, with delicious, madly affordable food served in a gorgeous setting. My boss managed to give me no sign I was to be fired right after Christmas.
My fondness for Ping Pong survived this incident and I went back with my now ex-colleagues (minus the boss) for a catch-up about 6 months later, after the legal wrangling was completed. Again, it was fun.
And I've been back subsequently with very different crowds – once with my houseguests in the summer, after a performance of “The Sound of Music” at the Palladium, and last week with my brother and the niece and nephew after our Royal Society lecture.
Both visits were great. I think my older guests enjoyed themselves – the Jasmine tea is always a show-stopper – and they are the type of older visitors who appreciate an experience of ‘trendy’ London. The dim sum were duly demolished while friendly banter was exchanged with a couple down from the North at our communal table.
Some critics have sniffily compared Ping Pong to Hakkasan and Yauatcha. I think the Ping Pong dim sum stand up very well, considering Ping Pong is aiming at a completely different market: mostly the post work crowd; with the dim sum hoovering up alcohol consumption.
The trip to the new branch at the Royal Festival Hall on the South Bank was a wonderful half-term family treat. We arrived just after 8pm, me thinking innocently that there would be a lull as punters left for performances at the Hall. Ha ha ha. The place was hopping, with a queue snaking out the door. We were told we had a half-hour wait but would shortly be moved into a bar area. I asked if the kids could have a snack while they waited, and my brother started complaining we couldn’t wait 30 minutes with the children ‘at this hour’. I mentioned there was an EAT around the corner – but my nephew bridled at this (EAT is clearly their default pit stop in Cambridge). Also, he had spotted the Chinese script on the ceiling and wanted more.
We were asked to hang on for 5 minutes and a table was magicked up for us. I was really impressed they even bothered, considering they had flocks of people to spare. Service was brilliant and slick, and the dim sum arrived smartly. Stand-outs were the Har Gau and the squid in satay sauce. The Jasmine tea blew the children away – my little nephew thought it was an alien pod hatching.
The dim sum are keenly priced for such a glam atmosphere – the most expensive item is £3.99: each menu item comes with 3 portions, allowing easy sharing. My nephew had a series of lemonades with fruit ‘shooters’ – these were as phenomenally beautiful as the jasmine tea. My brother and I stuck to G&Ts – quite fabulously delicious. These were Tanqueray but on a completely different plane to others I have had recently. 3 G&Ts = half the bill for 4 (12 courses) : £67 including service.
I enjoyed eating at PingPong, I like the range of drinks and trying the out and find that the dim sum is very tasty. I took my friend for the first time and he was impressed by the food especially the mango dessert.
Whilst the food is quite nice, the service is what lets it down as it is slow and somewhat cumbersome. You tend to see people waiting around without anyone attending to them, orders for drinks coming back after the meal is finished.
If you are just out for a spot of lunch then I would recommend this place as the lunch time service is much better and less busy
We went to a few Ping Pong, non of them have good service. this place is disgrace. why do we want to pay to get such awful service when the food is not that particular good??!!! the host of this place should be fired, or maybe the manager, if they don't understand the value of customer, or if they don't want to serve, why are they there? I know some restaurants just happen to have big investment behind, so they afford to have best locations, no matter what they serve, or how bad is the service, people just flood in.. unless you have no place to eat, otherwise, don't bother. go to Ping Pong, just waste your money! go to china town, you can get better dimsum and better service!
Ping Pong South Bank, I have fallen out of love with you.
I used to really love this place. The food, the drinks, the decor and ambience. All top-notch.
I went here on Saturday night - I've been there when it's been busy before, and it was fine, but this time around we should have seen the warning signs when we were handed one of those stupid pager things that Student Unions hand out if you're waiting for a burger and chips. After waiting for a table in the bar, we then had to literally wave at the waiters to get somebody to take our drinks order.
When we eventually got a table to eat at, we discovered that a lot of food on the menu was 'not available' - much to our disappointment. The food, when it arrived, was delicious as ever, but then when the mains were finished, a bill was whacked down on our table, without even asking if we wanted dessert or tea, seemingly in an attempt to turn the table around quicker. We were given a dessert menu after a request... but then had a bizarrely epic wait to get the bill at the end.
What used to be a great restaurant is now swamped and understaffed on busy nights - leaving yourself up against a bizarre conflict of staff who one minute seem desparate to get you out of the table, and the next are impossibly hard to get ahold of in order to take orders / provide service. Dining is supposed to be relaxing, not leaving you stressed at constant efforts to get the attention of staff, as you squeeze around a communal table that is simply not big enough for the food of all of the dining groups.
At £75 for 2 including service, it ends up leaving me with a horribly nasty taste in the mouth. The food was great, but did I have a pleasurable dining experience? Not in the slightest. The staff tried their best, but there just wasn't enough of them.
I would not go to the South Bank Ping Pong again, at least not on the weekend. I think I'll be returning to a quieter branch in future...
I went to Ping Pong last Sunday with an open mind and bear in mind I've had Dim Sum only once in Chinatown as a reference.
Ping Pong from the outside looks nice and impressive. Equally the décor seemed okay inside.
Being two of us they did ask if we wanted to sit immediately if we didn't mind being in the sun. It was absolutely fine I add.
We considered the Unlimited menu but wondered whether we'd really eat that much bearing in mind the price of £18.79(?) does not cover drinks and some items of the menu.
Ping Pong do Dim Sum and they do it well. The two most memorable ones were the Black Prawn steamed dumplings and the one with Turmeric. I notice they sell them as three's so one each and then you have to split the third?
It's not all perfect: I found a piece of clear plastic in my mouthful from one of the Claypot selections.
I knew I had to highlight this and the waitress quickly said she would get the Manager who apologised and offered us a couple of glasses of wine on the house.
Prior to this episode, the first steamed Broccoli that was delivered to the table was like mush and was sent back. The second one that came was exactly the same. More about this later.
We hadn't had breakfast and ate quite a lot, more than we needed to. If we had gone for the Unlimited, we'd have made a small saving each - say the equivalent of one dish so be certain you are going to eat a lot.
I thought the set menus looked good and took a lot of hassle out of what to order. Any feedback from others on their value?
Back to Broccoli: When it came to paying I pointed out to the Waitress that the Broccoli had been mush. She just said sorry.
Then whilst waiting for the other half near the exit the Manager came over to say goodbye and we had a little cordial chat. He asked me if everything else was okay and I asked how the broccoli should have been served. Apparently crispy (with a bite).
I told him about mine and in reply he told me how hard it was to monitor so much being steamed especially on a Sunday.
Is that a reasonable excuse? I don't think so. I rarely have fault to complain so never too sure what to expect when I do - not that I was on the Broccoli - I was giving feedback though I should have mentioned that £3.79 for a tiny portion of steamed Broccoli is a rip-off.
Will I go again? I think I'll give it a miss and find that place in Chinatown.
My boyfriend and I had a pretty rubbish experience at this branch of Ping Pong. I'd eaten at another one of the chain's restaurants and had a really nice meal (although expensive for what it is).
On this occasion we arrived around 5pm for an early dinner and everything seemed to go wrong, from terrible service, wrong drinks orders, waiting 20 minutes for the bill and having to endure staff arguing very loudly for all to hear. I took the feedback card home only to discover you have to hand it to your waiter... disappointed.
Won't be going back to this particular restaurant although I am a Dim Sum fan. Food is lovely but just that bit too expensive to make it a favourite. Hopefully others haven't had the same problem with service that I had.
Fantastic idea of making dim sum more available outside of Chinatown in modern surroundings. Very busy but that can only be a good sign and to be expected in this area. Had a wait for a table on a Sunday but was well worth it - food was wonderful and really good value. Best thing about the visit was my 'Flowering Dragon Eye' tea - served in a glass and left for a few moments the flower at the bottom will open up completely. Very impressive! Definitely worth a visit if you're in the area.
Dim Sum streamlined just didn’t sit right with me when I first heard about it. There is something oh so pleasant about being lost in a myriad of Chinese paraphernalia, dragons, silk screen painting, abalone suctioned on glass and cats paws bobbing around you.
However, Ping Pong has shown me that dim sum can be streamlined, and I will accept it, but only because the food is just so lovely. Fresh, crafted, verging on authentic cuisine, all nestled in a pretty lacquered to shine venue on the entrance to the Southbank. Tis quite the package really.
Throw in two for one cocktail vouchers (thanks) and really it’s not all that sad that I can’t be distracted by a gold frog with a coin in his mouth.
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