Review: Ping’s Cafe

by gigi on September 17, 2009

When I first read about Ping’s Cafe, it sounded like a different take on Japanese food from what we were used to in Vancouver. Ping’s Cafe features Japanese Yoshuku food, which is basically a Japanese take on Western dishes. I guess you can call it a specialized type of fusion food. :) Located right by Main and 11th in Vancouver, it is centrally located and actually got its name from a Chinese restaurant that used to occupy the same space.

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We noticed that some people in the restaurant chose their own dishes to eat but Jenkins and I decided to share a bunch of things so that we could have more variety. We first started with the Bang-Bang Chicken Salad ($8), which I always order the Chinese version of this dish in dim sum and Shanghainese restaurants. The version at Ping’s was made with chicken breast and was crunchy from the mix of cucumbers, carrots, lettuce, and fried wonton skins. The sesame miso dressing gave the salad a nice nutty flavour although it was not as spicy as advertised.

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Next came the sake drunken chicken ($6), which was basically yakitori skewers marinated in sake. The skewers had a great sake flavour and were very juicy. The spicy sprinkles that were included in a separate bowl gave the skewers a nice kick.

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I love Japanese croquettes as well as kabocha so we also ordered some kabocha korokke. I figured this was a combo that had to be a winner. :) The crispy, panko coated outside gave way to a creamy kabocha (Japanese pumpkin) inside with a light onion taste. Jenkins felt that this was a bit boring but I really enjoyed it. I also felt that the smiley face was a nice touch. :)

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Jenkins and I wanted to try as many different things as possible so we ordered the Ping Dinner ($18), which came with a Hambagoo, some Hire Tonkatsu, fried Ebi, potato salad, and rice. I have made Hambagoo several times on my Nintendo DS’s Cooking Mama game so was eager to finally try it in real life. :) The Hambagoo was more crumbly than a regular burger patty but also had some onions and other spices in it. It went very well with rice. The Ebi and Tonkatsu were things that I have had before but had a really crispy outside, which I really liked. Jenkins was also kind enough let me have all the potato salad, which I really enjoyed. My only complaints regarding this dish was that it was a bit pricey, although it did have a lot of variety; and I also would have preferred more rice to go with all the meat and seafood items.

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By this point, both Jenkins and I were very full but once I read the dessert menu, I decided to try and make some room in my stomach. Hands down, the black sesame ice cream at PIng’s Cafe is the best I’ve ever tasted. It had a rich black colour to it and had a delicious roasted black sesame taste. I tried to re-create this at home and although it turned out quite tasty, I was unable to duplicate the colour.

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Jenkins and I quite enjoyed our dinner at Ping’s Cafe. Some items such as Ping’s Dinner was a bit on the pricey side, but everything was well-prepared and very tasty. The black sesame ice cream was definitely the highlight of the evening for me. I would definitely go back to Ping’s, even if it is just for the dessert. :)

Details:
2702 Main Street, Vancouver
Tel: 604-873-2702

Summary:
Food: [rating:4]
Service: [rating:3]
Price: $$

Ping's Cafe on Urbanspoon

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