Tasting Las Vegas

Ping Pang Pong redux (Mike D beat me to it but here’s my take…)

January 16, 2010 · 1 Comment

Ping Pang Pong sounds like the name of a Japanese cartoon that may induce seizures in toddlers, but is actually one of the most revered Chinese restaurants in Las Vegas.  I’d never been, so after taking in Avatar in Imax 3-D at the nearby Palms (which will induce seizures in toddlers…) we decided to check out Ping Pang Pong.  We being myself, Mike Dobranski (Mike’s Review of Ping Pang Pong is found here), his lovely wife Kerry, and Dave Philippus, a fellow member of The Lion King brass section.

PPP is located in The Gold Coast, one of those old-school casinos that has managed to not yet be torn down to make way for the next Wynn or MGM property.  The menu is stocked with Chinese-American standards (walnut shrimp, fried rice), as well as more authentic dishes (preserved duck egg congee, pork belly stew).  No fusion, or ‘new’ Chinese here; everything feels refreshingly frozen in time circa 1965.

We stick mostly to standards–hot and sour soup, potstickers, aVietnamese-like rice paper-rolled soft-shell crab, Singapore noodles, tofu with enoki and pickled greens.  The standouts were definitely the walnut shrimp and the potstickers.  Not normally a huge fan of walnut shrimp, which can be too-sweet in their off-putting mayonaise-y sauce goo.  But the Pong (may I refer to you as the Pong?) does an excellent version–the batter is light and maintains some crunch under the customary white goo-sauce.   The potstickers were fried to a nice firm crunch on one side, and came with what we agreed was the Best Potsticker Sauce Ever.   We weren’t able to sample the Dim Sum which is only served between 10 and 3pm.  I sense, though, that Dim Sum is where the Pong earns and keeps its reputation as one of our premier Chinese establishments, and I definitely want to come back for it.

The service was inattentive to a breathtaking degree–two menus were brought for a table of 4, 3 waters, and 3 tea cups–but you don’t necessary go to the Pong for Michelin 3 star service.  I’d recommend Ping Pang Pong to anyone looking for solid Chinese at very good prices, especially tourists who may not have the wheels or patience to locate our wonderful LV Chinatown.   Keep partying like its 1965 Ping Pang Pong, and don’t change a thing.

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Michael Manley is a professional musician, food nut, writer and technological retard who lives and works in Las Vegas.

Categories: Chinese Restaurants · Las Vegas Locals Restaurants · Las Vegas Restaurant Reviews · Las Vegas Restaurants · Michael Manley

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