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Published December 04, 2009

Dumpling Diving
Your New Dumpling HQ

English imports have a mixed history here.

For every successful Brit to wash up on our shores (Clive Owen, tweed), there's a few that didn't quite get the job done (the Hessians, vocabulary choices like "bollocks").

Here to apply for successful British import status is Ping Pong Dim Sum, a rampantly popular London dumpling destination opening next Friday in Penn Quarter. (Note: No actual table tennis is involved.)

Once you get past your disappointment in not being able to consume dim sum while perfecting your forehand, you'll be happy to see not some humble dumpling house but a modern, palatial temple to steamed goodness—meaning clean lines, open kitchens covered in stainless steel, dark furniture and a long hardwood bar.

First order of business: Grab a seat at the dim sum bar facing the open kitchen in the rear, and watch the crack team prep your steamed bundles of king prawns and chives, snow crab and carrots, or griddled basil, chili and rice noodles.

But the real action goes down at the four round communal tables, where you might get a chance to sidle up to someone worth knowing (and no, we don't mean an undersecretary at Commerce) while you sip on an Earl Grey Julep or a Ginger and Limoncello Caipirinha.

Of course, it's all random, thanks to the tables' no-reservations policy.

But you've never been all that reserved anyway.
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