After a full week in USA, it’s time to have some Chinese food. And what better than traditional Cantonese yum cha from the trolleys.
I keep referring this place as “Ping Pong Pang” because of a very popular drinking game. This Chinese restaurant inside Gold Coast Casino is called “Ping Pang Pong” and has been a favourite among the Chinese diaspora working in LV for its cheap and good Cantonese yum cha.
The Chinese characters 金元寶廚坊 in the mark translates in English to “Gold Ingot Kitchen”. The English wording “Ping Pang Pong” has no meaning in any foreign language except for the familiar sounds in a busy Chinese restaurants. When we arrived at about 11:30 a.m. on a Monday, there was a line waiting for tables. Yet for the uninitiated, the experience that awaits customers can be a little daunting.
Once seated, the parade of dim sum carts started rolling by. The variety was amazing — about 90 of them — something that’s getting harder and harder to find, even in Hong Kong. Each cart is associated with one traditional Chinese kitchen station and featured selections from one of those. And sweet and savory dishes are also kept separate.
Cantonese have a saying, “One cup and two items” 一盅兩件 refers to the practice of yum cha 飲茶. And usually two steamer items to start the yum cha routine, like hargow (prawn dumpling) 蝦餃, steamed paiguat (pork ribs) 排骨 and other delicious items. The pork ribs were quite big pieces but very well marinated. The prawn dumplings were huge as well.
I was surprised to find this in US as we don’t even get this in Singapore anymore. Beef offals 牛雜 braised in a rich sauce had the soft texture and great taste. The dried orange peel 陳皮 was too strong for me. This was considered a special dim sum item and commanded a high price of $12.85.
Century egg and lean pork porridge 皮蛋瘦肉粥 is a quintessential item in all dim sum restaurants, and to make it properly, you need a solid porridge base. The base cannot be cooked with pressure cookers and had to be boiled over a long period, constantly stirring to prevent burning. And it’s not just water and rice, the stock used to cook the porridge included dried flounder and sometime conpoy. What ingredients you add later is inconsequential.
Yes, it’s American portion, just compare the bowl of congee with the serving bowls on the side. There’s enough for 4 smaller bowls. And this for $8.88.
Shrimp rice rolls 鮮蝦腸粉 is one item that an inexperienced chef can easily screw up. The rice roll is steamed and then the fillings are placed in them. If the piece of roll is too thin, it will break when rolled; too thick you get a bad roll. This was a bad roll even though they nailed the sauce as well as generous fresh shrimps in each roll.
Lormaigai 糯米雞 had a bad reputation as the item that contained leftovers repurposed for the lotus-leaf wrapped steamed glutinous rice. But its popularity means that it has developed over the years to include luxe ingredients.
Their version had a big piece of Chinese sausage with conpoy (dried scallops) and was very tasty. But I find the amount of chicken rather sad. Again, it was a huge portion and can be shared by two.
And for dessert, we shared a bowl of sweet beancurd 豆腐花. This warm dessert was made from silky smooth tofu, and doused with a lot of syrup. Just like how you would get it in Hong Kong. Yummy and satisfying end to a delicious and economic lunch.
90% of the diners were Asian so I guess that’s a stamp of approval. Diners come for the large selection, reasonable prices and the made-fresh-daily dim sum options, and also for the nostalgia of the trolley dim sums. The place is clean and bright and the dim sum we tried is very good. Make a reservation if you do not want to wait in line.
Ping Pang Pong The Chinese Kitchen 金元寶廚坊
Gold Coast Hotel and Casino
4000 W Flamingo Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89103, United States
Tel : +1 702-247-8136
Visited Jan 2023
The Game “Ping Pong Pang”
Here’s something totally unrelated to the restaurant. Use your words and finger pointing skills in this drinking game. Ping Pong Pang the drinking game involves a group of people shouting and pointing at each other. This game is famous in Japan and best part about it is. You don’t have to speak the same language to know how to play!
First player say “Ping!” and point to your left. Player to the left say “Pong!” and point to your left also. Next player to the left says “Pang!” and points to anyone at the table. Ping! *point* Pong! *point* Pang! *point*
Now the player that got pointed at starts over by yelling “Ping!” except now players can start pointing at anybody. You can only point if you say the correct word and it must be done at the same time.
If you do not say the correct word you have to drink; if you forget to point you lose and drink; if you dont say the word and point at the SAME time you lose and you have to drink!
#pingpangpong #LV #lasvegas #Cantonese #dimsum #pingpangponglv
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