Ping Pong Dim Sum – Christmas Menu Review

Those of you who read my blog regularly will know that I am obsessed with Dim Sum. One of my favourite places to go for Dim Sum is Ping Pong. It’s great menus, fair prices and great cocktail list keeps me coming back. Last week I was invited to sample Ping Pong’s new Christmas menu. Now I know people would say that shouldn’t all branches be the same. Well my favourite Ping Pong Branch has always been the one in Soho with St Paul’s coming close second. After going ice skating  I decided to try their branch in Market Place. Now it pains me to have to admit this but the service that we received on this particular night was not what I was used to from Ping Pong. Firstly I will concentrate on the food as this is most important. Ping Pong offer four different christmas menus from 15 to 35 pounds. I opted for the 20 pounds menu. Which consisted of:

Ping Pong Dim Sum

Sesame seed prawn crackers

These are simply divine, crispy, with black pepper making them moreish. The lovely peanut sauce made a nice accompaniment.

1 mixed game puff

I really did enjoy this. It had a sweet and meaty texture although to be honest i didn’t know what I was eating pheasant.

1 crispy duck spring roll 

Crispy on the outside, lovely tender duck on the inside. 

1 Vietnamese rice paper prawn roll 

Something that I had never seen on the menu before (or noticed). I really liked it and will be definitely trying it on my next visit.

1 Prawn toast with sesame seeds

I always find prawn toast to be a little greasy but this one was okay. 

1 Char sui bun

This surprised me as I didn’t particularly think I liked buns.  I found the sponge to be light and fluffy  and the sweet meaty filling was tasty.

2 Lobster dumplings

This was the only dish I didn’t like and I only ate one, maybe it is the fact that I am not keen on lobster but I found the texture strange and the flavour unpleasant.

1 Seafood dumplingHave to say this and some chilli sauce was simple amaaazing!

1 Har gau – An old favourite of mine and didn’t fail to live up to expectations.
1 Chicken shu mai – One word Perfect!

For dessert forest berries & white chocolate sauce  –

well unfortunately this was sold out so I ordered a chinese chocolate brownie. I only realised the next day that my desert never came! This was the nail in the coffin for the service that we got that day. The restaurant was not busy but girl who served us seemed disinterested and cranky and we had to wait ages after asking for the bill. 

It hasn’t put me off Ping Pong but maybe I will stick to my favourite branches from now on. Overall I think the Ping Pong Christmas menu gives you enough variety to be worth the money. Although I would have liked it if they had included sticky rice as this is one my favourite dim sum.

French Martinis And French Manicures With Chambord

Here is a lovely little event taking place next week on the 23rd November

Chambord, the black raspberry liqueur, is holding an evening of French Martinis and French manicures at London’s Haymarket Hotel.

 They will be trying to set a new world record for the number of French manicures to be painted in one hour. 

 After having their nails manicured,  ladies will be treated to a French Martini cocktail – a delicious mix of Chambord, vodka and pineapple juice.

 Chambord is inviting the ladies of London to join them from 6pm for a free French manicure and French Martini. To join in simply register on the Chambord UK Facebook page. 

 What? Chambord French manicures and French Martinis

Where? The Shooting Gallery, Haymarket Hotel, London

When? 6pm-9pm 23rd November

Why? Help them set the record for the most French manicures to be performed in one hour and enjoy a free French Martini and French manicure for your efforts!

How? Just register your interest by visiting

 Hurry, places are going fast x

Chambord Black Raspberry Liqueur©2011. Chambord is a registered trademark.  All rights reserved.

New African Fashion

Lanky Girl in Ankara Head Scarf

Growing up in an African household and having a mother who was very interested in fashion meant that I grew up with a love for African fabrics, scarf and head ties. To me African fashion is inspiring because of its interesting use of fabrics, vibrant colours and prints. In recent years we have seen African fashion designers becoming more and more mainstream. Western designers  have also been taking influence from African fabrics and costume in their collections. Last year we saw turbans re-emerge and many celebrities have been seen in clothes made from Ankara fabric.

Helen Jennings is Editor of Arise Magazine and a prominent journalist. Her new book documents the different facets that make up African Fashion today and Lanky Girl was lucky enough to receive a copy. The book is testament to Jennings hard work and research. It features some of my favourite Nigerian designers such as Duro Olowu, Jewel by Lisa and Ghanian Ozwald Boateng. Its also has chapters showing the work of African photographers and prominent models. I especially enjoyed the chapter showing how Paul Smith was influenced in his 2009 collection by Congolese Dandies. Helen also tackles why African fashion is having its moment in the sun.

Paul Smith 2009 Collection

This book is for everyone who loves fashion and who would like to broaden their knowledge from a African Perspective.

 New African Fashion

By Helen Jennings

Publication Date: October 2011, £19.99 flexicover

240 pages with 335 colour illustrations

19.5 x 27 cm

ISBN: 978-3-7913-4579-6

Available to buy now  from Amazon 

The Regent Street Food Safari – Review

The Regent Street Food Safari October 2011

Lanky Girl and crew recently took part in The Regent Street Food Safari. Basically the concept is this; many of Regent Street’s acclaimed restaurants offered the chance to sample some of their dishes in a kind of ‘graze and go’ experience. A sort of culinary adventure without leaving London.

Lanky Girl’s adventure started in Sartoria, a classic and sophisticated Italian restaurant. Before our starters we were served a little tray of nibbles, which included some delicious shots of gazpacho. The Gazpacho was tangy and smooth,  the crisp bread and parmesan was a lovely accompaniment.

From the menu I opted for the fried squid and my dining partner opted for the buffalo mozarella. The squid was delicious, nicely co0ked so that the texture was soft with a slight bite to it. The staff were pleasant and attentive and we especially enjoyed our complimentary champagne Bellini. Sartoria had a nice intimate ambience and is the perfect place for people watching due to its massive glass windows.  A nice start to our culinary adventure.

Next up our journey was Tibits, a self service vegetarian bar and restaurant. Now being an all consuming carnivore I wasn’t really sure I was going to enjoy “veggy” food. My fears were put to rest when I realised how tasty the food was. I enjoyed some vegetable samosas, steamed broccoli, and pasta simple but wholesome. Tibits has a very relaxed to feel to it and it is the kind of place that I could envision going to with friends to take a break from shopping.

Now, by this point I was feeling very full (maybe pigged out a bit too much at Tibits) but in the name of food we continued onto Below Zero a chic bar and restaurant which also houses a very cool ice bar. The menu for Below Zero consisted of many small plates. From the menu we chose Salt n Pepper prawns with chill and garlic and Guinea Fowl and liver terrine. The prawns were sweet and succulent and the chilli definitely gave it an added kick. If you want you can pay 15 pounds and go into the ice bar next door, and enjoy some fantastic flavoured vodka.

After all that food I was feeling a little over indulged but as they say there is always room for dessert. It was time for ice cream! Freggo was our final stop and the one I was most looking forward to. Freggo offers Argentinean ice cream as well as lots of lovely little fancy desserts. We enjoyed a row of flavoured cones. Delicious! I would say Freggo is a great place to take a date for an after dinner treat.

The Regent Street Food Safari was like having four different nights rolled into one and I thoroughly enjoyed discovering restaurants that I hadn’t previously know about. I definitely recommend that you try it.

The next Regent Street Food Safari 2012 will take place 1-15 March, 2012.

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Dating A Workaholic – The Love Doctor Answers

Dear Love Doctor,

 So here is my problem. I recently met a lovely guy who I am reluctant to admit I am smitten with. He seems to be a great catch, kind and funny and fit to boot. However, there is the problem that he does seem to be a bit of a workaholic. He is launching a new business which takes up all of his time and he works 7 days a week. He did admit to me that it would be very difficult to make time to see me.What do you think should i really try to date this guy when he doesn’t have time to see me?


Dear Jennifer,

Thanks for your letter, but this really does seem a bit of a no brainer doesn’t it?

You say you are smitten and what a great catch he is… but don’t say how he feels, although his lack of enthusiasm to see you seems a little evident surely, and anyway, how great a catch is a guy that cant make time for you? Not that great in the long term I would suspect.

My advice is simple, sit down with this guy and have a frank conversation with him. He either makes time for you in his busy work/life schedule or you walk away, its as simple as that, as I suspect you are just setting yourself up to get hurt.

However busy he is, if he sees something in you, as you do in him, he will make that time, and that’s proper time, not just a little casual affair time. If he can’t or wont, then you now know how he feels and views you and your potential for the future. Good luck