Ping Pong Diplomacy at SM Aura Premier's Game is Strong

Ping Pong Diplomacy at SM Aura Premier's Game is Strong

Every now and again I get so excited about visiting a new restaurant that I forget to put my memory card into my camera. Well, I can also blame the memory lapse on ageing, but that's neither here nor there.

Anyway, Ping Pong Diplomacy has the kind of concept that will make one mentally ditch a few things for a brief second and just focus on the interesting things that this place has to offer. Seriously, from mimicking the traditional Chinese folding steel gate to a peruke-clad Mao Zedong.

And then there's the food. The kitchen is helmed by Chef Him Uy de Baron.

So there. If you've been acquainted to his creations in the past, then I've got nothing else to say about Him.

Ping Pong Diplomacy at SM Aura Premier

Ping Pong Diplomacy is one of the growing brands of the Tasteless Group - the same one behind this, this, and this.

The restaurant's name is laced with historical relevance. If you're thinking about that table tennis game between China and the U.S., you guessed right. It is exactly that. Having said that, you kinda have an idea about the kind of cuisine they're serving here.

Well, actually, I already teed it up for you a little when I mentioned Chairman Mao and the Chinese folding steel gates. So yes, it is Chinese cuisine.....with a side of American.

Is there a political slant here? Zero clue. What I do know is, the team that's been sweating up a storm in the kitchen is the same one that's been creating wonders at Hey Handsome.

I don't know about you, but that nugget of knowledge makes me sleep better at night. I'm guaranteed that what I'm gonna eat is not as exciting as a glass of warm water. Water, take offense. We all know you're healthy, but you're also so damn boring.

Let it be known that I'm not here to make superlative claims about Ping Pong Diplomacy. After all, it's not mine. So really, what's the point?

I'm here to share my experience about the night I went there with my good friends. It just so happens that my experience turned out to be good.

Ping Pong Diplomacy at SM Aura Premier Cheeseburger Wonton
Wonton Cheeseburger  PhP 290  /  Surf and Turf Noodles  PhP 285

These. Not boring. The dinner was kick started with four pieces of Wonton Cheeseburger with a side of caramelized onions and cilantro yogurt. Inside each crisped piece is a ball of ground wagyu plus cheddar cheese. You have the option to eat one with the condiments, or wrap it with lettuce. Amazing both ways.

The other one is Ping Pong Diplomacy's Surf & Turf Noodles. The lightly spiced noodles are topped with blue mussels, char siew, and 62-degree egg. A must-order. I repeat, a must-order.

Ping Pong Diplomacy at SM Aura Premier Typhoon Shelter Grilled Prawns
Typhoon Shelter Grilled Prawns  PhP 650

The Typhoon Shelter Grilled Prawns is the kind of dish that you'd immediately want if you haven't ordered it yet, but saw one on the other table. It smells good. It looks good. It tastes really good.

Huge prawns - that gives a slight pop as you bite through - are showered with loads of fried garlic bits, cilantro, and charred pickled vegetables.

Don't we all love it when the aesthetic quality of the dish lives up to its promise? Feelings are not hurt. Expletives are not uttered. Everybody happy.

Beer House Mussels and Clams  PhP 175  /  Dan Dan Chicken Skin Rice   PhP 285

Ping Pong Diplomacy's Beer House Mussels and Clams, as the name suggests, are doused with Tsingtao beer and garnished with dill weed.

Right below that is the Dan Dan Chicken Skin Rice. It is hella good, but it's also hella spicy. It should come with a side of Tums. I will ask for the wuss version {a.k.a. the lowest level of heat} the next time around.

Chicken skin is the 8th wonder of the world, and this dish is peppered with it! There's also fermented chili bean and toasted peanuts. Those who are allergic to peanuts, you've been warned. This dish is truly fantastic. I just can't get past the high heat.

Spicy Chickpea Noodles  PhP 265

This Spicy Chickpea Noodles is as confusing as Brangelina's divorce proceedings. There's too many things going on here. But, the outcome remains an uncomplicated merger of deliciousness. There's chunks of bacon in there, a chock-full of chives, chili peppers, nori, lo mien, and chickpeas {of course}. 

Ping Pong Wings  PhP 320

Another crazy good dish at Ping Pong Diplomacy is the Ping Pong Wings. It's generously massaged with 12 spice blend and finished with some crispy leeks and sweet pickled cucumbers. The execution and the finish product are definitely commendable.

Do you see that braised beef rib peeking at the back of the photo? Yeah, I forgot to take a tight shot of that. Anyway, that's the Caveman Beef Rib, and it is excellent! It comes with zhenjang vinaigrette. You may want to pair that up with three cups of steamed white rice. 

I just found out that I didn't take photos of my other PPD favorite: Crunchy Eggplant. Eggplant chunks are battered then slapped with fragrant sauce and prickly ash. Take heed. It has an addicting factor.

What I like about Ping Pong Diplomacy is their trimmed down menu. They don't overwhelm the customers with too much offering. They focus on a few, and work hard to make those extra special. Win.

Ping Pong Diplomacy
3/F SM Aura Premier
8 McKinley Parkway, Taguig City
Facebook: Ping Pong Diplomacy
Instagram: @ppdph

Onward and Upward!


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