Just last week, The Inquirer‘s food critic, Craig LaBan, shared a list of his top 25 spots on East Passyunk Avenue.
Bing Bing Dim Sum, which opened in February in the former El Zarape location, made the list and at the time was yet-to-be-rated. LaBan has now given his formal review, giving the establishment two bells.
In LaBan’s review, he mentions the fun aesthetic of the restaurant and the friendly service, but also mentions some of the more negative aspects of Bing Bing Dim Sum’s non-traditional take on some traditional Asian cuisine and the pretty loud noise level of the establishment.
More from LaBan’s review:
That didn’t stifle the steady nitpicking at my table: The skins are too thin! No, the skins are too thick! It’s no Dim Sum Garden. . . . The inevitable comparisons to more traditional renditions were impossible to avoid.
And, for the most part, our complaints settled on subtle textural miscues that pushed a few Bing Bing dishes just slightly off register. The curried cauliflower stuffing inside the crispy dumplings was tasty, but a bit mushy. The Jade dumplings had a fantastic center of perfectly seasoned minced shrimp, leeks and fish sauce, but their gorgeous green har gao dumpling skins, turned a deep forest hue with spinach water, were a hint too puffy and soft. The panfried turnip cakes cleverly bound with matzo meal (instead of sticky rice flour) were still too dense beneath their fried egg and bonito flakes.
Puchowitz’s most successful dishes were those that roamed farther off-road into his own creativity, like the panfried cloud puff bao buns stuffed with intensely smoked, Sichuan-spiced pastrami, sauerkraut, and sweet onions, with Russian dressing on the side. Or the fluffy white “Pac-Man” buns sandwiched around crispy squares of Reading Terminal scrapple, so creamy inside their deep-fried crusts beneath a tiny sunny-side-up quail egg.
While LaBan seems to believe that chef Ben Puchowitz needs to refine his techniques in making dumplings, LaBan still offers up praise for dishes like the bing bread, pastrami bao, Pac-man buns with scrapple and more.
He also mentions some of the “smile-inducing desserts such as the dimpled Hong Kong waffles that look like edible bubble wrap with coconut and chocolate dips.”
Have you tried Bing Bing Dim Sum yet?