Masterchef continues its relentless takeover of the Manchester food scene, with recent winner Ping Coombe’s Ping’s Pan-Asian taking its place across town from 2015 winner Simon Wood’s restaurant, Wood. Based in the Trafford Centre, it’s more a delicatessen than sit-down restaurant, based in the food hall on the upper floor.
The food is based around an original fusion of Malaysian and Chinese cuisine
The food is based around an original fusion of Malaysian and Chinese cuisine, promising “fresh ingredients and delicious flavours”, but do they deliver on these promises?
We start with a serving of chicken satay, and it’s above and beyond anything you’ll find on the high street. The chicken is soft and delicately cooked, while the accompanying Malaysian peanut sauce is what the word ‘moreish’ was made for. The prawn spring roll is another winner, paper thin crispy pastry containing a delicious prawn filling that pairs well with the sweet chilli sauce.
When it comes to mains, it’s the Malaysian chicken curry that proves unputdownable. It’s another heat-driven plate, the hot spices battling with the creamy sauce, ultimately making a perfect curry dish that you’ll crave long after finishing.
The prawn sambal proves a little too spicy at first bite, but the thick plump prawns are worth having your sinuses demolished – though the side of jasmine rice helps to calm things down a touch. The beef rendang is excellent, the meat neatly cooked, packed with lemongrass and chilli flavours.
Each dish is a few levels above the typical offering you may have tried before
What comes across more than anything – other than the tendency to add spice – is the freshness of the ingredients at Ping’s Pan-Asian. These aren’t dishes that have been sitting around all day, the vegetables are crisp and crunchy, the meat soft and tender. Each dish is a few levels above the typical offering you may have tried before, with true depth of flavour, always adding a smart twist and enhanced quality.