Never been to Ping's before--and tried only two dishes, so I can't give a full restaurant report. But one, from the specials list (illustrated in garish color on the menu!) was particularly delicious.
If you like subtle flavors, try the soft bean curd on a bed of Chinese greens, covered with crab meat in a light slightly-eggy sauce. The bean curd resembled small pillows, was tender and soothing. The greens crunchy and the crab excellent fresh quality. The appearance of the dish is beautiful as well--nice colors! For the first time ever, a Chinese fellow looked at OUR dish and said "That looks like a winner--what is it?" I can't tell you how many times it's been the other way around. I'm forever gasping and pointing to marvelous creations that arrive on OTHER tables when eating in Chinatown.
Next time will order the special soup--I caught a glimpse of it being served downstairs. A mixed seafood with pureed spinach spread across half of it. Very artistic. It looked good!
The clams in black bean sauce were fine--but our bodies soon told us that msg had gone into the sauce. Ugh.
The place was jammed--and super-noisy. I forgot how I'd sworn not to eat Sunday lunchtime at any popular Mott St. restaurant. But I'd never been there--and decided to give it a shot.
I've read disparaging stuff about Ping's other locations. Were we just lucky?