ping's in manhattan???
Hmm I missed this post the first time around--5 of us went to the Manhattan Ping's the night before you wrote it (was offline a while afterwards). Two in our group have been to the Elmhurst Ping's, of which this is an offshoot, and were sorely disappointed; the rest of us, not having such high expectations, were merely unimpressed.
Clams in black bean sauce were a gloopy, overly cornstarched mess. There seemed to be extra clam shells thrown in for the appearance of abundance, when there were very few clams, and the sauce was tasteless.
Fried bean curd stuffed with shrimp had a nice custardy texture inside, but wasn't fried particularly well--others thought the same dish at Elmhurst is much better, has a smoother texture, and better stuffing.
Hong choy (sp?) was the real disappointment--they would not make it with fermented bean curd sauce (the name escapes me at the moment, you know what I mean--fortunately someone better versed in Chinese food was ordering that night), and the greens themselves were entirely too mature, and had very thick, tough stems. The until-then insufferable waiter did apologize at that point and admitted that they were too old, and took them back.
On the plus side, everyone liked the steamed fish and that scallion-ginger sauce.
We got some crispy noodles with shrimp, veggies, a bit later--noodles were fried very nicely, but the vegetables and shrimp totally tasteless. Not a dish I expect to be great there, but the flavor was worse than my corner Chinese.
Did notice goose web on the specials, for those of you who are interested, but nobody wanted to try it.
In short, the folks who had been to Elmhurst felt this was nothing like the branch out there, and the two are not interchangeable (no surprise there). And someone said there is yet another branch of Ping's in Chinatown too? Don't know for sure.
Ping's has been around for a long, long, long time. When my husband worked in Brooklyn, he used to ride into Chinatown to Ping's to buy their dried pork and their dried beef-both are fabulous. We have been going for 25 years although now we make rare visits. We were there last summer-I don't remember the awning but I'll always remember and savor the dried beef!