photo credit: Rachel Lerro
Bing Bing Dim Sum
People love Bing Bing. They go crazy for it. If you know someone who lives in East Passyunk, they probably eat here three times a week, and, while that can’t be great health-wise, they keep coming back. And we totally get where the hype comes from - Bing Bing has a solid menu and a space that’s fun whether you’re alone or with a big group - but it just doesn’t quite measure up to its siblings.
Bing Bing is from the same people behind the two Cheu spots and Nunu, and it’s a perfectly good place for a weeknight dinner. They serve the same trademark Chinese and Jewish deli fusion, and all of it is good, but it’s just not quite as good as Cheu. It’s located in a weird, triangle-shaped building in East Passyunk where it was in the first wave of “cool” places to pop up in the area, and it’s generally one of the more crowded spots on a stretch that’s now full of bars and restaurants.
photo credit: Rachel Lerro
They serve dim sum, but not the kind of dim sum you’re probably used to. Yes, they have the classics, like pork soup dumplings and a roast pork bao, but they also serve some familiar favorites that have been twisted a bit, like smoked whitefish on everything bing bread and turnip cakes made with matzo. And you also won’t see any of those plastic dim sum carts. Instead, you’ll get a menu and order your food from a server who will probably tell you that three orders of dumplings for one person is just too many.
Even though Bing Bing is small, it’s still somewhere we’d come for a group dinner. The space is covered in funky wall murals featuring cartoon dumplings, and there are colored string lights hanging from the ceiling. They also have cocktail pitchers that are decidedly better than the ones you usually get at your favorite divey margarita bar. If you’re not trying to split a gallon of Mai Tais, though, you can just as easily come here for a casual weeknight dinner instead.
Between its convenient location and ’90s soundtrack, Bing Bing is somewhere you’ll want to hang out. And even if it doesn’t quite measure up to either of the Cheus, it’s still a great spot to eat a bowl of noodles and discuss how much it sucks to be a middle child.
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Spicy Sichuan Cucumbers
This is our favorite dish here, and it comes in handy throughout the meal to divide up all the heavier things. In case the word “spicy” deters you, these aren’t really spicy at all. Proceed without caution.
Pork Soup Dumplings
People go crazy over these, and they’re good, but they’re not the best soup dumplings we’ve had. You can find better ones in Chinatown.
Dan Dan Noodles
These are another menu highlight for us, and definitely something we would go back for when we’re looking for a casual solo dinner at the bar. As a forewarning, these noodles are spicy, but the cucumber and radish help balance out the heat.
We assume this is called caterpillar bread because it’s tubular and chubby, not because it’s made with caterpillars. It’s actually filled with BBQ pork, and tastes like a classic pulled pork sandwich you would get at a backyard BBQ. It’s good, but it’s far from the most interesting thing on the menu here. Feel free to skip it and save some room for something else.
The reason you come to Bing Bing is because they do things a little differently. These dumplings are a perfect example of that, and they’re very good. They have a strong dill taste, which goes really well with the shrimp inside. Get them.
Everything Bing Bread
This is basically a fish salad sandwich. Fine, but nothing to write home about. Keep reading.
Chicken Kebab Rice Bowl
This is an example of something that works really well in theory, but doesn’t quite come together for us. The chicken kebabs are the best part of this dish (and if they came in appetizer-form we’d definitely recommend them), but it comes with a heap of dry white rice and some avocado, egg, and cabbage scattered around the top with no sauce. We’re still thinking of what could be if they just added some sauce.