Ping’s Cafe: One of the Best Kept Secrets on Main Street

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This weekend I had the opportunity to eat at a fantastic restaurant on Main @ 11th. I had driven by many times and never thought very much of it while passing by. It’s called Ping’s Cafe.

Some background on Ping’s as per the website: “Ping’s specializes in western influenced Japanese comfort food ideal for sharing. It got its name accidentally. A Chinese-Canadian diner occupied this space in the 1980s & it was called Ping’s Café. We discovered their old sign behind an awning & adopted it. Ping’s was built entirely by hand, except for the chairs, by friends & family for no profit. The art was donated.”

The exterior is very unassuming. Translucent white windows and a small white sandwich board give an illusion of the ordinary from the street. When you walk in you’ll be quite surprised to see what is a captivating space it is. Dozens of Bocci Raw White Porcelain Pendants are suspended from the tiled ceiling – 7 clusters along each side – and almost 60 black pendants of the same design along the bar area. Stainless steel tables, opposing white-framed mirrors on the wall (great for people watching at the tables behind you), and a few pieces of simple art complete the setting.  I couldn’t stop looking up at the lighting – it’s magical. There isn’t much to the space, but it’s put together amazingly well.


We started with several small plates – Spicy Goma-ae (cooked spinach with sesame sauce) for $4, Edamame (they were tossed with lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil & shichimi pepper) for $5, Tuna Tataki for $8 and Agedashi Tofu for $6. We shared one large plate – Cod Miso-Teri (pan fried black cod with miso-teri sauce, side baked kabocha/yam, broccoli, & rice) for $18.

Everything was delicious and for a very reasonable price. We left feeling satisfied but not overly stuffed. The service was great too – we were seated by a gentleman who appeared to be the owner, and he was happy to answer our questions about the decor. A little old Asian lady was working in the kitchen and brought us one of our plates, adding to the feeling of authentic home-cooked Japanese cuisine. We enjoyed a glass of white wine – Noble Blend by JOIE, Naramata BC and a couple of Kir’s one traditional-style with Cassis and the other with Lychee Juice. Yummy!

I’d highly recommend Ping’s Cafe. Next time you’re on Main and looking for a great new place to eat, head to Ping’s Cafe, and let them know homorazzi sent you! I’ll be sure to go back again.

You can check out their full menu at www.pingscafe.ca