Bada Bing Bing

Perhaps it’s another list that best new restaurant winner Bing Bing Dim Sum, 1648 E. Passyunk Ave., appeared on that has swayed a ton of South Philly restaurant-goers – Philadelphia Magazine’s best restaurant list, where it ranked eighth and showcased its dishes on the magazine’s cover.

“It’s been great – we have really popped off,” Rachael Smith, a resident of the 1300 block of Mifflin Street and the general manager at the hot new Dim Sum spot said. “We’ve been pretty much packed” since they opened, she added.

Dim Sum is small plates, “meant to be shared – lots of different flavors and a couple bits of each thing,” Smith explained. Soup dumplings, four beautiful bulbous dough concoctions that are best-sellers, are a staple – fat dumplings where you bite off the top, sip the dumplings’ Miso ramen brothy insides, drop a little sweet soy inside, and devour it. But their bar is accessible, never fussy, and “modern – we’re not doing lychee martinis or anything.” Their Happy Hour attracts droves 5 to 7 p.m. on weekdays and 3 to 5 p.m. on the weekends.

Beef, shrimp and veggie dumplings are on the menu, too, but they’re more than a dumpling joint. They’ve got late-winter veggies, too: a cool papaya and mango salad, spicy cucumbers, and brussel sprouts are here. Just as desirable are their noodle bowls, fried rice, lamb, short ribs, and chicken.

And they’re about to get busier. With seating inside for approximately 55 (“It depends on how many people we can squish into our booths,” Smith joked) in flexible booths and communal tables, they’ll expand by up to 35 with outdoor seating. The GM says they’ve been active on the Avenue, participating in a big Beer Week kickoff in June, and an even sooner event, Visit East Passyunk’s Flavors of the Avenue April 24.

Of course, Bing Bing was kind of destined for greatness based on the reputation and success behind Center City’s Cheu Noodle Bar, owned by lifelong friends Shawn Darragh and Ben Puchowitz. They opened another baby, Bing Bing, 13 months ago, and it’s been a smash.

“We are busier than we’ve ever been,” the Newbold-based GM said. “We’ve got a lot going on.”

Palladino’s on Passyunk earned a respectable second place. In a wonderful and pleasant surprise, Lil’ Java pulled in more than a handful of readers’ votes to claim third. — B.C.