It may look like just another dessert shop, but the newly opened Percy Pling’s in Hackney is far from being a typical waffle and shake house. It’s home to a new range of dumpling sweets made with love – and wild flavours.
The dough balls which usually accompany a traditional Caribbean meal, when fried to perfection, go down a treat. But Pling has challenged the thinking behind the traditional dumpling by creating a whole new world of genius sweet and savoury treats accompanied by endless toppings, fillings and sauces.
Pling’s uses freshly fried dumplings with ice cream – with the rest down to the customers. From Crunchie and Snickers, to cheese and onion Doritos, or salted caramel to bubble-gum, you name the topping and filling and Pling’s makes it.
Situated off Mare Street and into its third week of opening, it’s shaping up to be a popular hotspot. Sweet or savoury Pling’s has it. Why not try the Plingsundae – a sundae made with chocolate, sweets or biscuit fillings? Or how about the Plingbutty – a sandwich made with crisps and options of sauces like barbecue, mayo or tomato?
When we meet in the small but welcoming shop, it’s raining, but that doesn’t deter the dumpling lovers. Shortly after 3pm, the shop is packed with schoolchildren – most regular visitors.
The concept is fascinating but why dumplings?
Pling says his heritage influenced the decision. “Being from a West Indian background we’re practically raised on dumplings,” he says. “With them being relatively easy to make and manage, and growing up eating dumplings as a child, we got to a point where we decided to evolve dumplings completely. We’re revolutionising dumplings.”
Already, there have been two new items added to the menu: The Plingfruit – fried fruit, covered in pastry with choices of toppings and fillings – and the Plingdips – dumpling strips served with a choice of dip. Pling says: “The menu’s going up and down in fact and I can see it changing from here on, and getting more to what people really like and want people want. There’s no point having a menu with tonnes of variety if people aren’t interested.”
After Plingdae and Plingbutty tasters, I’m more intrigued (and so are my taste buds) with the Plingbutty – which originally sounded like the option that would work the least. But the dumpling I have with barbecue sauce and chilli heatwave Doritos is phenomenal.
Pling hopes that within the next year he can tick a “Percy Pling’s 2” off his to-do list.