Mr Ping (Ping Mai)
Mr Ping is the founder and owner of the exclusive Ping’s Tea House, as well as the cheap noodle bar underneath. He is known for his discretion – as the saying goes: “What’s said at Ping’s stays at Ping’s.” As such, he is party to a great deal of information, as his patrons feel no need to keep their voices down. Even so, some areas of the restaurant are sound protected, as part of an exchange with Captain Mo the smuggler, and in these areas, nothing that is said can possibly be overheard.
Mr Ping tolerates all sorts of people in his restaurant, but he does not tolerate bad behaviour. Those who dare to indulge in bad behaviour soon find out that he is absolutely serious about this – they are then unlikely – or unable – ever to set foot in his restaurant again.
The food at Ping’s Tea House is exquisite, although he is insistent that his prices do not reflect this – Mr Ping refuses to discriminate between rich and poor, high and low, the haves and the have-nots. All are welcome in his restaurant, although those who really have nothing can generally only afford the cheap noodles from the takeaway downstairs. They are regarded as among the best available throughout the entire fleet, and excellent value for money.
Mr Ping is married to Mo Yen, who is famous for – and exceedingly proud of – her dim sum.