News about P.F. Chang’s recent opening in the Philippines piqued my interest, as the US restaurant chain left a good impression on me when I first tried it abroad. Finally, the long wait is over and this popular brand is now in Manila.
Since it opened early this year, the restaurant has been dishing up traditional Chinese dishes with a modern twist. This is actually P.F. Chang’s first branch in Southeast Asia and it has become a hit with the locals, especially families south of the metro.
At first glance, diners will notice the interesting interiors that feature Chinese décor apparent in the wall art and sculptures. The typical horse and warrior figures are seen throughout the restaurant. And the combinations of wood and bursts of red color make the ambience more vibrant.
I couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into some chic Chinese food.
Hello, happy hour!
P.F. Chang’s recently launched new menu items that highlight the “Flavors of Asia”. The new offerings are inspired by various foods from the Philippines, Korea, Singapore, Japan, and the different regions of China. A good starter is the Sichuan Chicken Flatbread (P275), an Asian-style quesadilla that has grilled chicken slices and melted Monterey and Cheddar cheeses that are sandwiched between homemade scallion dough pancakes. It is served with a colorful Asian slaw salad and a fiery dipping sauce. It is a very comforting dish that will please all kinds of diners—even the little ones. The cheesy quesadilla would surely delight the kids, while the adults would love the slaw that has a hint of hotness.
For those with a more adventurous palate, try the Seared Ahi Tuna (P385), a Chang’s innovation that has chilled sushi-grade tuna with spicy mustard vinaigrette and fresh mixed greens. I liked the contrast of the sesame seed crust and the soft tuna, which tastes even better with the sauce.
Another must-try is the restaurant’s Dragon Wings (P275), their version of crispy Korean-style chicken wings that has two sauce variants. Spicy food lovers would enjoy the wings with Korean Chili sauce, while those with mild taste buds would like the Mongolian Sweet sauce. I suggest you dig in and use your fingers when eating the wings. Don’t be shy! After all, the best part is getting to lick the last bit of sweet glaze from your fingers.
Foodies who like seafood would appreciate the Salt & Pepper Calamari (P385), a big plate of squid strips that have been lightly coated with a salt and pepper mix and topped with green onions. It is served on a bed of crispy noodles and comes with a red chili pepper and garlic sauce and a special blend of seasoning. Each tender bite is really jampacked with flavor. The squid even goes well with The Trio sauce that our server, Herbie, prepared for our group.
Meat lovers, on the other hand, would salivate over the Northern Style Spare Ribs (P750), Peking-style wok-braised ribs that offer a myriad of flavors ranging from sweet, salty and savory. The juicy and fork-tender meat just tears off the bone with every bite, and the five-spice salt rub that comes with it highlights its mouthwatering taste. Ribs are my ultimate favorite and I could eat everything on the plate—if no one was looking!
Another notable meat dish is Orange Peel Beef (P695), think beef counterpart of the classic lemon chicken—only P.F. Chang’s version is made with US Angus beef. This Sichuan style dish is cooked with a mild chili sauce and fresh orange peel. I like the tenderness of the beef and the bright citrus flavors in the dish. It is very tasty and it goes well with plain steamed rice—the restaurant serves both white and brown rice.
If you’re not afraid of carbs, do try the exciting Singapore Street Noodles (P425), stir-fried rice noodles in curry sauce. It is similar to the popular noodle dish that you’ll find in any street in Singapore. The one in P.F. Chang’s is cooked with shrimp, chicken, and vegetables. Just squeeze some zesty lime juice and you’re good to go.
To cap off your meal, sample some homegrown flavor with the Mango Cream Cheese Wontons (P185) for dessert. The local mango is the main star here and the cream cheese filling emphasizes its sweetness. The dessert is fried to golden brown perfection and is served with chocolate sauce, which isn’t cloying at all. The sweetness factor is just right and it simply satisfies.
The best thing about the new menu is that the dishes are offered at special prices during P.F. Chang’s Cheers!, a distinguished beverage program that is otherwise known as Happy Hour. Starting October 15, from Monday to Friday, 4PM onwards, diners may avail of these dishes, selected appetizers, and the P.F. Chang’s cocktails at discounted rates.
Sip some Asian Pear Mojito, Coconut Lemon Sour, Lucky Cat Martini, Sichuan Mary, Warrior Smash, Organic Agave Margarita, P.F. Chang’s Mai Tai, Royal Poolside, P.F. Chang’s Green Tea, and Jade Martini. My choice was the Key Lime Pie Martini, which is just like key lime pie in a glass. The creamy beverage was served in a martini glass that has graham cracker crumbs on its rim. Of course it was garnished with a slice of lime. I actually savored the sweet and tart martini down to the last drop!
During P.F. Chang’s Cheers!, you may also order some appetizers at special prices as well. Get some Crispy Pork Wontons, Egg Rolls, Spicy Green Beans, Vegetable Dumplings, and Crispy Green Beans. “Everything is made with the freshest and natural ingredients and our beverage list further enhances this great dining experience,” says Archie Rodriguez, President and CEO of Global Restaurant Concepts, Inc., which is the local partner of P.F. Chang’s.
As a treat, diners may also avail of restaurant’s favorites such as Sweet and Sour Chicken, Almond and Cashew Chicken, Philip’s Better Lemon Chicken, Sweet and Sour Pork, Beef a la Sichuan and Shrimp with Cantonese Sauce—all of which will be served with unlimited rice and refillable Coke from Mondays to Fridays, 11AM-4PM. All the food from P.F. Chang’s has no added MSG so you may indulge all you want!
When in Manila and craving for some special Chinese cuisine, head to the south and chow on P.F. Chang’s bestsellers and new dishes. Pair these with some cocktails to get the best dining experience. Cheers!
* Watch out for the opening of P.F. Chang’s second branch before the year ends!
** P.F. Chang’s accepts reservations. The restaurant has a private area for big groups.
The Street in Alabang Town Center
For reservations, call (02) 869-7837
Open daily from 11AM-12MN