Overall, I feel like it was somewhat of an up and down experience – it was a bit of a rollercoaster ride with my excitement levels going up and down with every dish. Maybe my expectation levels were a bit high but I would go back and go for some of the dishes that as the classic favorites. I would say that they are a bit pricey for the amount of food you get, but I would recommend this place for the drinks and the starters. One thing though – the service was exceptional with every waiter/waitress being so friendly, helpful and even though I could tell that my waiter was new he was very attentive. I would say that the dishes were a bit cold upon arrival and I would recommend that after the restaurant gets through its teething issues the transition from the kitchen to my table might be better.
A first UK opening for the American Chinese restaurant chain. Being born and raised in California I am no stranger to PF Chang’s chain restaurants. When I heard it was finally coming to London I was quite excited to try it out. The restaurant is located in the heart of London, right in the middle of Soho. They opened their doors back in November but I finally got around to making my way down to check out their menu and see if it compared to the PF Chang’s I knew from home. PF Chang’s is the biggest sit-down Chinese restaurant chain in America. I know that they have quite a few locations worldwide now, so it’s great to see them expanding into the London market, but my initial thoughts are that it was more Pan-Asian rather than truly Chinese food. I was also a little disappointed that one of my favorite dishes from the American restaurant.
Pf Chang’s is known for a few signature dishes – Dynamite Shrimp and Mongolian Beef, but everything else on the menu all sounded so appetizing that I basically ordered everything. There were some dishes that I definitely knew I was going to try out but some new ones that I was very keen to try out. I have to warn you that since the restaurant is very new to London they were having some teething problems when I arrived and the timing of service. Just a bit of a warning that everything on their menu is very shareable. The mains and starters are all about the same size and
Here are my thoughts on the different dishes I tried out:
THE ORIGINAL DYNAMITE SHRIMP – £13.50
By far the best dish on the menu. I wish this would come in larger portions. It was beautifully served in a martini glass, but my only thought while eating this dish was how can I get more of this ASAP. It was beautify presented and much like the name says there is a bit of a kick to this at the end.
HANDMADE LOBSTER & SHRIMP SPRING ROLL – £14.50
I was really excited for this one as I am a huge fan of lobster, but unfortunately, I was just a bit disappointed as I felt like there was a lack of seasoning. The dipping sauce was my favorite part. I had to cover the spring roll in the sauce to really enjoy this one. Next time I think I would give it a pass.
CRISPY CALAMARI – £10.95
These were good and just as the description puts it comes with a nuoc cham dipping sauce. This was another dish where I found the sauce the best part. It wasn’t the best calamari I have had, but it was a well-balanced dish.
PRAWN PANKO SUSHI ROLL – £9.25
For a Chinese restaurant, they have their sushi on lock! This was one of my favorite starters. It was well presented and even though the server knocked over the sushi rolls when bringing them to our table it was still delicious and I would defiantly order it again. I loved the kabayaki sauce and the freshness of the tuna!
ASIAN MARINATED RIB EYE – £19
This was by far the best main dish of the lot. I never thought I would order steak at a Chinese restaurant but the marinade, as well as the wasabi mash, was just perfect. They marinated the steak for 24 hours and it was grilled to a perfect medium rare.
KUNG PAO CHICKEN – £10.25
This is a PF Chang’s classic dish and I am pretty happy to report that no matter which city you try this dish in the recipe stays the same. I would have preferred it to be a bit spicier, but overall it was well prepared and presented and I loved the roasted peanuts on top.
GRILLED LEMONGRASS LAMB CHOPS – £14.50
This was another dish that I was not expecting to be on the menu. I don’t think of lamb when I think of Asian food, but I do appreciate that PF Chang’s is trying to appeal to a wider audience here. The lamb was well cooked and seasoned, but I preferred the chicken and the steak over it.
CHILI AUBERGINE – £795
This was an ok dish but a bit too oily for me. I was expecting the spice of chillis but mainly got the aftertaste of oil.