When P.F. Chang’s first opened its kitchen doors at Alabang Town Center a couple of years ago, it presented a totally different take on Chinese cuisine with their part modern, part fusion Asian meets Western creations. The positive reception of diners quickly led to the opening of its second, more accessible branch at the Bonifacio High Street in Taguig City.
True its promise of culinary innovation, the “Chinese Bistro” recently rolled out 16 exclusive dishes to spice up an already exciting menu of P.F. Chang’s bestsellers.
“Each of these dishes, represents familiar Asian favorites with the distinct P.F. Chang’s DNA,” Archie Rodriguez, president and chief executive officer of Global Restaurant Concepts, Inc. (GRCI) told The Manila Times at a food tasting event held for the media. GRCI is the local partner of the US-based P.F. Chang’s.
Ronald Olaes, P.F. Chang’s senior operations director then recalled how GRCI originally developed 35 dishes to present to P. F. Chang’s head office in Arizona.
“The culinary director of P. F. Chang’s, Rigo Rubalcava, even flew to Manila to meet with our chefs and try the proposed dishes himself. From the 35 we presented, he chose 22 and that number was further trimmed down to 16. So it takes several months from conception to approval before a new dish can be added to the menu. No dish can be served or added to the restaurant’s menu without prior approval from the US office, even for a limited time. But they were really impressed at how we could launch 16 new dishes at the same time,” Olaes expounded.
“That is one of the challenges of bringing a foreign brand to the Philippines. It is not as easy as it seems,” Rodriguez remarked. “Besides keeping tabs on what items are moving, and what items are slow, we listen carefully to the market by constantly researching, developing and introducing new dishes that cater to diners’ changing taste. We hope that with the addition of the new dim sum category on our menu plus the other new dishes, P.F. Chang’s will entice even more loyal guests. Many of our new items like dim sum come at a very attractive price point, even below P200.”
Dim sum and then some
The new dishes are headlined by six Dim Sum offerings such as the Xiao Long Bao, (soup pork dumplings) and Crystal Shrimp Dumplings (hacao), Radish Shrimp Dumplings, Lemon Grass Chicken Dumplings, Vegetarian Dumplings and Flaming Red (pork) Wontons.
Besides the US, the Philippines, is the only other country where P. F. Chang’s offers dim sum, and we now even have a wider range of choices as the US restaurants only lists chicken and pork dim sum on its menu.
“As people have identified us as a Chinese restaurant, our guests are always asking for more dim sum choices,” Olaes pointed out. “Among the six, the Xiao Long Bao has already become one of our best sellers since it was launched just a week after it was made available.”
P.F. Chang’s then balances out their menu with the addition of new salad, starter dishes and the steak entrees.
For starters, they introduced the Dynamite Chicken, an alternative variant to their best-selling Dynamite Shirmp. Guests can also try out the Shrimp Rolls, Tuna Tataki, Kakiage and the very skillfully prepared Tofu Steak—crispy breaded silken tofu slices with charred bell peppers, onions in savory Kung Pao sauce
Salad lovers will delight in the Ahi Cucumber Salad, a summer salad of smoky seared Ahi Tuna, cool cucumber slivers, roasted tomatoes, blanched asparagus, juicy peaches and dill herbs tossed in a sweet, creamy and tangy dressing.
The main entrees have been “beefed up” as well with Grilled Angus Flank Steak, a hefty plate of marinated sliced US Angus flank steak, grilled and served with a sweet and savory side of grilled hoisin glazed peaches and Chinese eggplant. Best complemented with rice, make sure to put in a bit of beef and peach slice in every savory spoonful.
The Cantonese-Style Lemon Chicken, meanwhile, is deep-fried dredged chicken breast served with broccoli in a tart, sweet citrus sauce.
Not to be left behind in the Noodles category is the new Sichuan Chicken Chow Fun Noodles, rice noodles stir-fried with minced chicken, Sichuan preserved vegetables, black mushrooms and onions in a spicy, savory sauce.
A sumptuous feast deserves an equally grand finale as P.F. Chang’s puts a twist to familiar favorite—the Choco Buchi, traditional rice balls with sinful (but not overly sweet) chocolate filling. There is also Chang’s Apple Crunch, crispy rolls with juicy, tart Granny Smith apple filling over caramel sauce and served with vanilla ice cream; and finally the Costantino Affogato, vanilla ice cream served with a shot of freshly brewed espresso and cinnamon syrup.
“For now, these new dishes are available only in the Philippines,” Rodriguez noted, “but it won’t be farfetched if P. F. Chang’s in the US soon offers some of the dishes we have developed. P.F. Chang’s has always been about an exceptional dining experience of familiar dishes that are easy to understand and appreciate, and an extensive wine and beverage selection. Topped with western style service and true Filipino hospitality, P.F. Chang’s restaurants in the Philippines provide guests with a memorable experience that they will want to keep going back for.”
For more information, log on to www.pfchangs.com.ph.