For a lot of Americans without much exposure to Chinese food, P.F. Chang's was their introduction to this cuisine. It was considered a special occasion restaurant because of the white tablecloths and teapots, with food a bit more special than typical Chinese takeaway.
We went in last night before the official opening for a sneak peek. We noticed the menu is much broader than we remember, with sushi rolls and other dishes inspired by the entire Asian continent. Still, for fans of Americanized Chinese dishes who have been lamenting the loss of Fortune Cookie following its closure two years ago, rest assured there are plenty of Chinese-American restaurant staples such as (not really from Mongolia) Mongolian Beef (RMB108) and Crispy Honey Chicken (RMB58) or Shrimp (RMB78).
Another dish that Americans think is Chinese (and the Chinese think is American) is the Mandarin Crunch Salad (RMB42). The dressing has a pleasing sesame and ginger flavor, but we would prefer a more substantial leaf than iceberg.
The Kungpao Dragon Roll (RMB58) and Pork Jicama Tacos (RMB68) are interesting starters and might be more exciting for a local crowd less nostalgic for dishes that are almost Chinese food.
One of the wackiest fusion dishes on the menu is the Dusk 'til Dawn Honey Chicken and Scallion Pancake (RMB68). An American breakfast pancake with scallions in the batter comes with sweet sticky chicken, maple takoyaki sauce and jalapeno mayo. It's like chicken and waffles, okonomiyaki and orange chicken ran away to the circus together.
The Chocolate Wall Cake (RMB78) has a cute name and six layers of delicious cake with bomb frosting and chocolate chips.
How did we like it? We liked it, although it's very early and everything is of course far from perfect. We seem to remember P.F. Chang's being higher-end at home, so the prices were a nice surprise. You could eat dinner for RMB150 a person depending on your appetite, which isn't too shabby. It will be interesting to see how they do in a location so popular with domestic tourists.
Located on the eighth floor of Shanghai No. 1 Department store, P.F. Chang's has been brought to Shanghai by HMS Host. In fact, the entire floor is full of their concepts, such as Jones the Grocer. Perhaps if these concepts do well, they can turn their attention to fixing the options at Pudong Airport?
See listing for P.F. Chang's
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