A Taste of the Orient: P.F. Chang’s Comes to Jeddah
P.F. Chang’s stylish Chinese restaurant is one of the 6 new internationally renowned brands that Alshaya is introducing to Jeddah, others being The Cheesecake Factory, Shake Shack, IHOP, Texas Roadhouse and Pizza Express. All of these gorgeous eateries are the talk of the town, and are collectively housed in Le Mall, on Tahlia Street (opposite Debenhams).
If you’re anything like me, you simply can’t get enough Chinese food, and are always on the lookout for that perfect combination of sweet and sour, salt and spice. My good friend Ayesha Nigar visited P.F. Chang’s recently with her family, wondering what the fuss was all about and reports back exclusively to Jeddah Blog.
Jeddah has slowly been gaining a reputation as a destination of food diversity. I have witnessed this first-hand as I have been dining in some of Jeddah’s most exquisite restaurants which have been sprouting like mushrooms in this Western region of the Kingdom. If your taste buds are craving full flavour and a great culinary experience like no other, look no further than P.F. Chang’s.
Located in the Le Mall Complex on the fashionable Tahlia Street and nestled amid the other five internationally acclaimed restaurant brands operated by Alshaya International Trading Co., P.F. Chang’s sits proudly at the center of attention. It is the namesake of its founders Paul Fleming (P.F.) and Philip Chiang (whose surname is shortened to Chang), who opened up their first restaurant in Arizona in 1993, and now they have numerous branches worldwide.
Finding parking space was a hassle as we went on a Saturday afternoon for lunch and the entire area was flooded with hungry customers. After circling Le Mall twice, we were fortunate to get one right outside the American Gallery. Upon entering the restaurant our faces brightened as a smart looking waiter, dressed in a black professional uniform greeted us warmly, and escorted us to our table. Contrary to its appearance from without, the restaurant is actually pretty spacious with seating arrangements nicely spread out in different wings. The décor is chic and classy which is an unconventional departure from regular Chinese restaurants where the whole ambiance is completely taken over by traditional red lanterns.
As you browse through the menu you might feel that although there is not a wide variety of dishes on offer, but a very wise selection of a tasteful menu.
We began with the Hot and Sour Soup that was promptly served within five minutes of the time of the order – a great start! In addition to this, our waiter offered an explanation of some additional sauces and prepared his special concoction as we watched. The Chicken Lettuce Wraps and Egg Rolls were served next, and were thoroughly enjoyed by all of us; my five year old daughter, in particular, fell totally in love with the egg rolls.
Then came the most talked about ‘Dynamite Shrimps’. Crispy shrimps with a zesty sauce served in margarita glasses lived up to their reputation. They were truly remarkable and cooked to perfection. My husband and I shared one, and both of my young daughters shared the second one.
For the main course we had Chang’s Spicy Chicken, Sesame Chicken, Mongolian beef, P.F. Chang’s Fried Rice with Chicken and Singaporean Street Noodles. All of the dishes were executed perfectly, and special mention must be made here to the vibrant colours of the ingredients in the Sesame Chicken which were as much a feast for the eyes as for the stomach.
I am not much of a beef person, but my red meat loving husband enjoyed every mouthful. Although the restaurant was packed, yet the service was surprisingly quite efficient and the food was served right on time. For myself, the food fulfilled all the possible criteria that are important to me as a foodie; it looked inviting, tasted divine and felt exquisite. The staff members were always alert to help you with a smile, and above all the manager visited each and every table.
The servings were generous and a bit pricey, but it was all well worth it. I believe that one should not mind paying a little extra when you are getting such great quality in return. Unfortunately, there was no room left for us to try the desserts, but we definitely would love to do so on our next visit. My entire family had a great time and look forward to going back.
Expect to pay: SR 125 per head. Portion sizes are large, so there will be plenty to pack up and take home.