It’s been described as a fusion of Asian cuisine and American-style service – and it’s taking the world by storm, with more than 270 locations around the globe.
Now the award-winning Asian bistro P.F. Chang’s has finally opened in Doha, bringing a fresh new twist to a local dining scene hungry for something new.
Qatar’s diners just can’t seem to get enough. Since opening in the iconic Villaggio Mall last month, P.F. Chang’s signature dishes like the Dynamite Shrimp, Chicken Lettuce Wraps, Mongolian Beef and the Great Wall of Chocolate have been flying out of the kitchen, much to the delight of co-founder Philip Chiang, who was in town this week to showcase the menu to local media and foodies. Chiang said:
Bringing our food and concept to Doha is a big step forward for us. We’re confident that our diverse, delicious and fresh menu, combined with our stylish yet laidback ambiance, is a perfect match for the selective taste and lifestyle of the Doha community.’
The new P.F. Chang’s is a trendy and upscale, with eye-catching décor, lively ambience and warm hospitality. Most importantly, the food is outstanding. The restaurant’s cuisine is inspired by the major regions of China and its neighboring countries, and most dishes are cooked in a northern-style Chinese wok at a 900-degree temperature, creating a ‘wok hay’ or ‘breath of wok’, which brings a mix of unique smoky, caramelised flavours and crispy textures that can only be achieved using this age-old traditional technique.
Chiang explains the concept behind P.F. Chang’s as being a ‘casual bistro offering full service Asian-inspired dining that is innovative, fresh and delicious.’
It’s a perfect balance between Asian tradition and modern American style, with a focus on customer comfort, warm hospitality and service. In terms of décor, the restaurant is adorned with rich colors as well as wood and stone textures, giving it a warm and inviting feeling. Those warm colours are complemented by distinct metal accents that provide a sleek and hip atmosphere. As the restaurant’s centerpiece, the panoramic, hand-painted mural, which depicts ancient China, is visible from the main dining room, while several terracotta warriors stand guard, commanding attention.
P.F. Chang’s has spread across the world with more than 270 restaurants worldwide. Its new Villaggio Mall branch in Qatar joins a roster of over 20 branches in the Middle East including Kuwait, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Manama, Jeddah, Beirut and Amman. Since its debut opening in Qatar in April 2015, P.F. Chang’s has been serving at least 1,000 people per day at its Villaggio Mall branch. The restaurant is one of the biggest restaurants at Villaggio Mall – three floors, approximately 650 square metres and able to seat up to 320 people. P.F. Chang’s will be opening its second branch in Qatar at the new Gulf Mall in 2016.
The seeds for what is P.F. Chang’s today were sown back in the 60s, when Chiang’s mother opened a Chinese restaurant in San Francisco called the Mandarin. In the early 80s, art student Philip took over operations when his mother went to China for a visit – and he never looked back, opening his own casual restaurant. There, one of his customers was Paul Fleming, who owned a steakhouse franchise in California. When Fleming moved to Arizona, he asked Chiang to help him start a Chinese restaurant – and so the first P.F. Chang’s (the P.F. for Paul Fleming, the Chang for Chiang) opened in Scottsdale shopping mall in 1993.
The global Zagat restaurant survey voted P.F. Chang’s most popular among casual dining US restaurants in 2011, and the Nation’s Restaurant News Consumer Picks study named the bistro one of the top US restaurant chains in 2011. Regionally, P.F. Chang’s was ranked ‘Best Casual Dining Restaurant in Dubai’ for 2012 and 2013, and ‘Best Casual Dining Restaurant in Abu Dhabi’ for 2014 by Ahlan readers; as well as ‘Best Chinese Restaurant’ by BBC Good Food Dubai for 2012 and 2013. P.F. Chang’s witnessed similar success in Amman, where it was selected ‘Best Chinese Restaurant’ for 2013 by www.tipntag.com; as well as ‘Highly Commended Best Newcomer’ for 2013 and ‘Best Chinese Restaurant’ for 2014 in Manama by the Time Out Bahrain Restaurant Awards.
Marhaba was invited to the new P.F. Chang’s at Villaggio Mall for an exclusive dinner with the P.F. Chang’s team including the co-founder, Philip Chiang, on 11 May 2015.
Chosen by Chiang himself, we have had the opportunity to try P.F. Chang’s most popular dishes – from appetizers to desserts – including the Dynamite Shrimp, Chicken Lettuce Wraps, Mongolian Beef and the Great Wall of Chocolate.
If you plan to visit P.F. Chang’s soon, Marhaba recommends:
Appetizers: Dynamite Shrimp, Chicken Lettuce Wraps (don’t forget to try their dim sum)
Main Entrees: Mongolian Beef, Pad Thai, Chang’s Spicy Chicken, Chang’s Kung Pao
Desserts: The Great Wall of Chocolate, Banana Spring Rolls
P.F. Chang’s Doha is located at Villaggio Mall’s Food Court at UNIT F3 & F4 • Ground Floor.
Saturday to Wednesday, from 12 pm (noon) – 12 am (midnight)
Thursday and Friday, from 12 pm (noon) – 1 am
For more information, call 4452 8541.