P.F. Chang's in the Philippines - April 20, 2012

Today's the wedding anniversary of my sister and brother in law and they decided to have a late lunch at P.F. Chang's.  We have been hearing some good reviews of this restaurant a few months already and I'm a bit excited.











After a few searches on the net, I discovered this is the only one in the Philippines out of more than 200 branches in the world.  P.F. Chang's is located in Alabang Town Center at the newly renovated area called the Street.

The restaurant is founded by two people Paul Fleming and Philip Chiang in the United States.
The newly renovated area of Alabang Town Center occupied one parking lot and its gardens.  I think they're just maximizing the space to make it more useful, after all, the small design haven't changed a lot since it opened in 1982.
The P.F. Chang restaurant is a two story building used only for itself so there's a lot of spaces for which it can use.
Upon entering the building, I was surprised to be greeted by multiple attendants at the reception.  I think there were four of them at the reception and the fifth is a quite mature guy, probably a supervisor.    It caught me off guard only glancing at them and pointing that I have companions inside the restaurant.
I was a bit late after difficulty of finding car parks and got lost searching for this restaurant.
To your left is a good one from P.F.'s, which are thin slices of cold, fish meat which probably is sashimi.  It has sprinkles of herbs,spices, and sauce which tasted unusual but good.  At first, I was taking the meat alone and found the taste to be strong.  I was late to realize that it has to be eaten with the leaves for which I thought were just garnish.  Combining the two produced a beautiful texture in my mouth and taste since the two contrast each other. I liked this most.


Chang's Chicken Lettuce wrap.  Most Chinese restaurants I have been to recently has this. The first is from The Legend near Mall of Asia which you could find my review here.  The second is the Mandarin Palace in BF Paranaque with my review here.
P.F. Chang's interpretation of this is less salty but they have three dips/sauce to which you can choose with this dish, chili sauce, some kind of Soy Sauce slightly sweet, and my favorite a Wasabi like type of sauce.  Nothing impressive though.

I felt the plastic but quality made reusable chopsticks is worth mentioning since they save the environment from producing the disposable bamboo made chopsticks.
The size and weight of these chopsticks are also preferable.
Notice the vinegar on the left which is very clear, we didn't try it though if it's good.  I also noticed that the glass bottles of condiments are also filled full which makes for a better appearance, don't you agree?
The great looking bar behind the reception.  One thing that also surprised me is the amount of service crew.  I'm not sure if this crew was enough during lunch but my wild guess is that each person serves two tables.


Here are the three sauces I was referring above.
We were given additional lettuce for free and without asking.

This is chicken with thin sauce or glaze of honey.  This is a simple dish but the balls were dense but soft to bite on so they were a pleasure to eat.
We had rice despite having lunch at home.  This type is heavy and tasty which doesn't complement well with our chosen food since they were simple.  Alone, this is good rice.

The shrimps were simple and fried.  The heads and skin is removed for our convenience.
The quality is good since the shrimps were soft and thick matched with a unique type of dip/sauce which I forgot what it's like. Hehe.  It's like a thinner version of Mang Tomas but has more vinegar and pepper in it.
A weak point of P.F. Chang's, the desserts.  Not only you do have only two choices, they were also bad, (in Filipino food culture).
GF Dark Truffle Dome Cake has two or three types of chocolates in it but the taste and texture were not good.  It's like eating Fibisco's Choco Mallows only softer and less sweeter.
The presentation doesn't look nice either.
This is one is a bit better in terms of looks and presentation but one thing revolting about this is it's mainly made from lemon.  The experience was like eating cake made from melted Maxx Menthol Candy - lemon flavor.
Trying my best and kept trying, it kinda tasted good after a while and the black bits felt good to chew.  It's good enough to be unique and something to try but I'm sure many Filipinos will dislike such a dessert costing around P200.

I'm dumbfounded to what they have here but the Chinese do have a lot of desserts such as taho, lychee, and various types of cakes.
Starbuck's desserts are also way much better than this.  We have plenty Western and Chinese desserts and I can't believe they don't.
I searched their Facebook page and found  one dessert not in the menu called the Great of Wall of Chocolate and dipped to thick strawberry sauce.  What's up with the strawberry sauce?

Our bill is near P2,700 just for four small, bodied adults.
After eating, I had the time to shoot the  simple but seemingly expensive interiors.  Most people would notice these Chinese warrior statues throughout the building for which I felt was unnecessary or doesn't add value to the experience.



Two or three of these statues at the building entrance would be a great idea for Filipinos having their pictures taken with them to which they can share in Facebook that they have been to P.F. Chang's.
The wood interiors would please Koreans or Japanese but the food won't.


This is only what I got of the men's bathroom since I don't want to look weird to other users but the bathroom  is very nice.  I'm starting to feel that the resto really has an American touch to it where they spend really on something to make it grand, bigger, and better. You know what I mean.












Conclusion:  
It is a pricey restaurant that I think wouldn't satisfy the true or part Chinese eaters and I'm not Chinese.  
I find the interiors and whole setup very upscale in comparison to most Chinese restaurants in the metro, even abroad. You see, newly opened businesses has to recover their investment quickly by pricing and/or volume.
  And usually, the restaurants with the best food don't have the best setups and/or management. To me, P.F. Chang's is simply a Western owned and grown restaurant that only has a Chinese theme and menu to it.
I still give the Legend (Hongkong Seafood Restaurant) the lead over it.




My post doesn't end there because today's also my first to try milk teas!  I'm sure you have heard of Serenitea and probably tried it.
I'm not impressed with the concept of tea with milk so I usually refuse to try.


Chatime, one of the three milk tea stores in Alabang Town Center.
Since Chatime, above, is filled with people.  We walked around and tried Gong Cha which is just across Bon Chon, popular for their chicken.






Since my sister is generous, she chose the largest and popular choice of milk tea which I don't have a clue what it is called.

At first, I wasn't impressed because as expected, it is tea only mixed with milk and probably some sweeteners.  Later on, I realized it was a good experience due to the huge, quality jellies that comes with each sip. 
I'm in trance while sipping as I'm feeling envious to the business owners who created the idea.  It is simple and costs cheap to produce but the experience to the consumer is good.  I like to compare it with Starbuck's coffee jelly which is also good only pricier.  Another, I would like to compare it to the pearl shakes stores such as Zagu or Quickly. Though they're good and cheaper, the quality of their jellies doesn't come close to this.  If I had the capital, I would open the same type and compete in terms of jellies. It's not the drink or milk tea! It doesn't matter, as long it facilitates consuming the jellies. 
In conclusion, the craze is justified especially when you consider women and children who like sweets.  It is pretty bloating though.

My sister had a lemon flavor and we're unsure why she ordered such considering how much she despised the lemon cake from P.F. Chang's earlier and this resulted to a good laugh within us till we got home.
We're not done yet with the food trip. They bought some pretzels and we haven't had Auntie Anne's for a long time.
The quality is still good and got nostalgic since I recall the times when Auntie Anne's was new in SM Southmall.


After that we "really" decided to get home after all that eating.

By the way, I noticed that Gumamela flowers close their petals by night.  Hehe. Ok, seriously, this is the end of my post.  Thanks for reading!