August 3, 2012

P. F. Chang's at Shops at Don Mills Opening Weekend

Two food posts in a row... YAY!

I never heard of P. F. Chang's until they recently opened one up at the Shops at Don Mills. They're a popular American chain restaurant serving Chinese food and I was there last Sunday during their opening weekend and it was PACKED. Took a photo of the people waiting and complaining to the hostesses. 

Even I complained and we had the right considering this is our view from the waiting area - four beautifully empty tables on the patio that have been free for more than an hour - while we were already passed the estimated hour and a half waiting time. We waited two hours until we were seated. It would took a lot now to impress me. What irked me the most was the lack of knowledge the hostesses had and when complaints came in, the blame game started; you would think they would want to work as a team. 

First excuse I received was that they don't seat people and it was up to the servers...but the servers were not busy and not seating anyone in the patio. Then they finally blamed the kitchen saying they didn't want to overwhelm them. I don't understand why we couldn't be seated at least,  just warn us that the food will be slow to come... =/

Photo overload after the jump. =) It involves FOOD!

P. F. Chang's has a nice size menu that even includes some gluten-free options. By the time we got to the table, we were ready to order and eat asap.

You would think that everything would taste amazing after waiting forever but sadly, the first dish I ordered was very disappointing. I'd seriously advise you to stay away unless you enjoy soy sauce/beef gravy soup. ;) I ordered a "cup" of 'Hot & Sour Soup' ($3.99 CAD) that went straight back into the kitchen. You've been forewarned.

Second dish to arrive at the table, 'Tuna Tataki Crisp' ($11.99 CAD), was pretty good but nothing spectacular sadly.

Next came 'Chang's Chicken Lettuce Wraps' ($9.99 CAD). The lettuce was very fresh and crisp - deelish! The chicken was good but also nothing special as it's not that different from other Chinese restaurants in Toronto. And this is apparently their most popular starter.

Not my main, but I sampled, the ' Oolong Marinated Chilean Sea Bass' ($24.99). It was pretty good, a little too salty for my liking but tasted like a hint of tea and soy sauce. The fish was nice and firm and sat on a bed of spinach and served with either white or brown rice. For $24.99, you could get a whole live fish from many Chinese restaurants in Toronto. You can see by now, that I am going to compare this restaurant to Chinese restaurants in Toronto. =P

My main, the 'Chinese 5 Spice Duo of Duck' ($23.99 CAD). This was the best dish of the night. Worth every penny. You get a leg and breast served with a sesame watercress salad (more like garnished with) and a dried cherry-ginger chutney. The chutney was sweet so you don't need that much to pair with the duck. It is also served with either white or brown rice. I went with brown. =) You won't find this at Chinese restaurants in Toronto. ;)

Next we received the 'Crispy Honey Chicken' ($16.99 CAD) when we really ordered the 'Crispy Honey Shrimp' ($18.99 CAD) so we got it on the house. Score! Sadly, it does not live up to its name - it wasn't crispy. I hope it's because they were rushing in the kitchen so they slapped the sauce on too quick and the chicken didn't get a chance to crisp but if it's always like this then that's unfortunate. The chicken inside was nice and tender and the flavour was good if you like it sweet and you know I do. =P

I also ordered a small side of 'Sichuan-Style Asparagus' ($3.99 CAD) and luckily I ordered small because the asparagus was overcooked and a little burnt. *sigh Not a great show for their opening weekend.

Next we had 'Mu Shu Pork' ($15.99 CAD) and it was good and this plate was super filling if it were your entree. It came with five Chinese pancakes and hoisin sauce. It's definitely made to share. There didn't seem to be a lot of pork in it, more vegetables, but it was still good.

Tip, do not overstuff your wrap or you'll get this:

Finally, our 'Crispy Honey Shrimp' ($18.99 CAD) arrived.

Seeing as we had a lot of food, we needed to pack it and they put their food in little tiny Chinese take-out boxes and then plastic ones for larger portions. Our server who packed our food away took forever then insisted on changing the paper bag into a "paper bag with a handle"...that he took forever to fold and wanted us to applaud him.

I'm not sure what to think of P. F. Chang's. Their price points aren't hideous, everything is under $30 CAD but seeing as I eat a lot of Chinese food, their food is a little overpriced. The food isn't all that special and pretty typical if you ask me. The duck was definitely the highlight, I would go back for that duck.

Sadly, the Shops at Don Mills location didn't seem like they were ready. Their servers definitely need further training. They were throwing plates on the table instead of placing them - never seen that at any restaurant before. I expected to wait to be seated seeing as we went during their opening weekend but it's hard to forget seeing all the empty tables when there were so many hungry people waiting. They need to up their game.

Have you ever had P. F. Chang's?

As always, thanks for reading!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment