P.F. Chang’s in London has been open for nearly a year now, and this summer they’re offering a special, off-menu, Wimbledon-inspired dessert to those who know to ask. To help spread the word about this exclusive treat, I was invited to enjoy a dinner on the house so that I could try it out for myself. The eagle eyed amongst you may have noticed the preview on my Instagram Stories this week, and here’s my full review.
We started with the Original Dynamite Shrimp and the Original Chang’s Chicken Lettuce Wraps. (Though I still have my eye on the Lobster & Shrimp Spring Roll, because you can take the girl out of New England, but can you really take the New England out of the girl?)
Before I talk about the flavours, I want to comment on the American sized portions. It’s been a while since I have ordered a starter that’s filling enough to double as a light main dish, so if you’re not super hungry then you can certainly take a page from my USA days and order a starter as a light main.
Both dishes reminded me a lot of the dishes at Asian-American restaurants in the USA (specifically, they reminded me of the Asian-American food I hunted high and low for when I first moved to the UK in 2010!).
As you probably guessed, these starters were tasty and we polished them off completely.
Next up: the main dishes. We ordered Mongolian Beef, Chinese BBQ Pork Ribs, and a side of Chili Aubergine. We were nearly full after the starters (and needed to save room for dessert) so we asked to package up what we didn’t finish. Happily they have take-away containers available, and they appeared to be plastic-free which I was delighted to see.
The ribs are slow-braised, wok-seared pork ribs served with a savoury barbecue sauce. The meat was succulent and easily fell away from the bone, perfectly cooked. This was Jeff’s choice, but I’d be happy to order this again to share.
The beef steak was caramelised with our signature dark soy sauce and garlic served with spring onions. This was the dish I chose, but I’m not sure I’d order it again simply because I’m not a fan of sweet main dishes. When ordering I debated between this and the Black Truffle Rainbow Sushi Roll, but opted for the Mongolian Beef because I fancied a hot dish. Which means I already know what I want to order next time!
For a side dish we went for one of my favourite ingredients in Asian cooking: aubergine. (Also known as eggplant for my American friends.) The flavour was satisfying and I’d be lying if I said I shared this dish equally with Jeff.
Finally, dessert! First we had the Wimbledon-inspired treat that resembled an Eton Mess (strawberries, meringue, and cream? Tick, tick, tick!) topped with a white chocolate tennis racket and macaroon biscuits coloured and decorated like tennis balls. It may not look like much, but we polished that off in record time.
There were two of us, which means two desserts (just us?). Jeff chose the White Chocolate Bomb filled with honeycomb, cocoa nibs, popping candy, chocolate soil, hazelnuts and creamy hazelnut ice cream, covered with a bomb melting toffee sauce. I loved how the textures complimented each other, and if you’re of the Instagram persuasion this would also make a wonderful Boomerang.
After dessert we were lucky enough to have a bit of a chinwag with the manager, hearing about what’s coming up (keep an eye out for more vegan options – the head chefs in the USA are working on cooking up new recipes!), my suggestions (more low salt / low sugar / diet-friendly options), and generally about how P.F. Chang’s is settling into Europe (they have the freedom to act as their own brand, which is why some of their menu items are different to what you may have seen in their other international locations).
Dinner for two (two starters, two mains, one side dish, two desserts, a bottle of sparkling water) including service charge came in just shy of £80, so not a cheap date but also not breaking the bank. Check out the menu we ordered from here on this PDF.
If you’re interested in going, I think it’d be great for groups (think birthdays and large family dinners), families, and they’ve assured me if you reserve for a pre-theatre dinner and let them know then they can help you choose items that will be out in time for you to eat before the show.
So will I be coming back? Absolutely! I’ve got my eye out for those new vegan menu options…
Much love, Katie xo
Please note: while the products marked with a star (*) in this blog post were gifts, the views expressed are my own.