PF Chang’s, the American Chinese bistro chain, opens its first Canadian location this week inside the Shops at Don Mills. Earlier this week, we were invited to an advance tasting of their menu and to check out the vibe.
Obviously we were late – not being from Toronto, Don Mills is a little foreign to me and I got us proper lost. That said, once we arrived (1 hour late) we were pleasantly surprised by first, the luxurious beauty of the Shops at Don Mills, and second, the gorgeous décor inside this big chain restaurant. I wasn’t sure what to expect given that they have over 200 locations worldwide and Chinese food is, well, what I call hangover food. At PF Chang’s I can eat those words: they deliver more upscale Chinese fare that has little to do with the corner Chinese dives where we all like to indulge when Saturday night was just a little too rough.
Upon arrival, Phillip Chiang, a co-owner of PF Chang’s, educated us on the history and inspiration of this mega chain that does fantastically well globally. It really is quite a story and I can’t believe this was my first experience at what they call a Chinese bistro. Our lovely host didn’t end at that. He took part in our tasting and made the rounds throughout the meal ensuring we were all happy and enjoying ourselves. Very nice touch.
Second they brought out a few nibblies including Chang’s Spare Ribs, Crab Wontons, Dynamite Shrimp (spicy!), Dumplings and the Seared Ahi Tuna. The one I preferred in this bunch was the crab wontons – a mixture of cream cheese, fresh crab meat, bell peppers, green onions and ginger. YUM. Something about this flavour combination just worked.
For the mains, we were privy to Chang’s Spicy Chicken, The Mongolian Beef, Shrimp With Candied Walnuts, Lo Mein, and Spicy Green Beans. In this bunch the Mongolian beef and spicy chicken stood out. Flavours were delicious and spot on. The shrimp was an interesting dish however not up my alley.
Dessert I didn’t touch – it was just too much. However, I couldn’t resist taking a picture of their 7-layer chocolate cake. Holy Moly. Of course we couldn’t leave without getting a fortune cookie. Mine was right on: my upcoming vacation will definitely help me accomplish this.
PF Chang’s officially opens to the public today – and yes, it’s well worth the drive out to Don Mills!
10 O’Neill Road | www.PFChangs.ca