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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Chinese Food minus the Oil and Cornstarch (and Vetsin)

The highly popular P.F. Chang’s China Bistro has opened its first branch in Alabang Town Center, Muntinlupa City, marking its first venture into Asia.  The restaurant, which has over 200 branches in the US and 12 worldwide, delivers a unique blend of Chinese cuisine, wines, desserts, and impeccable service.

For those unfamiliar with P.F. Chang’s , the restaurant serves cuisine inspired by the different regions of China with a culinary thrust of simplicity, using only natural and fresh ingredients with no garnishes and artificial flavours.  Described as “authentic” due to its origins in China, the recipes are actually fusions recreated by Mr. Chiang to suit his personal taste if he felt that it originally didn’t have the qualities he wanted.  “I decreased the oil and, if possible, did away with the traditional use of cornstarch.” according to Philip Chiang, restaurant co-founder.
Diners will enjoy signature dishes like Chang’s Chicken Lettuce Wraps, Mongolian Beef made from US Angus beef caramelized in the wok with garlic and scallions, and the flavourful Northern-style Spare Ribs.  Being a dynamic modern bistro, P.F. Chang’s also offers signature drinks like Asian Pear Mojito, Lucky Cat Martini, and Organic Agave Margarita.  The menu of tempting desserts include Banana Spring Rolls, made of crispy banana bites with coconut-pineapple ice cream drizzled with caramel and vanilla sauces; the Great Wall of Chocolate, a luscious six-layer chocolate cake frosted with semi-sweet chocolate chips, served with a raspberry sauce.
Servers or “meal creators” of the restaurant are also trained to help dinners gain a memorable dining experience by offering personalized care.  The can give recommendations for everything from dipping sauces to wine and drinks for a satisfactory dining experience.
The restaurant chain has recently won the Best Overall Beverage Program from the 2012 Cheers Beverage Excellence Awards, and topped the Zagat survey for Most Popular Full Survey Chain.  “Recognition by esteemed survey is always welcome and speaks well for what we do, but we do not sleep on our laurels but constantly try to improve our products,” explains Mr. Chiang.
Mr. Chiang was running two other Chinese restaurants in Beverly Hills and West Hollywood when fellow restaurateur Philip Fleming approached him with an idea.  Together they opened the first P.F. Chang’s in 1993 in Scottsdale, Arizona.  The business has since grown with dine-in, take out, and party reservation services.  John Travolta, Gwen Stefani, Justin Beiber, and Selena Gomez have been among the many celebrities spotted at the restaurant’s different locations.
For the opening of this first location in the country and its 217th restaurant milestone, Mr. Chiang has flown in to be a part of the celebration. “Since this is our first foray into a totally Asian environment, with a large Chinese community, and my first experience in the Philippines, I don’t know yet what might distinguish us from the other restaurants here but I feel that we’ve always raised the bar in terms of the Chinese dining experience in countries we’ve opened.” He said.
P.F. Chang’s partner in the Philippines is Global Restaurant Concepts, Inc. headed by president and CEO Archie Rodriguez.  “When looking for restaurants to bring home, we like to consider some points: Is our dining experience consistently memorable?  Is the service and culture above par? Is the concept sound?  Will the menu and atmosphere appeal to families?  And we believe P.F. Chang’s scored high marks in all of these categories.” He said.
When asked what are the three words that best described P.F. Chang’s dishes, Mr. Chiang anwered“Tasty,Simple,Healthy”.   P.F. Chang is located at The Street in Alabang Town Center in Muntinlupa City and will soon open more branches in the Fort area, Taguig City.
the author with Philip Chiang

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