I went to PF Chang’s not long ago with some out of town friends. The menu is always good for a big group since there is always something which is agreeable to everyone.
On this last visit, we went to try the new summer menu items launched recently to celebrate their 20th anniversary.
We started with one of the new cocktails: Long Island Tequila Tea ($9) a blend of 1800 Silver, Reposado and Anejo Tequila shaken with fresh sour mix and topped with Coca Cola. Since I’m a huge fan of tequila, this was naturally the choice. It was delicious and so easy to drink. There is also a rum version of the same thing.
Our first dish was Peking Duck Summer Rolls ($8.95), pieces of duck and salad with julienne green papaya, snow peas and carrots wrapped in rice paper served with a mango jalapeno vinaigrette hoisin sauce. Although I liked the freshness of the rolls, the duck was not coherently dispersed throughout the roll so some bites were devoid of any duck. The sauce on the plate was also a little too strong — good though — but overwhelmed the subtle flavors of the rolls.
The Grilled Prawns with Red Curry Peanut Noodles ($15.95) was a dish we all agreed upon. The grilled southeast Asian prawns were outstanding. Great flavors and perfectly grilled with a nice char. The accompanying chilled noodles were what I had an issue with. The shaved snow peas, bean sprouts, carrots, cilantro and lime tossed into the noodles were crunchy and the red curry-peanut sauce was very flavorful so it was very unfortunate that the noodles were very mealy and doughy.
I wasn’t too keen on ordering the Grilled Swordfish with Pineapple Chutney ($19.95), but our delightful server assured us it was worth the risk. I’m always skeptical with swordfish because most of the time it arrives overcooked. However, I’m glad he insisted because the Asian spiced line-caught sushi grade swordfish was prepared perfectly and not the least bit dry! I also do not like fruit with my proteins, but the pineapple pear chutney turned out to complement rather than overwhelm.
My biggest shocker of all was the Summer Vegetable Quinoa “Fried Rice” ($11.95) wok toasted quinoa with summer sunburst squash, mango, tomatoes, and snow peas topped with a sunny side egg, asparagus and daikon sprouts.
Honestly I wasn’t sure this was going to work, but our server broke up the egg and mixed everything together. It was delicious! The runny egg on top made it even tastier but the textures of the fresh vegetables and the nutty quinoa was a great combo!
Although I’m not into sweets, I let our server twist our arm and order a flight of Sweet Treats ($2.95 each or $7.95 for a flight of 3).
Our flight comprised of a Coconut Upside Down Cake (a seasonal favorite I’m told), Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake, and Blueberry Cheesecake, a white chocolate cheesecake, with fresh blueberry swirls, on a graham cracker crust served with vanilla creme sauce. The latter was my favorite.
Our server was so sweet when I told him the chocolate cake didn’t excite me — he bought us the Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch on his dime. What a sweetheart! This peanut butter crunch with milk chocolate and caramel layered on chocolate brownie cake topped with honey roasted peanuts topped with chocolate syrup and caramel sauce looked immensely decadent and sweet, but turned out really tasty. The textures were great too.
At the end of the day, we had a really great time. Service is always great here and even though there were little misses, on the whole, it was still a positive experience. The new menu items are available at the Irvine Spectrum location now, but will roll out nation-wide on June 19th.
This week, I have a $50 giftcard for one of my readers to win for an experience at PF Chang’s. Leave me a comment with your FULL name (not eligible otherwise) and tell me what you’re most excited about trying from the summer menu. Entries close Sunday June 2nd. Good Luck!
61 Fortune Drive
Irvine, CA 92618