Chinese food is another one of my many (many) vices. And fortunately for my skinny jeans Beirut runs low on the real-deal Chinese joints. I’m not gonna diss the places that have served my cravings thus far, that would deem me ungrateful. But I will tell you this; you don’t have to have generic grease-saturated noodles anymore, because P.F. Chang’s in town and those folks know how to work a wok.
Located on the top floor of ABC Ashrafieh’s open air section P.F. Chang’s the Chinese-American chain opened its doors early summer in Beirut. Legendary for their world-famous Dynamite Shrimps, it was the first thing I uttered as the exceptionally professional and attentive waiter took our order.
And let me tell you those shrimps didn’t get their name for nothing. Served in a martini glass, this appetizer brings you a generous serving of medium-sized lightly battered shrimps soaked in a fiery-red sauce that are worth your visit alone. I mean it.
Next, and despite the scorching heat I went against my good judgement and ordered the jumbo-sized wonton soup that serves six. It was a treasure. Literally. With each spoonful something different would come up. The wontons were stuffed with just the right amount of chicken, it had the right balance of spinach, watercress and mushrooms, all the while small pieces of chicken and baby shrimps swam around the lightly flavored broth.
The menu is so diverse I had a hard time deciding on a main course but I finally decided to go with Philip’s Better Lemon Chicken, a dish of quick-fried chicken tossed in broccoli and an especially sweet citrus sauce. If you’re a fan of sweet and sour I would recommend this, however, if sweet food is not your thing then steer clear.
And of course no Chinese meal is complete without a healthy dose of Lo Mein, and although they offer an assorted selection of noodles I went ahead and ordered two sides of the same thing, a vegetarian one and a shrimp one. The noodles were hands-down some of the best I’ve had in Beirut, the vegetables had just the right crispiness, the shrimps a subtle batter and the noodle/sauce ratio was balanced to perfection.
The Service: It was such a relief to finally be served by waiters who knew exactly what went in to each dish, staff that was hospitable enough to patiently wait as I made up my mind with no annoyed huffs and puffs.
The Value: P.F. Changs’s doesn’t come cheap, priced on the higher end of the scale, a meal for two as such with soft drinks will set you back around $75, but worth every penny!
The Verdict: 我只是無法獲得足夠的