The key to establishing and maintaining a successful restaurant chain is to identify a niche and fill it by offering quality food and good service at reasonable prices and on a consistent basis. This is no small task and few are the restaurant chains that rise to fulfill these criteria. P.F. Chang’s is a good example of one such success. By preparing authentic Chinese dishes using high quality ingredients served in a contemporary Western setting, this chain has established a successful formula and a high reputation across the country.
The P.F. Chang’s in Waikiki is an excellent example what makes P. F. Chang’s so successful. Located on the Beachwalk end of the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center, it offers both indoor and outdoor dining on two levels. Dining on the patio offers an unsurpassed people-watching experience. The sleek, modern décor offers few hints of the exotic fare that follows.
The vast menu is entirely Chinese-inspired, but with many of the dishes updated to appeal to a broader audience. With such wide choice of starters, soups, noodles and entrees, here are a few that offer a cross-section of the menu.
For starters, the Chang’s chicken lettuce wraps are the hands-down favorite. Quickly cooked spiced minced chicken is served with cool lettuce cups for light and refreshing appetizer. There is also a vegetarian version that substitutes wok-seared tofu for the chicken.
Chang’s wonton soup is made to order and features Pork wontons, mushrooms, spinach, water chestnuts, chicken and shrimp in a homemade chicken broth.
As for the entrees, the lemon pepper shrimp is a popular choice with plump, tender shrimp that are flashed-cooked with a light sauce that is tangy but with a hint of sweetness. The wok-seared beef is another favorite and is a flavorful dish with mushrooms and sweet peppers. Unless stated, most entrees do not come with vegetables, which offers the opportunity to try a side of the sautéed spinach with garlic or perhaps the Szechuan style asparagus. For noodle lovers, P.F. Chang’s offers oodles of choices, including spicy Dan Dan noodles, which consists of scallions, garlic and chili peppers stir-fried with ground chicken and served over hot egg noodles and garnished with julienne cucumbers and bean sprouts.
If you still have room for dessert, you might want to try the Great Wall of Chocolate- six layers of rich chocolate cake frosted with semi-sweet chocolate chips served with raspberry sauce.
P.F. Chang’s offers extensive and well-rounded wine and sake lists, a good selection of bottled and on-tap beers, plus a full bar that offers all fancy cocktails you would expect to find in this setting. Service is efficient and friendly. The staff is very adept at handling a high volume of diners without making the meal seemed rushed.
For great Chinese-inspired food served in a comfortable, upscale atmosphere, you can’t be P.F. Chang’s.
2201 Kalakaua Ave.