It’s been described as a fusion of Asian cuisine and American-style service – and it’s taking the world by storm, with more than 270 locations around the globe. Now the award-winning Asian bistro P.F. Chang’s has finally opened in Doha, bringing a fresh new twist to a local dining scene hungry for something new.
Qatar’s diners just can’t seem to get enough. Since opening in the iconic Villaggio Mall last month, P.F. Chang’s signature dishes like the Dynamite Shrimp, Chicken Lettuce Wraps, Mongolian Beef and the Great Wall of Chocolate have been flying out of the kitchen, much to the delight of co-founder Philip Chiang, who was in town this week to showcase the menu to local media and foodies.
“Bringing our food and concept to Doha is a big step forward for us. We’re confident that our diverse, delicious and fresh menu, combined with our stylish yet laidback ambiance, is a perfect match for the selective taste and lifestyle of the Doha community,” said Chiang.
The new P.F. Chang’s is a trendy and upscale, with eye-catching décor, lively ambience and warm hospitality. Most importantly, the food is outstanding. The restaurant’s cuisine is inspired by the major regions of China and its neighboring countries, and most dishes are cooked in a northern-style Chinese wok at a 900-degree temperature, creating a “wok hay” or “breath of wok”, which brings a mix of unique smoky, caramelized flavors and crispy textures that can only be achieved using this age-old traditional technique.
Chiang explains the concept behind P.F. Chang’s as being a “casual bistro offering full service Asian-inspired dining that is innovative, fresh and delicious.”
It’s a perfect balance between Asian tradition and modern American style, with a focus on customer comfort, warm hospitality and service. In terms of décor, the restaurant is adorned with rich colors as well as wood and stone textures, giving it a warm and inviting feeling. Those warm colors are complemented by distinct metal accents that provide a sleek and hip atmosphere. As the restaurant’s centerpiece, the panoramic, hand-painted mural, which depicts ancient China, is visible from the main dining room, while several terracotta warriors stand guard, commanding attention.
The seeds for what is P.F. Chang’s today were sown back in the 60s, when Chiang’s mother opened a Chinese restaurant in San Francisco called the Mandarin. In the early 80s, art student Philip took over operations when his mother went to China for a visit – and he never looked back, opening his own casual restaurant.
There, one of his customers was Paul Fleming, who owned a steakhouse franchise in California. When Fleming moved to Arizona, he asked Chiang to help him start a Chinese restaurant – and so the first P.F. Chang's (the P.F. for Paul Fleming, the Chang for Chiang) opened in Scottsdale shopping mall in 1993.
Today, P.F. Chang’s has spread across the world, with its Villaggio Mall branch joining a Middle Eastern roster of successful branches in Kuwait, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Manama, Jeddah, Beirut and Amman.
It’s been a great success story. The global Zagat restaurant survey voted P.F. Chang’s most popular among casual dining U.S. restaurants in 2011, and the Nation’s Restaurant News Consumer Picks study named the bistro one of the top U.S. restaurant chains in 2011. Regionally, P.F. Chang’s was ranked ‘Best Casual Dining Restaurant in Dubai’ for 2012 and 2013, and ‘Best Casual Dining Restaurant in Abu Dhabi’ for 2014 by Ahlan readers; as well as ‘Best Chinese Restaurant’ by BBC Good Food Dubai for 2012 and 2013. P.F. Chang’s witnessed similar success in Amman, where it was selected ‘Best Chinese Restaurant’ for 2013 by www.tipntag.com; as well as ‘Highly Commended Best Newcomer’ for 2013 and ‘Best Chinese Restaurant’ for 2014 in Manama by the Time Out Bahrain Restaurant Awards.
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