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I sincerely enjoy P.F. Chang's, especially the one at City Centre Beirut where the staff is smiley and welcoming... We've been here, my wife and I, more than six times already and have positive feedback every time. Last year saw the launch of Sushi a la PF and here's my review of their latest sushi menu.
I'll spare you the details because I've been here many times, so how about we jump into the conclusions, the food at P.F.Chang's, the generosity of portions and flavors available in every bite?
Tonight is Sushi night!
The new add-ons to the sushi menu are the Philly Veggie Roll, Crispy Nori Bites, Exotic Crab Salad and Crispy Salmon Salad.
Good to know:
- The menu's pictures are mouthwatering.
- The Chinese menu is still the same and a Sushi menu has been added to it.
- Sushi "a la P.F." is only available in Turkey and Lebanon at the moment.
- Four or eight pieces of each roll can be ordered.
- The sushi is prepared a la minute: Expect to wait around 15 minutes for the rolls to be served.
The simple menu:
- 3 kinds of Edamame
- 9 maki rolls
- 4 specials
- 3 sashimi
- 3 sushi
- Chang's Style Sashimi
Details I like:
- The chopsticks are plastic and neat.
- Original Kikkoman soy sauce is used.
- Crispy Nori Bites (spicy tuna mix, spicy salmon mix, crispy nori, tobiko, green onions, sriracha): It's a special order I personally have never seen before in Lebanon. A sheet of nori leaf fried till crisp with a light chewiness and covered with crispy bits. On top is a mountain of tuna and another of salmon, good quality fish topped with tobiko. An interesting order.
- Crispy Salmon Salad (fresh salmon, citrus mustard dressing, cabbage mix, togorashi, tobiko, tempura crisps, green onions, dynamite sauce): A large cabbage leaf filled with a mix of lettuce and cabbage and topped with salmon cubes. Crispy bits, fine textures, fresh flavors, lemon zest, an after note of spiciness and the mustard taste which makes all the difference. I loved the carrots, the tobiko, the crunch of the fresh lettuce and sauce, but I believe the lettuce and cabbage mix should be reduced. Too much greenery for the amount of salmon. I'd bring forward the salmon by using less lettuce.
- Salmon Chang's Style Sashimi (salmon sashimi, citrus soy ponzu sauce, green onions, lemon, sriracha). So yummy with a certain finesse and a strong spiciness, not for the faint hearted. A premium salmon thinly sliced bathing in a citrus sauce. Add some lemon for more pleasure.
- Dynamite Shrimp Roll (shrimp, dynamite sauce on a spicy tuna roll including spicy stiracha aoili, avocado, cucumber)
- Philly Veggie Roll (iceberg lettuce, carrots, asparagus, spicy cream cheese, daikon pickles, avocado, green onions)
- Dragon Roll (kanikama mix, avocado, cucumbers, sesame seeds, spicy tuna mix, serrano peppers)
- California Roll (kanikama mix, avocado, cucumbers, sesame seeds)
- Spicy salmon (spicy salmon, avocado, cucumber)
The sushi rolls are good, let's say good enough, filled with taste and flavor with a rice that's not sweet and an experience that leaves you feeling light, not heavy and not overly full. Those rolls can surely be better if only the sides are cut off and removed for better presentation. If they look a little bit bigger or at least close to the images shown on the menu. The spicy salmon should be spicy or at least close to being spicy.
- The cheese cake, a signature cake that's exceptional. A square plate with a big slice of cake laid on its side with strawberry drops next to it and a mountain of strawberries. Very tasty and recommended, this cake will put a smile on your face. A layer of biscuit with a light crunch and some enjoyable sugar with cheese on top, rich cheese but not unpleasant, lightly sweet and full bodied. It doesn't even need the coulis on the side to be enjoyable.
- Wait until you've tried their molten chocolate brownie. Oh man! A big piece of brownie with a molten heart of magic and a very thin flaky envelope embracing it. Pecan nuts baked inside it just crunch in style with a light chewiness. A brown color from the outside and a darker one on the inside create a cake that's just superbly balanced. I never imagined I could eat a brownie that good, adding to it a scoop of Haagen-Dazs vanilla ice cream. Oh man!
At P.F. Chang's expect to enjoy some good music in a positive and fresh ambiance surrounded by the best staff out there. Trained to perfection, Khalil or Georges' smiles are indeed contagious... I can't say other than that P.F. Chang's is still one of Lebanon's best places where I'll visit for a Chinese meal.