August 28, 2014 Beirut Lebanon Middle East

A World Premiere: Sushi a la P.F.Chang's

Phone Number: +961 1 285335

Address: ABC Achrafieh, City Centre Beirut and Zaitunay Bay. BEIRUT, LEBANON


Price Range: 30-60 $

Walking through the food court of Beirut City Centre, a banner caught my attention. P.F. Chang's is now offering sushi. Yes, for the first time, starting with their franchises in Turkey and Lebanon - now you can have Sushi "a la P.F. Chang's".


Even though I just had dinner at P.F.Chang's ABC last week, I couldn't but go in to give those rolls a try. I always enjoy the welcoming and attention received at P.F. Chang's BCC. You are first welcomed by a hostess who shows you to your table, before the waiter, who will be taking care of you during your meal, introduces himself. What's incomprehensible is the difference in service and professionalism between the branches of ABC Achrafieh and BCC.


I couldn't but notice a change, an important one: Chopsticks are now wrapped individually in carton envelops and the two forks and the knife that were previously wrapped in a table napkin are deposited on it next to a plate that was not there before. Honestly, I preferred the old way. That day was sushi day, so I tried to taste as many items from the menu as I could. The menu is printed in a long form and only contains four pages. The choices are beautifully displayed, each photo of the food is accompanied with a colored chopstick. The simple menu:

  • Edamame
  • Sashimi
  • P.F. Chang's specialty (Dynamite Shrimp)
  • Maki rolls
  • Tempura
  • Sushi
  • Chang's style sashimi
  • Combo sashimi
  • Sumo combo


Good to know:

  • The usual Chinese menu is still the same
  • Sushi "a la P.F." is only available in Turkey and Lebanon at the moment
  • The restaurant's name is changing from China Bistro to something else in the near future
  • 4 or 8 pieces of each roll can be ordered

Let's eat some sushi... The rolls are good:

  • Each was of the right appropriate size
  • A thin slice of rice wraps a generous portion of fish and ingredients
  • The rice was perfectly cooked, al dente and without a sweet aftertaste
  • The famous Dynamite Shrimp is now available in a sushi roll


The food:

  • Imagine the innovative P.F. Chang's ingredients topping some finely rolled pieces; they were all tasty
  • Don't expect Chinese/Japanese fusion rolls. The maki are simple and flavorsome, reminding you of what this restaurant does best: spicy mixes and Dynamite Shrimp.
  • The edamame were a bit undercooked, lacked flavor and were covered with tiny bits that crunched unpleasantly
  • The rolls were all very good, unpretentious and rolled with love
  • The Dynamite Shrimp could be just perfect if served with a hot roll. Warm, marinated Dynamite Shrimp tops a cold roll... the combination of cold and hot doesn't work here
  • I loved the dragon roll as well as the salmon sashimi


What I loved, and why I believe sushi at P.F. Chang's is exceptional, is the fact that the rolls are simple and fresh, do not contain any mayonnaise or unnecessary sauces, and the rolls are not covered with lines of colorful sauce that make them heavy and gooey. Prepare yourself to eat a different style of sushi, simple yet innovative, flavorful without being too sophisticated and finally, offered at a reasonable price. Please do not compare it with Kampai, Ichiban or any other sushi place around town. Those rolls are different.


A detail I liked:

  • The plates are left in the fridge, served cold to maintain the freshness of the rolls

With that we had brown rice, which was excellent, the almond and cashew nut chicken, which was great as always, and the lo mein noodles, an all time favorite. Served by Ahmad, and honored by the visit of the manager to our table, lunch was amazing at P.F. Chang's Beirut City Centre, like always.

Now that you know, visit P.F. Chang's and give their sushi a try.





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