P.F. Chang’s Asian Table – Covent Garden, LondonHALAL STATUS • Extensive Halal meat options (no cross-contamination) • Alcohol and pork served
P.F. Chang’s UK debut in August last year saw them introducing only Halal chicken to their menu.
Only a week later though, the Chinese-American Asian Table specialists promptly announced, despite the availability of pork, that they had gone “100% Halal”.
Looking past this minor faux pas, they did clarify with us at the time that not only was the preparation of all their Halal dishes done entirely separately so as to avoid any risk of cross-contamination, but that “none of our dishes contain any alcohol”.
While there’s a large alcohol bar extending across one side of the restaurant, there’s plenty of seating away at the back near the open-plan kitchen, as well as a separate and far quieter section downstairs.
From what we’ve heard, P.F. Chang’s is a busy location, so it might be advisable to book ahead.
The Asian Pear Mojito was a nice enough drink, except that the overwhelming taste of pineapple meant that the pear, honey and green tea simply didn’t come through as we’d hoped. What’s more, in spite of the absence of the Shiso leaf, the zingy kick delivered by the lemon meant that this could have been far more than what it was: a decent effort that won’t disappoint.
As for the Strawberry Limeade, then again the flavours were off-kilter, with the strawberry lording over the cucumber, and the lime barely discernible. The worst part of it all was that this beverage, barely half of its mojito counterpart, cost the same while not being any better.
To be honest, this was another restaurant to add to a long line of others that appears to serve over priced beverage that’s a notch or two above a can of fizzy!
This is arguably P.F. Chang’s most famous dish, and one which, says the menu, is “always imitated, never duplicated”.
And we’re forced to concur with all the hype. This Dynamite Shrimp truly was “Original” in every sense of the word – crunchy on the outside, and tender and soft on the in, with just that little give to ’em. We were, nonetheless, expecting this to be spicier than it was given the Sriracha aioli.
This had undoubtedly set a formidable benchmark for all things to come.
These Chil[l]i Jam Wings were, in their own right, just as good as the above shrimps.
The jam was, indeed, sweet and chilli, with a fruity-cum-spicy flavour so good that it had us licking our fingers to our hearts’ desire.
What’s more, not only were they beautifully cooked and succulent, but fairly reasonably priced too when considering that these relatively large wings came as a portion of six.
All in all, two mighty good starters!
The first question that came to mind in regards this Mongolian Beef was: why would this main be cheaper than any of the starters?
Be that as it may, this was a great plate, with the carefully cooked beef, which had a tender chewiness to it, providing a rich, deep soy sauce taste.
There was an issue with the dish being served warm, that was quickly remedied with the assurance of it having been cooked afresh. As to why only the stalks of the spring onions materialised, then your guess is as good as ours!
And it might be an idea to get this with rice too.
SOUP & NOODLES
Don’t let that fool you though, because this was, sadly, a poorly executed plate, with the biggest culprit being the heavy handed use of salt.
But, when you add to that the dry rice noodles, so-called “fresh vegetables” in the form of those dreaded spring onion stalks coupled with a measly scattering of cherry tomatoes, and the only real decent thing left worth nibbling on were the well cooked pieces of chicken and shrimp.
Worse still, the dish again came out warm!
VEGETABLES & SIDES
To their credit though, this delicious bowl of Fried Rice was well executed, with a good level of spices, and enough going on to enjoy this as a stand-alone dish.
Further more, it was a generous portion too at just £4.00. If you like soy, you’ll enjoy this; every bite had flavour.
This Flourless Chocolate Cake definitely wasn’t what we were expecting (and we don’t mean that as a compliment).
Firstly, calling something so densely textured a mousse cake will only cause confusion. Secondly, this is certainly one for lovers of bitter dark chocolate who have the stomach for a humungous serving, because this was big and bitter and thus difficult to finish. As a result, the beautifully executed quenelle of raspberry sorbet resting atop a bed of biscuit crumbs, didn’t quite marry with something so dense, large and bitter – at least not for us.
It should be noted also, that this sorbet was in fact a replacement for ice cream!
The most disappointing part of this Mixed Berry Triffle – and one that’s integral to any traditional triffle – was the sponge, or in this case, literally a swiss roll that tasted like a shop-bought equivalent.
Otherwise, while the layers of custard and cream were decent enough, and the tart cherry a good counter to the sweetness, it simply wasn’t enough to rescue the poor quality swiss roll.
Suffice it to say that this was average at best.
- YES/ NO
- CHILD SEATING
- DISABLED FACILITIES
- UBER EATS
- JUST EAT
We'd heard a lot about their staters, particularly The Original Dynamite Shrimp. And in light of how good both this and the wings were, we wouldn't be surprised if these have been priced more than the mains on account of their popularity. Whatever the case, we can't think of another restaurant where such an anomaly exists.
As for our biggest disappointment, then it was the abysmal service. It's been a long time since we've left a restaurant so dejected! Allow us to elaborate re three orders: the main, dessert, and the request for water:
- We were forced to reorder one of the mains after the staff member, who initially took our order, was never seen again! This same dish then turned up warm. After bringing this to their attention, we were literally asked if it would be okay for the dish to be reheated (we kid you not)!
- The dessert took 25 mins to arrive nearing the end of the night when the restaurant was almost deserted. We had to replace the order after the initial staff member did a similar Houdini act.
- As for the one we asked water of, he decided to walk over to his colleague for a quick natter before meandering off into the night with the water barely an arm's length away! Needless to say, we were forced to reorder!
Of course, if the service is as poor as we experienced, you can always forgo the 12.5% discretionary service charge.
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