P.F. Chang’s China Bistro

A casual, fun dining experience featuring upscale Chinese food. That is the corporate description of P.F. Chang’s started by Paul Fleming (there is no Mr. Chang). The food is good and the service quick and friendly.

This week P.F. Chang’s opened its newest location at the Royal Hawaiian Center in Waikiki. Some of our friends were fortunate to attend the pre-opening and had a good time and can’t wait to go back again.

I like P.F. Chang’s China Bistro. We go to the Hokua Restaurant location at 1288 Ala Moana Boulevard, Suite 110. We have gone at different times of the day and are able to sit down right away and have a good meal. 

The starters or appetizers are our favorites. My personal favorite is the Chang’s chicken lettuce wraps ($9.50). The quickly cooked spiced chicken is served with iceberg lettuce cups. This dish is filling and yet light and refreshing. I’ve had the vegetarian wraps which are made with tofu but I prefer the taste and texture of the chicken wrap.

Another appetizer favorite is the pan-fried Peking dumplings ($7.50). My husband Ron has had the seared ahi tuna ($10.50) which rolled in Chinese spices and served with spicy mustard. While good, the blackened ahi at California Beach Rock ‘n Sushi is his first choice for seared ahi.

The Mongolian beef ($16.50) is tender, moist and delicious. The lemon chicken is very different from our local style lemon chicken. While it is served with broccoli and is healthier, I prefer the batter-fried chicken with a sweeter lemon sauce.

Go with a group so you can eat family style and try a little bit of everything. Be sure to save room for dessert too.  I like the banana spring rolls ($7). Six warm yummy, crispy pieces served with coconut-pineapple ice-cream.  Onolicious.

Unlike the traditional Chinese restaurant, 20% of P.F. Chang’s revenue comes from liquor. Bar patrons may order the chicken lettuce wraps for $7 and seared ahi tuna for $8 in the bar from Monday through Friday 3 – 6 p.m. during pau hana (after work) or happy hour. Specialty cocktails and martinis are $6 and draft beer is $3. Wine flights are also available for $7.