First Impression: P.F. Chang’s China Bistro

Posted by Mark

Before I found out someone had broken into my car I was enjoying dinner at P.F. Chang inside the Avenues. They haven’t opened up to the public yet, it’s just by invite since they’re still training and I managed to get one. The first thing that struck me about the restaurant (other than the fact it was packed) was how big it was. According to my friend they’re either the largest or second largest P.F. Chang’s branch in the world. They’re also the 200th P.F. Chang branch to open and only the second to open outside the US. The other international branch is in Mexico.

I had the crab wanton for starters which was amazing and then for my main course I had sweet & sour chicken and this other dish that had prawns, melons and walnuts. The sweet & sour chicken looked nothing like the usual ones I have, it didn’t have the regular red sauce nor any vegetables or fruits but it still tasted really good (I actually always order my sweet & sour without fruits or vegetables anyway). The prawns and melons dish was a very strange but interesting combination, I can’t believe someone actually came up with this mix, very cool.

There was a ton of staff in the restaurant since in addition to the P.F. Chang Kuwait staff they’ve brought in over 20 more staff from the States to help with the training. Paul Fleming the creator of P.F. Chang was even in the kitchen overlooking everything. Our waiter was one of the local staff and was very friendly.

The prices haven’t been finalized yet but they’re supposed to be even cheaper than what was currently on the menu. The sweet & sour chicken was around KD4.400 and the prawns dish I think KD5.450 so if they drop the price it should be pretty affordable. The quantity of the food was too much and I think they know that because they were quick to offer to pack my leftovers to take home. Too much food is always better than too little. While there I also got confirmation that Shake Shack will be opening up in Kuwait early next year and the first branch will be at the Avenues. It was a pretty nice evening overall until the car incident…


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42 comments, add your own...


  1. Mohammed says:

    I was there too! the place was fantastic. It shows that they are really looking out for the reputation of the restaurant. We were a large group so we to try a nice range of the foods offered.

  2. I wanna go and try it out with my family/friends very soon

  3. Mrs F says:

    Thought the place was officially open to the public, they had this two page spread in Bazaar magazine stating they are “now open”

  4. kwt23 says:

    I like PF Chang’s! Bes mako 3ala il peacock ;)

  5. B_G_T_R says:

    whats w/ the crappy corporation franchinse food invading Kuwait?
    after Yo Sushi, Wagamama, Noodel Factory, now we have the latest name in tasteless food opening in Kuwait.

  6. sam says:

    i was there last night too! the food and service was amazing and so was the ambiance. everyone in my group loved it! i TOTALLY recommend it!!

  7. BH says:

    4 words for you guys and gals : Panda Express, Orange Chicken.

    Enough said =)

  8. ahmed says:

    One place only for chinoooo.

    Chef Wok. In watertown massachussetts. Noodles, one dollar extra.

  9. Q80saracen says:

    I was at P.F. Changs too, and it was amazing. First of all, the food was delicious. We were a big group so I got to try a lot of different dishes and these were my favorites:

    Appetizers:

    Lettuce Chicken Wrap

    Chicken Dumplings (ask for Pan Fried instead of Steamed)

    Main Meal:

    Kung Pao Chicken (Spicy)

    Seared New York Strip Beef (it has another name, but if you say that they get it)

    Lo Mein (Very good, but heavy Noodles)

    One person in our group had a birthday that weekend, and we told the staff. Even though they hadn’t opened up their desserts (should be open by their official opening on Wednesday), the waiter ran over to Starbucks to get a chocolate cake and then went on to buy a candle and presented it to us. I thought that was amazing and reminiscent of the service in the States. I hope they keep it up. All in all, the restaurant was a fun experience featuring great food.

    Ps. tables of 8+ might score the little turning wooden circular part in the middle which makes sharing easier…and makes annoying the hungry guy that much more fun ;-)

  10. SWAiN says:

    Mongolian Beef is my favorite dish :)

    in every P.F rest I been in the US, steamed rise white/brown comes as complimentary side dish with any main course in the menu, they even do free refill. so do you think they will do the same here in Kuwait or CC (cost cutting) policy again!

  11. SWAiN says:

    steamed rice* :S

  12. zaydoun says:

    So it’s really called Paul Fleming Chang??!

    B_G_T_R… yes it sucks that we’re invaded by way to many franchises but 3 main factors are to blame:

    1. The general laziness and reluctance of corporations like Al-Shaya and others to create new ‘homegrown’ concepts

    2. The local market’s preference/craze for imported franchises over local homegrown concepts.

    3. Over estimating demand for American franchises simply because their kids study in the States

    I could be totally wrong, but I sometimes wonder how much market research is done before embarking on huge and costly ventures such as this

    Of course we have local success stories like Slider Station, Edo, Burger Hub, Prime & Toast and a few more but they seem to be the exception rather than the rule in a country literally invaded by franchises. Have you been to Bistro 86 at the Avenues? Didn’t think so… Check it out, it’s really good

  13. cgc says:

    4 years in the US, maybe over 75 visits to PFC there, never changed my order:
    Appetizer: Chicken lettuce wraps
    Main Course: Lemon Scallops or Mongolian Beef

    A must try for all!!

  14. Shorestick says:

    I’ve been pretty excited for a branch to open up here, can’t wait to try it.

  15. Q80saracen says:

    I think Kuwait has room for both home grown enterprises and international franchises. Good is good, whether you studied in the US and have an emotional attachment to the chain or whether you trying it for the first time.

    I honestly believe that the one here is better than the one in the US that I used to frequent, and that could be because of the meat quality and the lack of hormones/preservatives. Chains become chains for a reason…they’re that good. McDonalds is the biggest franchise in the world because…lets face it, its McDonalds. Delicious to the point its criminal…so enjoy the Slider Stations of Kuwait…and enjoy the P.F. Changs…because if we’ve learned anything from the West…competition makes for better quality, better service, and better choices.

  16. Mark says:

    Kuwait is the only place in the world where you can have napket for lunch and pinkberry for dessert.

  17. Maze says:

    i can’t wait till it opens!

  18. Realist says:

    I think the interiors looked different than the ones in the states. The location also seems to be a bit off. I always though of PF changs as an upscale place not to be placed in a mall.

  19. jo says:

    im first impression was a really bad one.. they recently had a training day and all the employees, from cheifs to waiting staff were out side (but inside the mall) the resturant all smoking, in their uniforms….

    my husband has told me about this place in the states and i was really looking forward to it!
    but it totally put me off seeing all the staff smoking, really un-hygeinic yuck!!!

  20. B_G_T_R says:

    zaydoun:
    thanks for the recommendation. I ll check out Bistro86. isn’t that by the same guy who owns Burger Hub and Prime & Toast ?

    Q80saracen:

    on competition: true if we all have level playing fields. But you can be musceled out easily w/ these corporations. Just see what the Alshaya3 monopoly on Avenues is doing to it. all the prime locations (big factor in restaurant’s success) is allocated to his restaurants (99% of them suck big time by the food standards of the west).

    Irony is that this mall, like the rest of them is built on goverment land where the goverment is getting peanuts, while the poor tents pay to the nose, unless of course they run the place!

  21. KSA prisoner says:

    Q80saracen: FYI … “the little turning wooden circular part in the middle which makes sharing easier” is called a Lazy Susan.

  22. Haterhaute says:

    I wonder if Kuwait doesn’t have more homegrown competition because it is lacking in decent numbers of true professional chefs? I mean, just about anyone can be a line grunt. That’s trainable. That’s just moving through the motions. And it seems to me that even the market for that out here is disadvantaged – all I seem to see are asian guys back there and lord knows how little they’re being paid. Being a line cook pays very little to begin with but I shudder to think of what the wages are like here.

    But Chefs are where the creativity comes from. And I’m not sure this is a society that nurtures such “domestic” aspirations as “cooking” in their youths. Lots of little variables like that I think, that explain the franchise boom in countries like Kuwait and the UAE.

    Oh well, it’s not the best Chinese but it’s something from home so I look forward to it’s [PFC] debut.
    Now if only they could serve Sake… *sigh*

  23. PFCFANS says:

    I hope someone could shoot a video like the one in Mexico’s PFC
    and then share it with us.

  24. lulu says:

    Do you have their number?

  25. Ahood says:

    I went to PF CHANG yesterday, if I was starving to death and all the resturants at the avenues were closed , and PF CHANG was the only one opened, then I MIGHT consider going there again.
    1. SERVICE
    a. wrong food (dang)
    b.omitting kids food (and they said that kids are priority!)
    c.waiting long (forever)
    2.QUALITY OF FOOD AND DRINKS
    a.tastless (hospitall food better)
    b.kids meal quantity was small, (kids were sniching from each other cause they were still HUNGRY)
    3.ATMOSPHERE
    a.very noise
    For sure NEVER AGAIN UNLESS!

  26. SWAiN says:

    I went yesterday for lunch. we were 5, after she put my name and my phone number on the waiting list the lady told me to wait for 180 minutes!!! she was positively sure which made alot of people changed thier mind and leave for another restaurant.

    I had to wait for 1 hour to get my table which wasn’t bad at all! 1 hour was like a standard time for a table in P.FC US.

    Food, Quality, Service were great just like U.S! I loved it and I’m sure that going back when its calmed down a bit :)

    phone number is 22242424. I been told that they do table reservations from today because they didn’t let me when I called for the first one.

  27. bnotyal says:

    To the writer of “First Impression”, if the dish you are referring to is the one in the picture, you had the Chang’s Spicy Chicken & not the Sweet & Sour Chicken. Just like most traditional Sweet & Sour Chicken dishes, ours (P.F. Chang’s) has both fruit (pineapple) & vegetables (green bell peppers, white onions & red pickled ginger). Also, the “creator” of P.F. Chang’s, that you saw overseeing everything in the kitchen, was Philip Chiang, not Paul Fleming.

  28. Mark says:

    nope, that picture is of the sweet & sour chicken, it didn’t come with any fruit or vegetables.

  29. Haterhaute says:

    Went to PFC last night (Sunday) at 5pm. I was expecting a long wait but I was surprised to be seated right away.. Guess not many folks were out and it was a bit before dinner rush but.. I digress.

    Had the fried wontons, salt and pepper calamari, mongolian beef and honey chicken. Everything was spot on so far as I can tell when it comes to tasting like the stuff @ home. I was very pleased..

    The rices that came with the dishes though, they weren’t sticky at all. They seem to be prepared more loose like basmati.. Not very easy to eat with chopsticks at all.

    Also, the chocolate cake we had for dessert was a little dry and when I went to order the Blackberry Jasmine Green Iced Tea that was on the menu, I was told they didn’t have iced tea. That did not compute for me.. how you can be newly opened but already not have something. However, I was told they would be getting some soon so.. IDK. I hope so. I’m sure I’ll be back more than a few times.. That calamari has me hooked.

  30. bnotyal says:

    I work for P.F. Chang’s & I can tell you for certain that that dish in the photo is Chang’s Spicy Chicken, not Sweet & Sour Chicken. Sweet & Sour Chicken does not have chili paste or green onions which are both pictured above.

  31. Mark says:

    thats funny, basically means they screwed up my order and got me something i didn’t order.

  32. bnotyal says:

    It was the soft opening & you got a free invite. Mistakes are bound to happen from time to time, at least you didn’t pay for it :)

  33. bnotyal says:

    And it sounds like you liked what you ate, so you were introduced to a new dish that you might have not tried.

  34. 3anooda says:

    lettuce chicken wrap is the way to go @ PF Changs

  35. KSA prisoner says:

    for sure the rice is not the same as PFC in the USA. get the real rice to Kuwait ASAP .. my dinner last night felt really incomplete!!

  36. […] more pics you can check 248am.com and Meblogging.com Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Sandwich v. Chinese […]

  37. Othman says:

    do they deliver? i’ll wait till they show up on 6alabat… :D

  38. Joan says:

    After our dinner last night I was taken with utter surprise at the way we were treated just because our kids were having a good time just as we were about to leave this restaurant. Kids will be kids and we as responsible adults made sure that they were not creating havoc. Their behavior was reasonable.I will be pursuing this further and I want this person to be aware that he needs to brush up on his etiquette and his knowledge about customer service … especially in Kuwait. Let me remind you at the end of the day a customer is a customer no matter where they come from. I have talked about this incident and everyone that got to know of this man’s behavior were astonished !!!! I hope the management takes care of this as I am not done with it !!!

  39. Othman says:

    So much for training I guess?
    May I ask what the person did?

  40. […] also found out two more things, one is that they’re planning to open a second branch of P.F. Chang’s next to Al Corniche Club. My guess is they will probably open up where I Love Souk used to be […]

  41. mylene malay altubaikh says:

    i love pfchangs….especially pfchangs corniche…but their manager cuzy ruin our nights with my friends….we are starting already to eat then she ask us to move in other table without knowing us why…disrespectfull isnt? what do feel if somebody told you to move if your already eating…lose appetiate right?…we are regular guest there but this time you this i swear with my friends never again to eat at pfchangs crniche kuwait…


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