Covent Garden has just got a taste of LA cool in the form of the world-famous American-fusion restaurant, P.F. Chang’s Asian Table. Combining uniquely original cocktails and excellent pan-Asian cuisine, this is the latest hot-spot to hit the West End.
Inspired by co-founder Philip Chiang’s very own dining table experiences shared with family, friends and loved ones, the menu here is designed to be shared and there’s so many mouthwatering options, that’s only a good thing because you’ll certainly want to sample more than one dish.
High end yet casual, the London opening pays homage not just to Philip’s nostalgic memories, but to his love for art, music and food. And to that point, the food is really what it’s all about here. Simple, locally sourced ingredients are made into delicious dishes via traditional techniques. There’s a team of dedicated chefs at the helm fusing Japanese, Chinese and Korean food. The Original Dynamite Shrimp (above) is a favourite starter in other locations around the world, and it’s so good I’m positive it’s going to become a popular choice in London too. I’d recommend the Chilli Jam Wings as well, the Hunan spice and sweet chilli jam is amazing on the crispy chicken.
From soups and noodles, to sushi and salads, guests are absolutely spoilt for choice as P.F. Chang’s have really thought about their menu and what all guests want from their dining experience, thereby covering all bases. You’ll find yourself mulling (read that as drooling) over the mains for a while, trust me. Grilled Lemongrass Lamb Chops, Mongolian Beef, Chinese BBQ Pork Ribs, Crispy Prawns… it’s not easy. Yet out of the two dishes my guest and I opted for in the end, it’s the Asian Marinated Rib Eye that really stole the show. The meat was juicy and had been marinated for 24 hours, and was served with an amazing wasabi mash. The Dali Chicken I ordered was great – wok fried with spring onions, sesame seeds and chilli pods, but I couldn’t help feeling like I was cheating on my dish as I kept looking across the table and meeting the gaze of that rib eye…
The sweet toothed among us will be pleased to know that there’s an open-styled Pastry Lab downstairs, so you’re in good hands when it comes to desserts. The Sticky Toffee Pudding is naughty, but always nice, while the Banana Spring Rolls count as one of your five-a-day, right?
Whether you’re a dessert-doer or not, you should definitely try a cocktail or two while you’re here. After all, they have a basement Bar Lab dedicated to the cause. Don’t worry non-drinkers, there are a number of mocktails as well.
Acting as an escape from the hustle and bustle of Great Newport Street, the two-floor restaurant and bar is casual yet elegantly playful. There are gold records lining the back of the bar, which is a nod to the spot’s former identity as Studio 51 – the jazz bar that saw the Beatles famously give The Rolling Stones the hit single ‘I Wanna Be Your Man’. There’s also a cool two-floor mural by UK street artist HOOD, which echoes China’s rich history of urban environments and archaic alleyways. Flavours from the Silk Road, cocktails inspired by LA’s trendy loft bar scene… central London’s a lucky place to be sometimes.
For more information visit www.pfchangs.co.uk