Earlier this week we had a chance to try P.F. Chang’s Chinese New Year menu in advance of the official start of Chinese New Year coming up on February 8. I’ve enjoyed P.F. Chang’s several times before, but not recently, so was up for a return visit. I’d seen P.F. Chang’s rank highly on the Top 10 Most Allergy-Friendly Chains list published by Allergy Eats, another reason for our family to check it out.
We visited the P.F. Chang’s at the CambridgeSide Galleria. Quick tip: the entrance to the Cambridge P.F. Chang’s is outside the Galleria Mall, on the corner by Charles St. and Edwin Land Blvd.
We were promptly met by friendly staff and shown to our table. The restaurant was pretty lively for a Tuesday evening, with the majority of tables filled, but enough free tables for us to get one without a wait. The atmosphere has enough of a chic feel to it to bring in an after work crowd while still being family friendly. The large murals on the wall of different scenes from rural China adds to the ambience, as do the lantern shaped candles on the table.
Jodi and I shared the Butternut Squash Dumplings from the P.F. Chang’s Chinese New Year menu to start. The sweet squash filling was offset by a bit of the salty soy flavor, though the butternut element is definitely the dominant taste. We gobbled those up quickly!
I considered ordering the Hong Kong Style Sea Bass or the Long Life Noodles & Prawns from the Chinese New Year menu, but opted instead for the Sichuan Chili Garlic Chicken. I was pleased with my selection. The dish has good garlic flavor and plenty of kick from the chili peppers, which were pretty abundant as you might be able to see from the photo. Definitely needed to mix in that brown rice and cool the palate down with sips of wine!
Speaking of the wine, there were several good options to choose from. They have three Rieslings on the wine list, including one from S.A. Prum I’ve enjoyed before. Riesling is a reliable pairing for Asian food, but I went with the Alexander Valley Vineyards Gewürztraminer. This wine had just enough fruity sweetness to offset the spicy heat of the Sichuan Chili Garlic Chicken. Definitely a good pairing!
I usually opt for wine with dinner, but if you are feeling adventurous in the beverage department, there is also a “Monkey Mule” on the P.F. Chang’s Chinese New Year Menu. This is twist on the traditional Moscow Mule featuring Monkey Shoulder whisky and house-made ginger beer. Could be a good option to usher in the Year of the Monkey! Maybe not on a Tuesday night though.
Another good reason to try the P.F. Chang’s Chinese New Year Menu is that the restaurant will donate $1 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America every time someone orders from the menu. They will also make a $1 donation to the cause for every social media share using the hashtag #PFChangsWish. For Chinese New year, P.F. Chang’s will also be hanging traditional Chinese red envelopes filled with free offers on trees near its restaurants. Five lucky winners across the country will open an envelope with free P.F. Chang’s for a year.
Now, to say a word about our experience at P.F. Chang’s with our son’s multiple food allergies (egg, nut, dairy and sesame seeds). They were definitely very attentive and careful about the food allergy safety concerns, which I’m sure is why they rank high on the Allergy Eats list. They explained they would take down B’s allergies and run it through their system to generate a list of good options for him to choose from. Alas, the list came back with one entree suggestions, Buddha’s Feast. Our guy has yet to warm up to tofu. The manager worked with the chef to do a simple preparation of chicken and steamed broccoli that would be safe for our guy. I guess we are used to limited choices for our boy at restaurants, and appreciate the attentiveness to safety.
Jodi wound up ordering that Buddha’s Feast, hoping our guy would at least try some. She enjoyed it, but wasn’t able to entice B to try it. He was content with his chicken and broccoli, not to mention the two strawberry lemonades he quickly slurped down!
So there you have it, a quick preview of the P.F. Chang’s Chinese New Year Menu. The Year of the Monkey starts Monday, a good time to get out and enjoy some Chinese food and support a good cause in the process.