PF Chang’s is a Pan-Asian cuisine restaurant that was started in the U.S. and as of 2018, there are 305 restaurants that are operating across the globe! It’s quite a big number, to be honest. Although it originated as a casual Chinese restaurant, it has become a fancy place to dine out in various parts of the world including Dubai and Jeddah. I am sure, a lot of Pakistanis may have had a chance to dine in at PF Chang’s in the USA or other countries.
And this is the reason there was a lot of hype when we heard in the summer PF Chang’s was opening up in Pakistan, specifically Lahore. EVERYONE was hyped up including me since one of the best and most well-known restaurant chains from abroad was coming to our country.
But my excitement was short-lived, and I must say, the place did not live up to the expectations of many after it opened in the city.
My experience With PF Chang’s Abroad
Before moving on, let me share with you what I felt at PF Chang’s for the first time when I was in Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) last year. PF Chang’s and The Cheesecake Factory are probably the best restaurants to have fancy dining in Jeddah, and I availed myself the chance to enjoy the moments at both of them. Each better than the other in its own special way; but, Cheesecake Factory’s Cheesecakes were absolutely matchless. However, my experience with PF Chang’s was simply awesome.
It was a dimly lit restaurant located on Jeddah’s Tahlia Street. Although simple, the exterior looked great, and the interior was wonderful likewise. And above all, the food was up to my expectations. It was everything everyone told me it would be – and more.
Everything we ordered was a treat to our taste buds, and how can I forget their Dynamite Shrimps which are to die for. I’m sure any Pakistani who has visited PF Chang’s abroad wouldn’t complain about their service. The waiters were efficient, and the food was equally worth the price we paid.
Without getting into too much detail about my experience abroad, I’d like to sum up my experience in Pakistan in just one word: Disappointing!
My Experience In Pakistan
I don’t usually get disappointed with the restaurants very easily, I’m such a crazy foodie, but PF Chang’s really was a bad experience.
Perhaps, it was my fault, that out of curiosity, I decided to visit the restaurant within the first two weeks of its opening, and there was too much crowd to serve. But didn’t they plan before starting the place? After all, the first impression IS the last impression at least for me.
Right before the opening of the restaurant, the exterior was unveiled, and it looked majestic! Two big horses up front, it looked great and intimidated me, even more, to visit it as soon as possible. A few days later, I went to experience it with my friends, and as expected, had to wait for about an hour, roughly, to get a table. That’s acceptable I guess, after all, Lahoris are crazy for food.
The Interior And Ambience Of The Restaurant
My first disappointment was the interior which was no match to what I had experienced at PF Chang’s Jeddah.
Personally speaking, I didn’t really like the lighting, the seating arrangement, let alone the seating itself. It was too noisy, and restlessness was all over the place. Not sure if the interior decorator was inspired by Pizza Hut? However, I must say, the Murals on the opposite walls of the restaurant’s entrance were quite impressive.
The Food and The Service
Once my friends and I settled in, we decided to go through the menu which looked almost the same as in Jeddah – so we decided to order 2 starters and 4 main courses.
Just like I expected right after I stepped in, it took FOREVER to get the attention of a waiter.
For the starters, we decided to go for their all-time famous Dynamite Shrimps, and being a sushi lover; I decided to order their California Rolls. The Dynamite Shrimps were amazing in taste; I don’t think I noticed much of a difference with what I had abroad. 10/10 I would recommend!
The sushi, however, wasn’t so great and I wouldn’t recommend anyone to go there for it.
As for the main courses, we ordered Sweet and Sour Chicken, Chang’s Spicy Chicken, the Mongolian Beef, and the Pepper Beef Steak.
Out of all, the Mongolian Beef was the best one. The rest of the food was not warm, and it appeared as if the food was cooked much before our order and served to us without warming it up again. Not to mention, we had to wait a long time for our food to arrive at our table.
And how can I forget to mention that I had to call waiters a number of times to get us our drinks? We received our drinks halfway through our food, which was annoying. The waiters would not listen to us at all.
PF Chang’s special sauces were served to us which were really short in quantity. I had to ask them 5 times at least before someone came back with more sauces again.
All in all, I don’t think the food was up to the mark either and I can openly express that PF Chang’s in Lahore was really a disappointment. After being thoroughly annoyed, we decided not to have the dessert there and we left.
I must say, I had quite high expectations from PF Chang’s in Lahore, especially, since it opened up on MM Alam. I felt it would beat Cafe Aylanto’s ambiance and take away a few of their loyal customers (including me!) but I guess that won’t be happening anytime soon. Several people I know had almost the same complaints.
Delayed service, cold food, and the untrained staff are enough to keep me away from the place.