Through the month of February, you can help P.F. Chang's grant wishes benefiting the Boys & Girls Club of America by ordering from their special Chinese New Year Menu.
Cooking was never really my mother's thing. To make things easier on herself, she'd make certain dishes on regular rotation, but she definitely preferred ordering take-out over orchestrating a home-cooked meal. And, without a doubt, Chinese take-out was her favorite.
I'd often go with her to the restaurant to pick up our order, and one of my favorite things to do was to read (and reread) the explanation of the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac that was printed on their paper placements. I'd start with my sign -- the Monkey -- and then look up the signs for every member of my family.
The Chinese New Year officially started this past Monday, and this year is another Year of the Monkey. In celebration of the holiday, P.F. Chang's is offering a special Chinese New Year Menu through the month of February that features six new menu items.
The menu of symbolically lucky dishes includes:
- Handmade Butternut Squash Dumplings ($7.50)
- Sichuan Chili-Garlic Chicken ($16.50)
- Long Life Noodles & Prawns ($14.95)
- Hong Kong Style Sea Bass ($26.95)
- Mandarin Cake ($6.50)
- Apple Chai Cobbler ($7.25)
I was invited to check out the menu, so we decided to make the meal it a family affair. While Stephen and I decided what we wanted to try, Caroline kept herself amused by chewing on a pair of chopsticks.
Obviously, we're going to have to work on her technique.
To start, we ordered the Handmade Butternut Squash Dumplings to share. Filled with a creamy puree of butternut squash, these dumplings were served with a umami butter sauce that added a silky richness to the dish and balanced out the natural sweetness of the squash.
Although the dumplings were a little overcooked and gummy, Stephen and I both really enjoyed the overall flavor of the dish.
And Caroline? She LOVED the dumplings. Every time she saw us getting ready to have another bite, she'd open her mouth for her taste.
I'm not terribly surprised that she helped us gobble up those dumplings. Especially given how enthusiastic she is when she eats butternut squash purée at home.
For his entrée, Stephen ordered the Long Life Noodles & Prawns. Fresh egg noodles and roasted chili peppers are tossed in a wok with preserved black beans and scallions and then served topped with crispy garlic prawns.
I only ate of couple of bites, but they were flavorful bites!
The fermented black beans really accentuated the garlic in the prawns and gave this seemingly simple dish some depth and power. And the chili peppers added a nice little bit of heat that left my lips tingling.
I had initially planned on ordering the noodles myself but wound up changing my mind at the last minute. Instead, I ordered the Sichuan Chili-Garlic Chicken so we'd be able to try more of the menu.
The portion size was very generous for lunch, but the dish felt a little unbalanced for me. The chicken was severely under-seasoned and bland all on its own. When paired with the spicy chili-garlic glaze, though, the chicken really came alive (well, not literally) and I loved the subtle heat from the roasted chili peppers.
Overall, though, we had a fantastic meal and had a lot of fun introducing Caroline to the food at P.F. Chang's.
The limited-time Chinese New Year Menu will be available at P.F. Chang's locations through the end of February. As an added bonus, the the restaurant will be donating $1 to the Boys & Girls Club of America each time a guest orders an item off that menu.
They'll also be donating $1 to the organization for every Chinese New Year wish that is shared on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter using the hashtag #PFChangsWish. The restaurant will be randomly selecting and granting customer wishes throughout the month, so be sure to share your wish on social media!
Plymouth Meeting Mall
510 West Germantown Pike
Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462
Disclosure: I was provided the opportunity to try the Chinese New Year Menu at P.F. Chang's China Bistro in Plymouth Meeting, PA at minimal cost to me. I did not accept monetary compensation for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.
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