You’ve probably already spotted it at Villaggio. If not, you’re almost certain to have heard about it. Chinese restaurant P. F. Chang’s has opened up in Doha. We talk to one half of the chain’s founder, Philip Chiang
Are you excited about the new restaurant in Doha?
I’m really excited about opening our first P. F. Chang’s in Doha. The response so far has been extremely positive and it seems to me that the Doha customers have been anxiously waiting for us to arrive!
Did you believe, when you set out in 1993, that the restaurant chain would be such a success?
We call P. F. Chang’s a collection of restaurants because, even though we have more than 270 locations around the world, no two P. F. Chang’s are the same. Each restaurant has a unique look, while keeping some of our core brand attributes consistent, like the murals or the horses. I never thought P. F Chang’s would be a global brand, but thanks to the loyalty of our guests it is a reality today. We are very successful in the Middle East region and look forward to opening many more restaurants in Qatar and the GCC countries as well.
What made you want to set up a restaurant with your partner Paul Fleming?
Paul was a customer of mine in my restaurant The Mandarette in Beverly Hills. He really liked my food and when he moved to Scottsdale, Arizona to open up his steakhouses, he offered to partner with him to open a restaurant with contemporary Chinese food. My food is lighter and fresher, so it was a very new way of eating Chinese for the American consumers.
What are the special dishes at P. F. Chang’s?
My favorities are the traditional and best sellers like Mongolian beef, chicken lettuce wraps, dynamite shrimp and Chang’s spicy chicken. One other dish that is really tasty is the oolong sea bass that is marinated in oolong tea for several hours and served over a bed of sautéed spinach.
What do you usually eat at home?
I never cook Asian food because it requires a lot of preparation. I usually fix Italian, although I eat out a lot! I am lucky because Los Angeles, where I live, offers cuisine from all over the world, so I enjoy many varied dishes when I am home.
P. F. Chang’s is located at Villaggio Mall, Aspire Zone (4413 5444).