Posted by: Sienna Howarde in: Restaurant Quotes
Unless youre out for a fine-dining splurge, duck and lamb can be hard to chase down in this beef and pork-focused city. But I found good takes on both during a recent visit to P.F. Changs China Bistro.
The VIP duck ($19.95) elegantly presents a boneless breast of duck fanned out alongside a thigh portion and a simple garnish of fresh cucumbers and scallions. As is common with the white Pekin breed, the breast yielded pleasing tenderness, but little by way of flavor; the darker meat, however, had it in spades. Both portions benefited greatly from their deeply flavored, intriguingly sweet soy marinade, brightened with ginger.
While I enjoyed the duck, the wok-seared lamb ($15.95) was even better. Flavors of mustard, sesame oil and cilantro shot through the thin, tender strips, which truly did taste of a wok-seared quality: that lightly caramely, subtly charred flavor that comes from being cooked in a pan that has been used for hundreds, if not thousands, of meals.
I also appreciate that entrées come with a choice of brown rice; it can be a challenge to get whole grain in the diet when dining out.
Yet another reason this visit won my admiration: On one of the hottest days of the year, the red wine was served at a perfect cool temperature, while the white was refreshingly cold. Say what you will about chain and corporate restaurants, but they generally take care to keep their wines fresh and serve them at their best.
Only one item fell short during the visit: The shrimp dumplings arrived chewy and soft, as they should be, but without much shrimp flavor.
P.F. Changs is at 110 S. Jordan Creek Parkway, West Des Moines; 457-7772.