Sunday, February 12, 2012

Every year, my mom would give her single children valentines gifts on feb 14. Being perpetually single, I was always on the receiving end of this sort-of-sad ritual. This year, however, she and my dad decided to take us out to watch a movie and have Sunday lunch together instead. Deciding on the movie was chaotic – kuya Paolo wanted Safe House, mama The Vow, while I wouldn’t watch anything that isn’t Star Wars Episode 1 in 3d, so we decided to skip the movie altogether.

If deciding on the movie was complicated, wait til we get to lunch.

We had late breakfast (hash brown, mashed and mixed with melted cheezwhiz ketchup, and hotdog bits – absolutely heavenly), so we decided to avoid the crowd and have late lunch as well. Not a bad plan since deciding on where to eat takes us hours. We trimmed down our choices to three – Bonchon, Wee Nam Kee and PF Changs. God I’m pretty fed up with Chinese, can’t you tell? We were the 9th in Wee Nam Kee, and Bonchon’s full too, so PF Changs was the best choice. In PF Changs, we were told that we had to wait an hour to be seated. That was around 1:30pm.  By that time, we were already exhausted from walking to and fro ATC (which we’ve done about 5 times in search of a good restaurant), so imagine our faces while saying what the hell, we’ll wait.

We whiled away in the arcade (while my parents were being old people sitting around drinking rootbeer somewhere). Have I ever mentioned that kuya Paolo is such a lousy basketball player? So much so that I beat him twice on a shooting game. Kuya Rammil, on the other hand, is getting quite old. He got so exhausted after one game that I’m pretty sure he was excited to get home and sleep after. So much more after lunch. Being that he never gets fat, he eats twice as much as kuya Paolo and I combined. Lunch was amazing. I say I’ve had too much Chinese, but I always end up enjoying it. Well, those that we had was quite better than what I've expected. Compared to other Chinese restaurants in the area, the new PF Changs in town is quite classy. I love the ambiance, the terracotta warriors and horses (insisting my dad gets one for the veranda haha), the high ceiling, the bar, the fancy lights and the food!

Didn't get to take a good picture of the place since we didn't have that good seating. But here's one from ourawesomeplanet (which also has a good and detailed review of the place):
We have this joke at home that kuya Rammil would one day become a sauce chef (yes, sauce), because this is what he does best. So we had a few snickers while our server brought out this condiments rack and showed us how to mix honey mustard with chili, soy sauce, etc etc.
Crispy Honey Shrimp (P425) lightly battered and tossed in flavorful sauce (which is really basically sweet and sour). We don’t usually order more than one shrimp dish because Kuya Paolo is allergic to shrimp and crabs, but we couldn’t decide between this and the shrimp with Candied Walnuts, so we ordered both. Personally, I'm not a big fan of the sweet and sour sauce, but this one didn't have too much flavor so I didn't feel like I've had too much after my third piece. 7/10
Shrimp with Candied Walnuts (P460) tender shrimp tossed in a creamy sauce with honeydew melon. This has got to be my favorite. The playful balls of honeydew was a nice touch. 10/10
Double Pan-Fried Noodles (P265) semi-crisp egg noodles stir-fried with vegetables, and pork. I'm not a big fan of noodles ( I really only like Lucky Me Pancit Canton, Yakisoba and Chapche), but I like the crispiness of the egg noodles in this one. 8/10  
P.F. Chang’s Fried Rice (P200) Wok-fried rice blended with egg, soy and sliced scallions mixed with vegetable. This one's okay. I don't think I'll ever be easy to please with fried rice after trying Spicy Garlik's Harakiri. 7/10
Hunan Pork (P375) Tender pork with crisp red and green bell peppers, onions and snow peas. Not a favorite, but it's good. 7/10 

Kung Pao Chicken (P365) quick-fired with peanuts, chili peppers and scallions. Not bad, not that good either. A bit too strong (sweet?) for my taste. 6/10
Hunan-style Hot Fish (P650) crispy slices of fish in a tangy, spicy sauce with stir-fried vegetables. I'm not a big fan of fish dishes, but I loved this one, so that's got to mean something, right? 8/10
Mango Cheese Wontons (P150)Mango and cream cheese in a wonton wrapper. Fried to a golden brown and served with chocolate sauce. I love mangoes, and I love cream cheese, so putting them together brought me to a new level of hiiigh. 9/10 
Mama cutting kuya Paolo's tall tales to show him the bill.
Kuya Rammil pointing out how the rattan lights compliment the floor-to-ceiling Chinese mural.

Papa prior to eating - strangely smiling despite being cranky and starving (the reason why we skipped appetizer and went straight to main course). 

Last Friday, my brother brought me home a box of heart-shaped doughnuts from Krispy Kreme and I remember thinking to myself: who needs a valentines date! I'm never really bothered by Valentine's, contrary to acting bitter which is exactly what is expected of me being that I'm single. I look at Valentine's like I look at any other day, which doesn't really make it a happy day, but the thing is - it's not extraordinary. I mean it's not a day to be extraordinarily sad just because I'm not extraordinarily happy. But I surprisingly eat a lot during Valentine's, so I guess that means I'm a little affected by it. Or, you know, maybe I just really love to eat. I'd exchange a guy who'll eventually break my heart and me apart for a buffet at Spiral any day! I don't mean that.


  1. whuuuttt there's also PF changs there sa Phil?? love ko yung Dynamite Shrimps .. :) ATC right?

  2. They just opened actually. Yup, sa ATC. Dynamite Shrimps? All right, will try that one next :)