In the last year alone, Old Town Scottsdale has gone from having very few options to having a decent selection when it comes to Chinese food. In the past when you wanted to satisfy that late night craving that only Asian food could fill, you basically had to head to one of the popular sushi joints or go to PF Chang’s by the mall. However Rich Sullivan, one of the original creators of PF Chang’s, saw an opportunity to fill that gap and offer a more relaxed atmosphere to satisfy those of us left wandering Old Town with empty stomachs.
Enter Sunshine Moon Peking Pub, a laid back restaurant offering tasty dishes from different Asian regions but with a Chinese food focus. From Mongolian Beef to Soft Egg Noodles with Fried Egg, this “pub” has some solid choices to go well with a cold beer or their extensive wine list. After reading about initial press releases for Sunshine Moon and hearing from their active Twitter account (@ChineseChow), I decided to give their food a try. Our group would be trying over 10 dishes to really get a feel for the place.
One of the first things to do when I enter any place calling themselves a pub is order a beer. Sunshine Moon offers 3 beers on draft which are Anchor Steam, Sapporro and Michelob while having about 10 others in bottles. They also have a bar seating area with a TV which could make for a good place to stop on the weekends to fill up on Chinese before heading out to the popular spots in Old Town…if that’s your scene. I will say though that the prices are just a bit higher than normal for drinks, with a draft beer averaging $7 and bottles around $5 or $6. The wine list however was good size and prices were reasonable by the glass.
Now for the food. Here’s a quick rundown of what we tried:
- Cucumber Salad
- Asian Chicken Wings
- Shrimp Dumplings
- Veggie Spring Rolls
- Coconut Shrimp
- Bacon Wrapped Asparagus
- Mongolian Beef
- Orange Peel Chicken
- Shrimp in Lobster Sauce
- Soft Noodles with Soft Egg
- Peking Pub Burger
- Twice Woked Noodles with Chicken
Right off the bat I noticed that if 2 or 3 appetizers were combined they would make a perfect meal in themselves. My pick would be to have the Chicken Wings and Shrimp Dumplings next time I come back. The wings had a nice glaze to them that made for a sweet and sour flavor, which I later found out was a result of pineapple, honey and a vinegar glaze among a few other ingredients. The shrimp dumplings on the other hand had virtually no glaze or flavor on the outside but the inside was what hit you. The shrimp was good and paired with the ginger-honey dipping sauce it came with, I could sit at the bar and pop these things all night long.
As for the other appetizers, the only other one I was really impressed with was the Bacon Wrapped Asparagus. First off, what’s not to like about bacon wrapped anything? And second, asparagus could be one of my favorite vegetables so this combo was a winner with me. The chef uses hickory-smoked bacon around six spears of asparagus and then stacks them onto a small mound. This was another thing I could see myself just eating all night but it’s a good thing I didn’t or I’d have to walk home to burn it off.
Next up…entrees. Let me start by saying that P.F. Chang’s has or used to have similar dishes and I remember people on Yelp complaining of too much salt, but it seems that is not a problem here. The Mongolian Beef was by far the crowd favorite at the table, served with green and yellow onions. My next choice would be the soft noodles with “soft egg” which is essentially a fried egg on top. Combined with chicken it was refreshing to have some soft egg noodles among all the rice and crispier appetizers. But on the flip side, I would warn against the Peking Pub Burger unless you really want to feel full. The burger comes with grilled onions and a special mayonnaise which can have a fried egg and bacon added to it for $1.50 each. All this served on top of a Brioche bun made for a messy and very heavy (filling) burger that I just can’t justify for $13 after egg and bacon are added.
However all together I would say Sunshine Moon has something going for them in the gap their trying to fill. It may not be gourmet Chinese or authentic, but they’re not trying to be and they do a good job of providing tasty food in a fun atmosphere. I’ll end in saying that most dishes here really do go great with a drink from the bar and would make a great start to a night out in Old Town Scottsdale.
Tip: Happy hour goes from 4-6 pm Tuesday – Friday and Bacon Wrapped Asparagus is on the menu along with drinks starting at $4.
4175 N. Goldwater Blvd
Scottsdale, AZ 85251