New Burger on the Block: Thanks to the always up-to-date Christine Lu from the China Business Network, we learned that Los Angeles based burger joint Fatburger is planning on expanding big into China, starting with their first restaurant at the Venetian in Macao. From their press release:
Additional Fatburger restaurants are scheduled to open in Hong Kong in the coming months: the first on Queens Road East and the second at Jia Hotel in Causeway Bay in early 2008. Fatburger also plans to open a Beijing location at Solana – the city’s first lifestyle center – in April 2008. Fatburger estimates call for approximately 25 locations in China by the end of 2010, all company-owned. Additional sites on the horizon include further locations in Hong Kong, Macao, Shenzen, Beijing and Shanghai.
Christine has an interview with Fatburger CEO and chairman Andy Weiderhorn which you can listen to or download here. Shanghaiist grew up in the greater L.A. area, and while our burger loyalties lie strictly with rival chain In ‘N Out, we know our fair share of Fatburger devotees who will be eagerly awaiting the Shanghai opening.
News from the chef world: Shanghai fusion restaurant Tian Di, located on the 3rd floor at Bund 6, has brought in Texas-based restauranteur Scott Chen to revamp the menu and operations, so expect to see changes to the food and feel of the place.
Erik Berger, chef and GM of the Naked Cow, is moving on to a new venture. We’ll keep you updated here on where he moves next.
We hear Eduardo and Kelley of the iiiit! group have parted ways with the City Diner group. Eduardo has just opened Casa 13 on Huashan Lu, and maybe had enough on his plate without having to deal with complications regarding City Diner’s Hongmei Lu restaurant. We wonder if the food quality at City Diner will suffer in any way.
The search goes on: The International Herald Tribune has now gotten into the game of finding the best xiao long bao in Shanghai. Others have been down this road before, but does the prestige of the IHT unveil anything new? Nope, Din Tai Fung it is. When does this stop being a question that still needs to be answered? Yes, the restaurant got its start in Taiwan, and yes, it doesn’t meet that food traveler qualification of being off the beaten path and cheap as hell. Let’s live with the fact that the best xiao long bao in town does indeed reside inside a fashion mall at the tail end of touristy Xintiandi.
Eric Hu is Shanghaiist’s Food Editor. Email tips, recommendations, and news and gossip about Shanghai’s food scene to food at shanghaiist.com