theaustralian.com.au – Xu Man had never eaten at a White Castle. But she saw the 2004 buddy film Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle and was eager to sample its hamburgers when the American chain opened a store just off Shanghai’s popular Nanjing Road shopping district.
“I’m going to come again,” said Ms Xu, 19, after polishing off two sliders. “I can eat three burgers here, whereas I can only eat one at McDonald’s. There are also more flavours to choose from.”
White Castle is betting on China’s curiosity for Western food, rising beef consumption and a trend towards smaller portions to make the case for expansion here. It opened two stores in Shanghai this past northern summer and hopes to eventually open more.
“We were really intrigued by the opportunities in China, and think that it’s the future,” said Jamie Richardson, a vice-president of the privately held company based in Columbus, Ohio.
Founded in 1921, White Castle was one of the first fast-food chains, and is widely credited with inventing the slider — small hamburgers that can be gobbled in a few bites.
Like other fast-food chains that have moved into the Chinese market, White Castle is making some concessions to local tastes. In addition to its beef hamburgers, the menu includes a meatless spicy tofu burger made from maps tofu, a Sichuanese classic, as well as a cherry duck slider — smoked duck drenched in a cherry sauce.
This isn’t much of a surprise with food brands expanding all over the world, HOWEVER I’m definitely intrigued by the menu. I’m trying to see what one of those cherry duck sliders are talking about. I think they need to give us the good folks at Just Grubbin a Crave Case to do a taste test before it hits the market.