Shanghai World Expo 2010 - Expo Food Part II

Though the food scene in China remains mostly homegrown and Chinese, foreign food culture is slowly creeping into the country. McDonalds famously opened their first Chinese outlet in Shenzhen back in 1990, and since then many others have followed in their footstep. Nowadays you will find endless Western fast food outlets and restaurants including high-end fine-dining at the major cities.

I was quite intrigued by a restaurant at the Expo – C. Straits Café, which is a homegrown chain of Western cafés making quite good inroads in China. They have countless outlets in China, and is even planning to expanding overseas. China is repackaging Western food and re-exporting it back ! Watch out – McDonald’s and KFC.

The interior of the café is quite nice and modern. There are some oriental touches here and there, but otherwise it is quite “International” in design profile.

I ordered the Steak Set Lunch which came with coffee, a soup, salad and sirloin steak. I am happy to say the coffee was very good ! The mushroom soup was quite obviously batch produced in a central kitchen, maybe even from a can. It was quite bland and watery. The salad looked very fresh, but the dressing was too light. The steak, surprisingly, was quite good. Tender and cooked to the correct doneness that I had ordered. Unfortunately the accompanying sauce was not the best quality and was a bit too salty.

I must say the food standard was similar to other Western chain restaurants I have tried overseas. Perhaps they had used them as a model for their operation. If they can bring the food standard up a few notches and maintain the pricing structure, then they have a potent formula to compete with the World. The lunch bill came to RMB 98, which was quite reasonable.


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