Sometimes I question my heritage when I’m happily indulging in the king of Americanized Chinese food, Panda Express, but all my other Chinese friends seem to love it as well so I know I’m not alone. The largest Chinese restaurant chain in the country has apparently cast its eye towards the Motherland, according to Forbes. Yup, you heard me, Panda Express will attempt to woo taste buds in China with its celebrated beef and broccoli and kung pao chicken dishes.
Unlike Western counterparts KFC and McDonald’s, Panda Express won’t have to tweak their menu too much to cater to the Mainlander’s taste. After all, they are already serving Chinese food, albeit Americanized. NPR cited Chinese American writer, Jennifer 8. Lee, who thinks Panda Express won’t make the cut. “The Chinese food we eat in America is very alien to Chinese people,” says Lee.
Psshhh, I’m totally rooting for Panda Express, and I personally think it’s going to do well in China. After all, cheeseburgers and McNuggets are definitely more “alien” than sweet and sour chicken. At least Panda Express serves its dishes with rice, the staple ingredient that every fob can’t eat a meal without. It’s quick, cheap, greasy good, and full of carbs — what’s not to love? Not to mention, Panda Express will definitely be a step up (in terms of hygiene) from street food, because at least we know the staff won’t be cooking with sewer oil! Its success will definitely depend on their execution and how they time their entrance into the market.
What’s next? Olive Garden to Italy?