Fujian food favorite Shaxian Snacks opened their first branch in the US in New York on October 15. Located on Eighth Avenue in Brooklyn, the eatery swung open its doors to serve up the likes of peanut butter noodles and mini soup wontons at 8am, but had shut up shop just three hours later. Why? Too many people.
It’s not clear why this “news” is only just making it to China (Shaxian’s own social media accounts have seemed more interested in making fun of Wang Sicong’s hotdog eating than in promoting the US outlet), but naturally Chinese audiences on social media have lapped it up.
Sina breaks the news on Weibo earlier today
The outlet had originally planned to open at 11am but heeded apparent calls from customers to start their opening day business early. Yet three hours after opening they were completely out of everything on the menu. Having recalibrated their stock and prep chains, the restaurant has still been churning out orders on average every couple of minutes over the past month according to reports, with crowds of people still seen outside the branch.
Not in New York? It’s a scene that might be coming to a street near you regardless. The Fujianese diaspora is a far-flung and fairly prevalent one — London’s China Town has a strong presence from Fuqing county for example — and The Global Times quotes chain owner Shao Binfang as saying the NYC branch “is just a small step for the company, Shaxian Delicacies, to go global.”
The restaurant’s Pacman-ish logo is a pretty ubiquitous sight in China, where it’s estimated there are around 60,000 outlets bearing the name. Only around 500 of these cheap eat destinations are officially owned by the parent company however, with the rest belonging to franchisees — something that can result in inconsistencies in just how tasty your peanut butter noodles are from branch to branch.
So is Shaxian Snacks the hottest restaurant in New York right now? There’s quite a few names jostling for that hyperbolic mantle of course, but how many can claim they were shuttered due to over-demand in just a matter of hours? RADII will be sending a reporter to Brooklyn’s Fujian foodie magnet to investigate further just as soon as we can get one in the door.
Cover image: Xinhua
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