For millions of Disney fans around the world, the long wait is over: Shanghai Disneyland has officially opened! And for Made at Sac State restaurateur Alan Wong, that means bringing a taste of California to more diners from around the world.
Over the past 15 years, Wong (’00, Philosophy) has built a culinary empire consisting of 13 restaurants across Beijing and Shanghai that have effectively cornered the local market on California-style sushi, characterized by its use of sauces and non-traditional ingredients like avocado and crab.
Wong’s restaurants, called Hatsune Sushi, took off – of the 9,199 Beijing restaurants listed on Tripadvisor, Hatsune Sushi ranked 48th in June 2016 – and Disney took notice.
For Wong, a self-described Disney buff who says he can sing most Disney movie songs, it was a dream come true to have the opportunity to open a restaurant in the Magic Kingdom. On June 16, that dream became a reality with the opening of Shanghai Disneyland, which at nearly 1,000 acres and a cost of more than $5.5 billion is the second-largest of all the Disney parks.
Made at Sac State caught up with Wong the last time he was stateside – check out his Made feature and video to see more of his culinary craft, find out what Disney character he’d be, and more.
In a city with 22 million people and thousands of dining options, Alan Wong has carved out a veritable culinary empire. This summer, his gastronomic domain will expand to the one of the happiest places on earth.
Wong (’00, Philosophy) owns and operates 12 upscale, California-style sushi restaurants in Beijing and Shanghai, and this June, he will open his 13th in the brand-new Shanghai Disneyland.
In the 15 years since he moved to China, the Sacramento native has established himself as a pioneer of the dining scene in the second-largest consumer market in the world. But his eatery in the extraordinarily exclusive Shanghai Disneyland – which opens June 16 – will be one of the crown jewels of his expansive portfolio.
Wong was the first to bring California-style sushi to Beijing, in 2001. His first venture, Hatsune Sushi, was a hit with international tourists and expatriates.
A dozen restaurants and more than 800 employees later, Wong says his philosophy education from Sacramento State still informs his business practices.
“I look at any given problem from various directions so I have a wider insight to find a solution,” Wong told Sac State Magazine in 2008. “Critical thinking, logic, and theories of metaphysics train you to be open-minded.”
That metaphysical thinking has certainly paid off, and by this summer, more diners than ever will be getting a taste of Sacramento more than 6,000 miles away.