Japanese restaurant chain operator Eat & Holdings Co. has started serving meals at its first Chinese outlet of the new-style Osaka Ohsho dumpling diner in Shanghai prior to its grand opening next month.

The first Osaka Fun Dining Osaka Ohsho restaurant, located at the Henderson Metropolitan shopping mall in downtown Shanghai, offers specialty dishes from Osaka in addition to regular Chinese food including gyoza dumplings and ramen noodles, the Tokyo-based company said. Saturday's pre-opening came ahead of the grand opening scheduled for Oct. 10.

In January, Eat & International Co., which engages in the group's overseas operation, set up Eat and Fun Co., a Shanghai-based joint venture with Laox Co. to promote its restaurant business in China. Eat and Fun runs the new eatery.

The new restaurant is equipped with an open kitchen, enabling customers to watch the chefs cook their meals. About 60% of the menu items are specialty dishes from Osaka and it is hoped that each customer will spend around 120 yuan ($18.5).

Tomonori Takada, president and representative director of Eat & International, said, "We will try to distinguish ourselves from rival restaurants by having customers feel value more than prices."

The group operates 22 Osaka Ohsho restaurants overseas, including Thailand and Singapore, but the new restaurant in China is the first to offer Osaka specialty dishes in addition to Chinese dishes, according to Takada.

Eat and Fun will expand its own outlets in Shanghai until 2022 and then consider opening franchise restaurants in other cities near Shanghai in 2023 and beyond, Takada said.