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As it is an outlet focusing entirely on one of the world’s most endearing portable foods, we had high hopes for Little Mermaid Hotdogs. Setting up stall on the increasingly busy “quiet” end of Yongkang Lu, the space is dressed as a modern diner. Denmark has been a long-time aficionado of bread wrapped pølse (sausage) and Little Mermaid pays homage to this Scandinavian style of hot dog,

It has a seemingly efficient but frankly convoluted ordering process for hot dogs. First, you choose the more common top-sliced bun or a fancier baguette, then either boiled or grilled sausage, followed by a selection of sauces and toppings. It comes to RMB36, or RMB55 if you add fries and a can of soda.

Not ones to argue with tradition, we opted for Little Mermaid’s suggested ensemble. What came was a medium-sized hot dog with mustard, ketchup and bacon sauce topped with diced onion and sliced gherkin. It was exactly as described, tasted exactly as a standard hot-dog should and was over within a few mouthfuls.

Elsewhere on the menu, there are no highlights. A box of fried chicken atop a mound of salty fries (RMB55) had nothing to offer over every other fast food chain in the city. Indeed, by the time we realized that the baguette option is the same bread just cut differently, the sheen had worn off. Specialty outlets need to smash their offerings out of the park. This newcomer to the hot dog scene has a long way to go before becoming a real contender for best of its breed.

  • Little Mermaid Hotdogs
  • 131-6603-9653

  • 146 Yongkang Lu (near Xiangyang Nan Lu) [map]
  • 永康路146号(近襄阳南路)

  • Hotdogs
  • ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
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