The Real China, the Chinese restaurant chain, is to open 35 to 40 new sites in the UK over the next three years. The chain is owned and backed by the Hengjia Group, which operates around 102 Chinese herbal medicine stores in the UK under the Dr China and Tao Centre brands. The company, which opened its first The Real China at the beginning of 2005 in Golders Green, London, currently operates 11 restaurants ranging geographically from Shrewsbury to Yeovil. It plans to expand its estate by rolling out two concepts a smaller High Street “buffet style” format, and a larger format aimed at leisure developments and shopping centres. The smaller restaurants range from 1,000sq ft to 1,500 sq ft in size and from 30 covers to 125 covers, while the larger sites ranges from 4,500sq ft to 6,000 sq ft and have up to 240 covers. The company expects to open another two or three restaurants this year Mark Hillier, property director, said: “At first we will concentrate on rolling out the larger restaurants but having the two formats allows us to be flexible when it comes to quickly targeting quality sites when they becomes available. “When it comes to the eventual rollout potential I can see us matching someone like Nando’s.” Hillier also said the company was starting to churn its older sites as it looks to upgrade its estate, with negotiations over the sale of its original Golders Green restaurant in progress.