California-based burger chain Fatburger is about to take a bigger bite abroad with hundreds of locations to open over the next several years.

Nation's Restaurant News writes that the company signed a partnership deal with Puji Capital Limited, a China-based investment bank and asset management firm, to make the expansion possible. The bulk of the expansion will be focused on China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore. Currently, Fatburger operates three franchise locations in Beijing and a corporate unit in Macau.

By the end of 2012, nearly half all Fatburger's 150 locations will be international units, in Canada, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Iraq, Korea, Indonesia, China and Macau. Another 225 are in development, and the company hopes to expand into more nations in the Middle East, the U.K., North Africa and Pakistan.

Fastcasual.com writes that Puji Capital Limited representative Robert Eberenz said Fatburger will appeal to "the region's increasingly affluent and taste conscious consumers."

Fatburger has achieved near cult status in California culture, much thanks to references in popular hip hop music. Ice Cub mentions the restaurant chain in his 1993 hit "It Was A Good Day," as did Tupac Shakur in "Late Night," a track off his posthumous 2002 album "Better Dayz."

Kanye West opened ten Fatburgers in the greater Chicago area in 2008, though the flagship Orland Park location closed in early 2011.

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