Local Talk: Nat Alexander

They say good things come in threes, and in 2010, Shanghai got Sinan Mansions, Jiashan Market and Surpass Court to tide the city’s revellers into the new year with plenty of dining, drinking and shopping options. The latter is housed just a stone’s throw from Pushkin Triangle, guaranteeing this little corner of the French Concession will become as gentrified as Yongfu Lu by the end of this year. Nat Alexander, owner of Fulton Place, gave us the inside scoop on his neighbouring tenants in Surpass Court’s five building complex.

Wan Ling Tea House

Selling the leaves of a tea-growing family, Wan Ling Tea House is a welcoming haven for Chinese tea aficionados. The undeniable scent of quality tea hits you as soon as you walk through the doors, and the friendly English-speaking staff is happy to pour you a cup of longjing and chat about the different varieties they sell. Alexander vouches for the store’s excellence, and Fulton Place, along with a handful of hotels throughout the city, is now serving Wan Ling’s teas to its diners.

Bldg 2, Shop 215, 570 Yongjia Lu, near Yueyang Lu. Tel: 6073 7573. Web: www.wanlingteahouse.com

Fulton Place

Fulton Place demolished stereotypes of British food when it opened in 2010. “We wanted to get rid of the stuffiness that comes with fine dining and create a place where you can get excellent food at a reasonable price,” says Alexander. A goal they handily achieved, the cheeky Fulton Place has been anchoring the Surpass Court complex with its street front property and legions of loyal foodie fans. Chef Marc Johnson’s brief but poignant menu has nothing but hits on it, but, in the name of research, we’ll keep going back to look for a chink in his culinary armour. 

1F, Bldg 1, 570 Yongjia Lu, near Yueyang Lu. Tel: 3461 1775. Web: www.fultonplace.cn


Even celebrities have their eye on Surpass Court, with Fount seeing some considerable backing from Chinese movie star Hu Ge. The expansive Japanese bar and restaurant offers a wine cellar, private dining rooms, sleek lounge, sushi bar and stage for its Thursday and Friday night live acts. And that’s all on top of its main tables, which lay just on the other side of the floor-to-ceiling windows that look out on to the flowing bamboo river. Add to that candlelit and blonde wood panelling throughout and Fount is, in a word, date-worthy.

1F, Bldg 5, 570 Yongjia Lu, near Yueyang Lu. Tel: 6073 7786

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