Modern Shanghai’s Yan’an East Road near the Bund was yesterday’s Yang Jing Bang, a creek that separated the former International Settlement and former French concession, close to the walls of the old Chinese City. The waterway stood for more than that though. It also gave its name to Shanghai’s old pidgin English, which lives on today in some Shanghainese, Chinese and even English words and phrases. It has also come to mean an unorthodox way of doing something.
Today’s Yang Jing Bang isn’t a creek or a language. It’s a series of food events which cross between foreign and Chinese cultures and comes up with something very much a product of Shanghai.
The concept is simple: good food in the Chinese tradition made with good ingredients. The cooks are Chinese and Western. The meat is from slow-reared, free range, heritage Chinese pork breeds. Noodles are hand-made, meats are home-cured and smoked.
Nat Alexander is from the UK and has made Shanghai his home for the last ten years. From a young age he has had a strong interest in food and restaurants. In 2005 he won the London Evening Standard Gourmet competition, and in 2010 he opened Fulton Place in Shanghai’s former French Concession. Fulton Place was named one of 2010’s top five new restaurants by SmartShanghai, and won Best Cocktails (Editor’s Pick) in the 2011 City Weekend Readers Choice awards.