Paul Pairet’s post-modern work of genius somewhere in Shanghai
What’s the story: Founded in 2012, Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet is considered by many to be the most avant-garde restaurant experience in the world. Just 10 guests per night experience the ultimate in immersive dining in a secret city location, courtesy of the inimitable French chef-provocateur.
How it works: The high-tech gastronomic production utilises video, audio, bespoke lighting and scents – as well as the dishes and drinks themselves, of course – to stimulate the senses. Service is theatrical, but still light and personable.
On the menu: The original ‘UVA’ and subsequent ‘UVB’ and ‘UVC’ menus now rotate. All are original and witty, with dishes that crack jokes, challenge expectations and trick the eye: Tomato Mozza And Again, for example, is a clever duo of dishes – one savoury, one sweet – which appear to be identical but taste strikingly different, thereby playing with misperceptions of taste. On top of that, they also taste extremely good.
What’s the room like? Having been transported to the unmarked entrance, guests enter a cocoon-like dining space with a single spot-lit table, at which everyone eats together. The room then transforms itself throughout the evening; at one point the walls even slide back to reveal the kitchen at one end, along with the becapped Chef Pairet himself.