Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet – evolution
Situated at a secret location somewhere in Shanghai, Ultraviolet takes its guests on a culinary journey where the music, lighting and even the smell of the room are all carefully chosen to match the plate. This holistic approach takes fine dining to a whole different level and turns dinner at Ultraviolet into a truly unique experience.
Chef Patron Paul Pairet has long been playing with the idea of cooking at the highest level possible by taking control of all the elements surrounding food. Three years after launching his modern eatery Mr. & Mrs. Bund, he finally opened his dream restaurant in May 2012 following years of construction works and setbacks. Serving a twenty course set menu for only ten people at a time, he and his 25 members of staff now have the ultimate flexibility to get the most out of every dish.
Upon booking, guests are given a location to meet up and enjoy a first apéritif before being driven to the dining table in a blinded van. All guests are seated at one big table in the middle of an empty room coloured by 360-degree projections. Throughout the evening, every move is closely watched from a control room backstage, allowing the staff to play with the timing, music and the visuals on the wall as dinner advances. The philosophy behind this is that every dish should be served under the best possible conditions, from oysters on a rainy beach to a midnight snack on a New York rooftop.
While the menu is strongly influenced by traditional French cuisine, guests are taken on a journey around the world through a variety of dishes, ranging from a laitière cup filled with Thai fruit yoghurt to a supreme piece of veal served as a Middle Eastern beggar’s dish. Just when you think you are getting a hold of the menu, there is more. Doors swing open, projections change and all of a sudden the French national anthem sung in Japanese is blasting through the room to accompany the next sashimi dish. It is this playful element of surprise that makes Ultraviolet truly stand out: it is not only top notch culinary dinner, it is an artistic performance at the same time.
Getting a hold of the right ingredients can be an issue in China, but thanks to a close cooperation with local suppliers Ultraviolet only serves the best meat, vegetables and seafood available. Chef Paul Pairet and his team use these carefully selected products to play mind games throughout the menu. Service can be misleading and the guests’ perception is challenged by plates that look identical yet taste completely different. Modern techniques are widely used, yet only when they enhance the flavour or radically change the nature of a dish. Similarly, the drinks accompanying the menu are just as creative, with impressive home-made drinks being served next to stunning world class wines.
Going to Ultraviolet is more than having dinner, it is an all-encompassing experience that touches all senses. If you are into inventive, outside of the box cooking and want to be surprised from the start to finish, then this is your place.
Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet scored 92 of 100 points in our rating system. View our Top 60 of the world. Back to the reviews.
By Sebastiaan and Johan
Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet