“Best Food Experience in Shanghai, EXCELLENT”
“What a blast!”
“The BEST Night I Had in 5 Years Living in China”
“Book your seat now.”
These are the first four views of the avant-garde restaurant Ultraviolet on the trending review platform Foursquare.
Ultraviolet is a high-tech, multi-sensory eating experience restaurant that only allows ten customers per night and uses a combination of lights, projections, noises, smells, and, of course, food in, as it is stated, “somewhere” in Shanghai, that allows no one to know the exact location. In May 2012 the restaurant was opened with great fame by French chef Paul Pairet and the VOL Group.
Each night, the restaurant provides a single 20+ dish dinner menu for ten diners at a single table with ten seats, costing the customers around $600 to $860. The eating area at Ultraviolet is austere and devoid of any decorations, artifacts, paintings, or vistas. Dry fragrance projectors, stage and UV lighting, 360-degree wall projection, table projectors, beam speakers, and a multichannel speaker system are some of the high-end multi-sensory technological features available in the restaurant. To put each course of the menu in perspective and enhance its unique ambiance, it is accompanied by lighting, sounds, music, and fragrances.
The original inspiration for Ultraviolet came from Pairet's wish to ease the technological restrictions of the conventional restaurant, which is set up to offer "a la carte" service. Preparation techniques that Pairet deems "sub-standard" are necessary for this kind of organization. In ways that most conventional restaurants cannot, Ultraviolet can maximize the control and quality of cooking by monitoring the timing of the courses and providing a set menu — a business model with origins in the old "table d'hôte" idea. With this control, Ultraviolet may use multi-sensory technologies to manipulate and regulate the environment for each dish.
To drive and manage the "psycho taste" and improve how food is perceived, ultraviolet uses technology that has historically been employed in other disciplines. This idea is founded on Pairet's fascination with and desire to arouse what he refers to as the "psycho-taste." According to Howie Kahn's article in The New York Times, Pairet believed that eating may "serve as a portal to the mind" and that "psycho taste dives into the notion that memories, connections, expectations, ideas, misunderstandings, pleasures, and anxieties all play a role in the experience of a meal."
After receiving two stars in the first edition of the Michelin Guide Shanghai, Ultraviolet now has three stars as of the second edition's publication in September 2017. According to Time 2018, it is one of the world's best locations.
"The experience unfolds as a play. Food leads. Each course is enhanced with its own taste-tailored atmosphere: lights, sounds, music, scents, projection, images and imagination... and food,"
“Ultraviolet (Restaurant).” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 14 June 2022, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultraviolet_(restaurant).
“Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet – Shanghai - a Michelin Guide Restaurant.” MICHELIN Guide, guide.michelin.com/en/shanghai-municipality/shanghai/restaurant/ultraviolet-by-paul-pairet.
“Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet, Shanghai - Jing'an - Menu, Prices & Restaurant Reviews.” Tripadvisor, www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g308272-d3295750-Reviews-Ultraviolet_by_Paul_Pairet-Shanghai.html.
Ultraviolet. Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet, uvbypp.cc/.
Warren, Katie. “Only 10 Guests Can Eat at This Michelin-Starred Restaurant per Night, Where a Meal Costs $600 and the Dining Room Is Transformed by High-Tech Lights, Sounds, and Scents throughout the Evening.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 1 Nov. 2018, www.businessinsider.com/immersive-restaurant-ultraviolet-shanghai-high-tech-michelin-starred-2018-10#new-york-times-columnist-frank-bruni-ate-at-the-restaurant-in-2013-and-found-the-food-to-be-excellent-writing-just-when-all-of-this-starts-to-feel-too-gimmicky-too-fast-too-much-pairet-slows-everything-down-for-three-relatively-straightforward-main-courses-of-sea-bass-rack-of-lamb-and-wagyu-that-have-a-classic-french-pedigree-and-leave-no-doubts-about-his-mettle-as-a-cook-theyre-a-pivotal-breather-and-they-were-breathtaking-12.