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13 June 2012
Welcome to Paul Pairet’s latest Shanghai dining adventure. There are only 10 seats, the address is unknown, and dinner unfolds like an interactive theatre performance…
Following the success of Jade on 36 and Mr and Mrs Bund in Shanghai, culinary magician Paul Pairet is upping the game with a bold new concept called Ultraviolet, an immersive dining experience that attempts to unite food with multi-sensorial technologies.
It’s a sexy adventure a la double-0-7 from the get go. Guests (there’s only room for 10 at any one time) wait at a designated meeting point to be picked up by a mysterious van. The driver wears black and dons dark shades. A last sip of champagne and you’re off, destination unknown…
You stop at a crumbling factory, and naturally, there’s some hesitation from the crowd. Then the doors open and there’s a table, 10 very comfortable looking Wilkhahn chairs, and nothing much else.
After being advised to visit the restroom because you won’t want to miss a minute of what is to come, dinner begins, unfolding as a sensory theatre with carefully choreographed precision.
The bare walls (there are no windows) start to take on different scenes as the table fills up with a whopping 22 courses. No one gets to choose from a menu.
You get transported into different settings without ever leaving your seat. Through video projections and audio feeds, scenes come alive, and all are somehow linked to the dish being served. For example, heavy rain accompanies a dish called Micro Fish No Chips, while the table projects the British flag.
Scent, sound, music and light follow all the uniquely named dishes – there is ‘Pop Rock Oyster’, ‘Cucumber Lollipop’ and ‘Hibernatus Gummies’ – and of course, every dish has to come with a drink pairing.
All in all, it’s safe to say you'll have a rollicking good time. In fact, we bet you won't be able to stop talking about it for days…
Photography by Scott Wright of Limelight Studio