Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet

Shanghai, China

On the pass:

Head chef Greg Robinson with chef-patron Paul Pairet (pictured)

Pastry chef:

Style of food:

Experimental comfort food

Standout dish:

Tomato Mozza And Again


c/o Bund 18, 6/F, 18 Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu, Shanghai 20002

+86 21 6323 9898

The Shanghai gastronomic hotspot where dining meets performance art

Tell us a story: Founded in 2012 after more than a decade’s gestation, Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet is considered by many to be the most avant-garde restaurant experience in the world. The brainchild of the aforementioned French chef, just 10 guests per night experience the ultimate in immersive dining in a secret city location.

How it works: The high-tech gastronomic production utilises elements including video, audio, bespoke lighting, piped-in scents and, of course, good old food and drink to stimulate every sense, with each course its own self-contained mini drama.; it’s also described as ‘a story in 20 courses’. 

On the menu: The original ‘UVA’ and the subsequent ‘UVB’ menus now rotate on alternative weeks. Both are equally original, unusual and witty, with dishes that are high-concept but, crucially, still delicious. Foie Gras Can’t Quit, for example, is a crisp fruit skin cigarette filled with an airy foie gras mousse sitting in an ashtray dotted with black cabbage ash. Tomato Mozza And Again is a clever duo of dishes – one savoury, one sweet – which appear to the eye to be identical but taste strikingly different, thereby playing with misperceptions of taste.

What’s the room like? Guests are dropped off by minibus in a dark alley, before being ushered inside through an unmarked door. They then find themselves in an all-white, cocoon-like dining space with a single spot-lit table, at which everyone sits together. The room then transforms itself throughout the meal; at one point the walls even slide back to reveal the kitchen at one end. Service is suitably theatrical, but remains warm and personable.

Images: Scott Wright of Limelight Studio

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