The Gourmet Corner N° 39

Ultraviolet: the world's top new restaurant in Shanghai

By Fred Santamaria

Last year “EL BULLI” (near Barcelona in Spain), considered the top restaurant in the world, was closed.

At the same time, Chef Rene Redzepi's "Nordic temple" NOMA (Copenhagen, Denmark) received practically every accolade in the international book of praise and “soared to the No. 1 position” on S.Pellegrino's World's 50 Best Restaurants list: (Strandgade 93 - 1401 København K Danemark, +45 32 96 32 97

Then on May 18, 2012 - After more than 2 years of construction (including 1 year of delay, 8,000 double espressos and 50,000 cigarettes) Paul Pairet in Shanghai opened ULTRAVIOLET the new concept restaurant, which can now prepare to become the world's top new restaurant: “Conceived by Paul Pairet for over 15 years, Ultraviolet is the first restaurant of this kind, attempting to unite food with multi-sensorial technologies in order to create a fully immersive dining experience.”


A restaurant with a single table of ten (10) seats only.

A restaurant that serves a 20-course "Avant-garde" set menu.

All the guests sit together. The experience begins. Food leads. Dinner unfolds as a sensory play choreographed by chef Paul Pairet and the Ultraviolet Team.”

No décor, no artifacts, no paintings, no views. Ultraviolet's dining room is ascetic by nature. Specifically equipped with multi sensorial high-end technology, the dining room is dressed-up by lights, sounds, music, scents, a cool air blow, an immersive projection, images and imagination ... and food.”

Each course is enhanced with its own taste-tailored atmosphere. Ultraviolet is the first experimental restaurant of its kind.”

“To offer a bold and exclusive dining experience that engages all the senses to create the ultimate luxury: Emotion.”

Somewhere in Shanghai?

After you make your reservations, guests meet at the bar of Mr & Mrs Bund

6F, Bund 18, 18 Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu, Shanghai 200002, China

At the bar, enjoy a glass of champagne and then take the private bus provided to Ultraviolet.

Note first, for your information ...

According to the 2012 "That's Shanghai Food & Drink Awards"
Mr & Mrs Bund received the following commendations,

"Best Chef – Paul Pairet"
"Best French Restaurant"
"Best Fine Dining"


OPENING HOURS: ULTRAVIOLET is open from Tuesday through Saturday for dinner only.

SEATS: Only 10 seats are available at the restaurant's single table each evening.

welcomes everyone to the table including single diners.

ULTRAVIOLET is not a private restaurant. However, you can 'privatize' the evening and reserve the entire table for your group.

MENUS: All guests receive the same 20-course set menu at the same time. Set menu prices start from RMB 2,500 per person (US$400), including beverage pairing.

BOOKINGS: Bookings are open 3 months in advance through the restaurant's website.

What is the experience at ULTRAVIOLET like?

When you take the private bus to the restaurant, and after approximately 15 minutes, you will arrive somewhere in Shanghai near a canal, but it is impossible to know the exact address.

After arriving, you will see a sort of “hangar” or industrial building. Passing through a less-than-obvious door, you enter into a large rectangular “cubicle” space with a high ceiling and an equally rectangular 10-seat table in the middle, with the names of the guests projected onto the tabletop from overhead. [See photo]

Then your culinary event begins, complete with music and a “light show” on the four walls of the space that coordinates with each course.

The owners say: “A dining room that more closely resembles a movie theater, with 360-degree video screen walls, surround-sound speakers and high-tech overhead lighting, each dish is accompanied by a carefully choreographed set of sounds; visuals and even scents, all intended to create a specific ambience to enhance the flavors of the meal.”

With each of the 20 dishes on the menu, the drinks, music & light show change. However, the entertainment is never loud or disturbing, and only impacts your eating experience in a positive way. With each course, 10 waiters deliver the new dish in front of you, simply unforgettable!

To fully detail all 20 dishes served throughout the evening would be too lengthy, but here is a brief description of the food and beverage and music/video pairings:

# Ostie > Apple Wasabi > Gothic Church Hell’s Bells

# Foie Gras > Light Sherry > West & Smoke Ennio Morricone

# Pop Rock Oyster > Green Tea > Pop-Pop Comic Strip

# Micro Fish no Chips > Baby Beer > Rain UK Obladiblada

# Cuttlefish Guimauve > Aglio & Olio, Xo E Sichuan, Caramel Coco > Hypnotic SFX Invaders

# Lobster Essential > Riesling Grand Cru, “Hengst” 2008, Josmeyer, Alsace > Sea-Steam Waves

# Charred Eggplant > Tendon Tahine > Mauresque > Diaporama Zorba Crunch

# Encapsulated Boullabaisse > Mauresque > Marseille Pagnol Raimu

# Cucumber Lollipop > Frozen Gado-Gado > Bali Garuda & Cepot

# Seabass Montecarlo > Château La Coste Rosé 2010. Coteaux d’Aix > Aquarium & Debussy

# Engloved Truffe Lamb > Pago Florentino 2008, Arzuaga, Castilla > Restaurant Shanghai

# Wagyo Simple > Château Domaine de l’Eglise 2003, Pommerol > Restaurant Paris

# Tomato Pomodamore > Strwberry Gaspacho > Spanish Gallery Olé

# Cheese > Cidre du Pays d’Auge Dupont Reserve > Wheat & Harpsichord > Thunder Crunch

# Salad > Thunder Crunch

# No Shark Fin Soup > Tomato – Peach > China 1933 Tian Mi Mi

# Suzette Carrot Cake > Orange Ginger Carrot > Kitchen Ground Parody

# Mandarine > Mint Tea > Mandarin Mandarine

# Avocado > Avocado Brulee Nutella > French Mansion Jazz-Funk

# Hibernatus Gummies > Cola Rocks / Evian Gummies > The race Mario Bross & Rossini

# Mignardises > Egg Tartelette & Co > Champagne Brut Jacques Lassaigne Les Vignes de Montgueux > Sundays Cake d’Amour

# Ispahan Dishwash > Litchi – Rose - Raspberry > Foamy Josette - Edith Piaf

The End

It is impossible to explain the taste of each dish; it is like a symphony, and I thoroughly believe it will be difficult to ever forget. After the meal comes to an end, you can relax and have a last drink, and prepare to return back to Mr & Mrs Bund, your initial departure point for the evening.

ULTRAVIOLET is enjoying, not surprisingly, a great welcome in the International Gourmet Press. (See New York Times – Travel – October 3, 2012.)

Even the competition, the Adria Brothers and the Roca Brothers in Spain, are now thinking of opening new restaurants near Barcelona based on inspiration from the ULTRAVIOLET menu. (Remember that “El Bulli” has been closed since last year.)

Meanwhile back in Shanghai, don’t forget that one of the best hotels for your stay is “The Shangri-La Pudong” where Paul Pairet, upon first arriving in Shanghai, established his reputation in China with the “Jade on 36” restaurant atop the hotel.

For bookings at ULTRAVIOLET: -
Alternatively you may contact
or call +86 21 6142 5198, Director Fabien Verdier
(Tuesday to Saturday - 1 pm to 6 pm Shanghai Time)


Freddy Santamaria “The Smooth Operator”

Paris, France — November 14, 2012

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Copyright © 2012— Freddy Santamaria

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