What Makes Ultraviolet's Dining Room Oddly Unique

Scoring reservations at any three-starred Michelin restaurant can be challenging — more so when only ten guests are served per evening. That's the limit for Paul Pairet's Shanghai restaurant Ultraviolet, reports Insider, where guests are immersed in an original culinary experience.

Labeled an "unpredictable" and "unconventional" chef by The Best Chef, Pairet has earned a reputation for avant-garde cuisine in Asia. Winds and Brands calls Pairet's skills "thoughtful and refined," and his ability to contrast flavors has led him to win numerous awards, even a place on Vanity Fair's list of 50 most influential French people.

As revealed in a New York Times video, Pairet wants to control every aspect of the Ultraviolet dining experience. "When my mother is cooking, she doesn't ask me at what time I want to eat. She doesn't ask me what I want to eat. She's cooking a pork chop. When the pork chop is at the peak of the cooking, then she calls me to the table," Pairet said.

The World's 50 Best Restaurants named him a "master magician." Pairet delivers visual and sensory delights aplenty at Ultraviolet, yet food remains the star.

Redefining luxury through experience

"What is luxury?" asks Ultraviolet, and answers, "Emotion is the quintessence of luxury." It takes two years to create one set menu, according to Ultraviolet's website. The table where guests are served is bare — there are no decorations, paintings, or even windows; the idea is to encourage diners to explore and observe their own experience as the night unfolds.

Guests meet at a predesignated area, reports The Sybarite, and are whisked away to a nondescript area where the actual dinner begins. As seats are taken around an empty table, the environment transforms — lights, projectors, screens, speakers, computers, and dry smell machines operated by the Ultraviolet team transport guests into new settings (via UVbyPP). Each dish of the twenty-course meal is served in a unique atmosphere. (Only one dish appears in all set menus, according to Ultraviolet's Instagram: UV ABC Food No #: Bread Truffle Burnt Soup Bread Autumn-Soil, Cigar & Carnivalse.)

"Without indulging in the so-praise gastronomically correctness, we do not forget that, a meal is, about all, about pleasure, food, company and entertainment. Ultraviolet is hopefully about doing things seriously without taking oneself too seriously," Pairet writes. He recently took to Instagram to announce the 10-year anniversary of Ultraviolet — we hope for many more to come.