Multi-Sensory Ultraviolet Eatery Multi-Sensory Shanghai Restaurant

[04/07/12] 

Ultraviolet has opened in Shanghai, a multi-sensory fine dining restaurant by Paul Pairet (of Jade on 36) that’s taken three years to develop, consumed US$2.5M in capital and has been designed not to break even. Considering what's happening in Europe, it’s remarkable that this pioneering project - which is essentially an R&D and marketing scheme - has come to fruition. It’s the kind of spin the new Chief Executive could do with.

The restaurant has no windows, no decoration and just one table that seats 10. Guests are served 20 courses, complemented by a variety of special effects including surround video displayed on seven projectors, a sound system, scent diffusers and a wind machine. Described as 'Pyscho Taste', they can also shine lights onto individual plates which adds theatre and sharpens the diners’ focus. If Doctor Evil was benign and liked cooking, this is the restaurant he’d create. Check out this video for size.

The food, unsurprisingly, is wacky. Examples include crushed urchin with sea water lime fizz and truffle burnt soup bread which arrives under a glass dome filled with cigar smoke - accompanied by a tree projection and scents of the forest. There are 2.5 chefs/waiters per diner and the menu costs RMB2,000, but here’s the most astonishing thing: if they wanted to break even they’d have to charge RMB5,000 for the menu. They can offer the heavily subsidised rate thanks to partnerships with brands like Miele as well as investors looking to experiment rather than make money. We can only imagine what they're weddings are like.

Gets our vote.

Photo by Scott Wright of Limelight Studio


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