December 9th: Ultraviolet

For any readers about to attend or considering making a reservation at Ultraviolet, this is your spoiler alert – do not read any further.

A few years ago, a travel company in Yorkshire set-up a holiday scheme whereby guests could stay in a hotel decorated in the style of a particular country.  Each day they would travel out on a coach, returning to the hotel later the same day to find the hotel redecorated and transformed into the style of a different nation.  Mexico one day, Brazil the next.  A way to explore the world from the confines of a hotel in Yorkshire.

With the chef, Paul Pairet

With the chef, Paul Pairet

In Shanghai, Ultraviolet offers its guests something similar, but possibly just a little bit more classy.  With a requirement to book three months in advance, Ultraviolet aims to “unite food with multi-sensorial technologies” (from their website).  What this means in reality: a 22-course tasting menu, with nearly every dish paired with a different beverage.   Each dish also paired with a unique projected table decoration,  projected wallpaper (the entire room encapsulated in projections), a style of music and in some cases, an infusion of smells to allow the patrons to experience each dish like never before.

View to the kitchen

View to the kitchen

With one table and one setting only – for 10 people – the guests are picked-up at a pre-defined meeting point and taken to a  “secret” location.  All-in-all, 25 staff taking care of 10 bewildered but delighted customers.

It’s difficult to fully explain with just pictures and words; this was an utterly unique experience.   The dishes themselves would have been fantastic on their own, but consuming them in this type of environment took them to another level.

For prosperity, the menu as follows (in sequence with the first photo below):

  • Ostie: Single bite of frozen wasabi
  • Foie Gras – Can’t Quit: Foie Gras shaped like a cigar
  • Pop Rock Oyster: Flavoured with green tea
  • Micro Fish no Chips: Battered fish flavoured with capers and anchovy
  • Cuttlefish Guimauve: Sliced and served in front of us
  • Lobster Essential
  • Bread: Truffle Burnt Soup Bread – probably my favourite of the dishes.  Very hard to explain!
  • Charred Eggplant
  • Encapsulated Bouillabaisse: The raw ingredients of soup in a single bite
  • Cucumber Lollipop
  • Seabass Monte Carlo: Seabass cooked inside a bread loaf
  • Engloved Truffle Lamb
  • Wagyu Simple: Kobe beef
  • Tomato Pomodamore
  • Cheese & Salad: MW Calvamembert
  • No Shark Fin Soup: Tomato & Peach flavoured
  • Suzette Carrot-Cake: Carrots and coriander
  • Mandarine: Mandarin flavoured cake
  • Hibernatus Gummies: Gummy bears with Coca Cola Rocks
  • Mignardises: Egg Tartlette
  • Ispahan Dishwash: Dirty dishes?  All edible, including the foam.

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