Eating out: Behind the Scenes of Ultraviolet Shanghai

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Gastronomy, Semiotics and Paul Pairet’s art of “psycho-taste”.


My chef husband got me backstage passes to Ultraviolent on an important evening when chef Paul Pairet and his team were cooking for a table of chefs – and a total of 25 Michelin stars on the dining table, no less.


When you’re married to a chef, a visit to the kitchen or dining in the kitchen is kind of the normal – from aperatif in La Tour D’Argent one of the grande dames of the restaurant world and an institution in France. (The cartoon Ratatouille was also partly set here) to visiting the kitchen of the World’s Number 1 El celler Di Can Roca, or Pascal Barbot’s L’Astrance, Or Philippe Milles’ Les Crayères… sometimes I really have to decline wearing a slinky cocktail dress and 4 inch heels, I don’t want to slip in the kitchen and cause chaos (and get scalded or break my neck!).

Well read more about dining backstage at Ultraviolet – Number 24 on the World’s top 50 best restaurant list for the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong here.

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Penguins and polar bears in my glass ;)


one of my favourite dishes – the coco noodles DIY


Ultraviolet Shanghai (make your reservations here).

The 20-course dinner runs for about 3 hours+ and costs 5000RMB/person. Yes…. expensive, but worth at least a visit in your lifetime. I dined backstage without the full experience, and chef Paul surprised me without a bill – I wasn’t expecting it given how much work goes into the set and staging this dinner.


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