No words or pictures can do Ultraviolet justice, it is an unparalleled experience for all five senses that you must try for yourself. Reading about it, a jaded foodie may think it sounds gimmicky, but make no mistake, ultimately, its all about the food, which is extraordinary. I don't want to write in detail about what the experience is like, because UV goes through great effort to make each seating (of which there is only one a night for ten people) a surprise for newcomers, it is a huge thrill I refuse to spoil. That said - as someone who has travelled the world in search of the best meals - the cuisine of Paul Pairet and the crew is in a league of its own. Here you will find some of the most inventive and delicious cooking to be found anywhere in the world, which ranges from the finest dining to an atmosphere that feels as relaxed and comfortable as a dinner party at your friend's house - they enjoy playing off these sort of contradictions and expectations in every way, constantly surprising you with every one of the twenty or so courses (come hungry). New spins on old classics, brand new plays on sight, texture and taste, techniques ranging from classic to the cutting edge of molecular gastronomy - its all here. Its very difficult to strike any comparison, but, if MMB is PP's Bouchon, UV is his French Laundry. This is a restaurant that stands with the very best of the modern pioneers, it may sound extreme, but UV keeps company the likes of Blanca in Brooklyn or elBulli in Spain, but it is no copycat, it is its own, special place. Its worth a trip to Shanghai to go to UV alone, it transcends a place to just go for dinner, it is one of the landmarks in the entire region, rivaled only by the likes of the Great Wall. As someone who has gone to UVA (their first menu in their first year) and now just had the honor of one of the first seatings at UVB (their second menu in their second year, by all means a worthy successor, no sophomore slump - even if you've done UVA, do not think you can skip this), I can say without hesitation I will come back around the world just for UVC, whenever that may happen. It is impossible not to enjoy UV, no matter your level of food education. If you don't go to UV - like never seeing Nirvana in concert, or going to elBulli before it closed - you are missing out on one of the great experiences of our time. It may seem pricey, but once you try it, you'll realize its actually cheap for what you get - in fact, they blatantly take a loss on each seating - just do the math on the drink pairings by themselves. Clearly I'm not alone, its rated the #1 restaurant in Shanghai here on Trip Advisor and that is most certainly justified.
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