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Ultraviolet Room-Candle in the Wind (photo Scott Wright)

Amazing restaurants shrouded in mystery

A little mystery makes for good novelty, and in this day and age where dining concepts pop up with great frequency, it’s a challenge to stand out from the crowd.

Ultraviolet, La Gruta & Classified

The thrill is in the chase – and in the grub—in these exceptional restaurants

A little mystery makes for good novelty, and in this day and age where dining concepts pop up with great frequency, it’s a challenge to stand out from the crowd. There are however a select few restaurants that intentionally hide from customers, and oddly enough, end up attracting even more patrons.

Classified interior

Three Michelin-starred chef Paul Pairet is the genius behind Ultraviolet in Shanghai, an eclectic and experiential dining experience for only a select few. The restaurant is in an undisclosed location with a single table that seats only ten people. Diners are picked up by a private driver and taken to the secret restaurant. Ultraviolet offers a multisensory culinary journey that not only appeals to the taste buds but also compliments the eyes and other senses. The dining room’s walls are covered with video screens, surround sound speakers, customised lighting, and scent emitters – all integrated with each dish. More than 20 courses are prepared, so do arrive with an appetite.

Some 2,000 years ago, the ancient tribe of Aztecs created a 75-metre tall pyramid in the ancient city of Teotihuacan in Mexico, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Behind this historic site is La Gruta (The Grotto), situated three stories deep underground. The cave served as storage for the Mayans’ gold in ancient times; now, it is a restaurant known for mouth-watering Mexican fare consumed in a unique setting. The stairs that lead to the restaurant is illuminated by beautiful lights, and the restaurant itself features brightly coloured chairs. Select meals have special performances by a mariachi band or Ballet Folklorico.

United Airlines launched Classified, a by-invitation-only restaurant in Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey. The restaurant is behind Saison, a French bistro inside Terminal C. Delicious farm-to-table food are served, paired with sleek interiors and an air of exclusivity. Until now, United has not disclosed how they vet invited guests, which have ranged from company CEOs, celebrities, to regular flyers. It’s as random as it can be.

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© This article was first published in Feb-Mar 2018 edition of World Travel Magazine.

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