HALO: An 'Out of This World' Immersive Art Dining Experience

By Sophie Steiner, July 11, 2023

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The Place 

Like falling face (and stomach) first into a futuristic fantasy videogame, HALO is an immersive, multi-sensory dining experience that challenges the concept of what a traditional restaurant can be.

Image courtesy of HALO

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Located on the 7th floor of the aptly named AI Plaza in Xujiahui, upon entry guests are greeted by interactive 3D digital art installations by collaboration partner Output Lab and Encor Studio – that express “the eternal extension of boundless space” and the idea of “peeling back the physical world to explore unknown dimensions, time and space.”

It’s a whole sci-fi space odyssey meets cyberpunk art vibe.


Image courtesy of HALO

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Pass through the spaceship-esque sliding doors to enter the 88-person dining room, outfitted with real-time laser projectors that plunge the audience (AKA diners) into a hyperspace audio-visual experience that subverts the static method of viewing artwork.

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Sound familiar? That’s because it is. HALO's digital content partner, Output, also worked with teamLab in the past, and drew on the same ethos for collating visual art from artists across the globe. 

READ MORE: teamLab to Open Massive New Museum in Shanghai This Fall

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

The aim is to provide guests with an immersive performance using multi sensorial high-end technology, paired with equally imaginative food and drink, "like a less intimate, more approachable version of world-renowned Ultraviolet," says the HALO team.

The Food

Curated by Chef Steven Dong – who cut his teeth at the likes of Le Meridian, Marriott, and other Accor Group hotels – the Western-leaning set and a la carte menu are presented whimsically to fit the light and audio show surroundings. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Think French and Italian starters like salads, tartare, cheese and meat plates, 5J Iberico ham and melon, and caramelized foie gras; seafood bisque, bouillabaisse soup and mushroom broths; a smattering of pastas and risottos; grilled seafood – salmon, halibut, and Boston Lobster; as well as various high-end cuts of beef.

And desserts that are ‘out of this world.

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Begin with an Italian imported Burrata Organic Salad (RMB128), surrounded by a moat of balsamic and olive oil-dressed arugula, cherry tomatoes, basil, and smoked fig, served on a Narumi plate.

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

The Smoked Salmon Beetroot (RMB158) features New Zealand king salmon cured in fennel, orange juice, and beetroot, lending its rosy purple hue.

A Chinese-style pickled beetroot anchors the fish to the plate, a pop of sour to juxtapose the salinity of the glistening 12-year Russian Kaluga caviar and the velvety dollop of crème fraiche.  

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Grilled Thailand king prawns, Japanese scallops, and French blue mussels are tossed in a rich lobster bisque as the Seafood Risotto (RMB168).

Cooked to an expert level of al dente, each rice kernel maintains its structure, experienced individually and part of the whole. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Australian M3 Beef Tenderloin (RMB268) is cooked to medium, flanked by roasted asparagus, tomatoes, and juicy porcinis, best enjoyed slathered in the red wine black pepper sauce served on the side.

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

The planetary Saturn YUAU Tart (RMB128) encompasses a white chocolate sphere encasing Japanese grapefruit, New Zealand lemon and lime, and Guangxi kumquat and sour orange, set in a panna cotta cream – all surrounded by a ring of coconut powder-dusted dark chocolate. 

Dots of grapefruit jelly, lemon curd mousse and kumquat jam add another dimension of lip-puckering tartness.

The Drinks

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

The roster of 16 cocktails is designed by Phoebe Han (Healer), so one can expect thoughtful uses of Chinese spirits – huangjiu, baijiu, mijiu, among others – coupled with molecular gastronomy and showmanship. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Smoked huangjiu from Aoshan is stirred with fruit-forward Crème de Cassis and Guinness beer as Flicker (RMB138)

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

… while a souped-up G&T takes form as Do Not Answer (RMB128), with Italian Aqva Lvce citrus gin, orange blossom water and tonic, presented with a black light visible-only inscribed welcome note. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

There’s also an extensive wine list, compiled by the head sommelier, who previously worked at The Middle House. 

The Vibe 

HALO takes dining to a new level, involving all five senses on overdrive – to their full level of stimulation. 

Each meal is more of a performance – a storyline show that corroborates art with consumable elements.

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

And each detail – from entry to exit – is meticulously accounted for with the utmost level of attentive care, as most of the staff came from the Mandarin Oriental hotel group.


Image courtesy of HALO

Aside from the main dining room where dinner is served, the venue also offers two private rooms for 10-12 people each.

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Weekends see brunch and afternoon tea, plus – a major draw – a digital AI DJ hosting weekend dance parties with visual performances from 10pm until late.

Gotta draw in that Gen Z crowd...

Bonus: As an opening promotion, HALO is offering a 10% discount on all diners' total bill from now through the end of September. The time to dine is now.

Price: RMB500-750
Who’s Going: Gen Z-ers, Chinese KOLs making Douyin videos, art lovers, Three Body Performance Center attendees looking for a sci-fi fueled snack and drink after the show
Good For: Art and food immersion, not-your-average date nights, weekend techno dancing

HALO, 7/F, 683 Yunjin Lu, by Longqi Lu, 云锦路683号西岸凤巢7楼, 近 龙启路.

Read more Shanghai Restaurant Reviews.

[Cover image courtesy of HALO]

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