Some restaurants struggle to find an identity while slavishly following food trends to turn out dishes they think the punters might want. Shadow walks to the beat of its own drum, while still delivering punter-friendly dishes with aplomb.
Since it opened in 2015, it single-handedly raised the bar for in-hotel, in-house dining, Its stylish dark timbered room is both minimal and warm. Since day one, Shadow has hummed with the confidence that comes from producing excellent food under the “European classic” banner.
With dim lighting and banquet seating, sassy waitstaff and the option to choose from the blackboard bar menu it’s as cool as a cold beer on a 40-degree day.
The menu is proudly timeless in a roast lamb loin and crumbed cotolette sort of way and packed houses mid-week are a ringing endorsement to deft cooking of perennial crowd pleasers from chef Sue Hutchins.
There’s a charcuterie plate. Natch. Oysters, veal carpaccio and grilled quail are smart starters. For more serious eaters, Wagyu sirloin with celeriac remoulade is a classic bistro favourite. Shadow leans toward Italian cuisine and presentation but picks and chooses from across Europe for its influences.
Pretty plating, freshness of produce and clever combinations abound. Case in point: pear tarte tatin with tonka bean ice cream has been a goer from day one.
Set against the backdrop of a wall of wine, sheer curtains and a clever lighting grid that shines directly on to your plate and your channelling a New York basement restaurant – but with way more room. That’s cool.