An ordinary hotel restaurant it ain’t. Sheer black walls, intimate booths and cinema-level lighting inside this big old bank make it the ultimate destination for secret date nights and hostile takeover discussions. But there are plenty of good things going on here, even if it does take itself a bit seriously.
Try delicate veal carpaccio pepped up with a crown of rocket, shavings of parmesan and squirts of a wickedly dirty truffle mustard. Ceviche of top-quality kingfish was not as dainty as it might be and a little heavy-handed on the curing tiger milk but a fine dice of chilli and wafer-thin slices of lightly pickled fennel gave it a fabulous twang. In the dining room proper punters can eat across the ever-changing main and bar menus — a nice touch that’s conducive to grazing or pre-show gobbling (it’s a hop, skip and a jump to the State Theatre).
From the bar menu, calamari with crispy crumbs and a mound of mayo is perky and brilliantly cooked — an ideal order for both the sharers and the selfish. The main card is a concise crowd pleaser with all boxes ticked.
There’s a generous vego selection, including pumpkin agnolotti with hazelnut picada, a Catalan type of pesto; a couple of frutti de mare and a quartet of proteins. Go old-school with a smashing veal cotoletta, a well-seasoned crumbed and fried veal cutlet sliced across the grain to reveal plenty of pink. It comes with a big serve of shredded roasted cabbage and a wedge of lemon.
The short and sweet dessert selection does the trick and the cocktail menu will entice hardcore beer and chardy quaffers to stray. There are some bright lights in Shadow’s interesting and cleverly constructed wine list – the wine selection has always been a big deal here. Shadow is sexy, sleek and an anytime venue.