By: Matthew Robertson

Once again, Shimmy has met the new season in style. Quietening down, their massive 9-venue location is preparing for a cosy winter filled with all the comforts one seeks during these cold, wet months. As no winter is beaten on an empty stomach, Shimmy has prepared a real treat for those willing to pay a premium.

Hosted by the most welcoming team, you’ll find yourself nestled into a cosy dining room engulfed in the rich smells of red wine and comfort foods. The new winter menu truly is something to experience. Larger than most, the list of delicacies could really test a waiters patience as it requires some serious thought before allowing you to make up your mind. Personally, I can’t stay away from a crunchy plate of calamari, so starters was an obvious choice. Presented beautifully, the calamari looked more like mini steaks, rather than traditional slices. Cooked to perfection, the generously portioned starter didn’t last very long on the table.

Half a bottle of woody red later, the main course arrived. The most perfectly wood-roasted duck breast, confit leg, fondant potato and fresh veggies with orange jus dressing. Finding the correct words to describe this dish has become particularly difficult. The phrases “melted in my mouth,” “intensely satisfying”, and even “orgasmic” come to mind. Duck is a dish I’d previously reserved for those rare occasions where the rest of the menu remains, well, uninspired. In spite of this menu’s boldness, I couldn’t take my eye of the first item listed. Most certainly NOT a disappointing choice – let’s leave it at that.

The final course, chocolate – what else, capped the evening off in lavish velvety warmth. A chocolate fondant served with naartjie ice cream, Cointreau short bread and hazelnut praline crumble very quickly convinced my stomach that it was, indeed, not nearly full enough!

Shimmy really did leave us feeling pleased that evening, and what is most encouraging about the whole experience is that it was met with a quality product. If you’re feeling like you’re in need of a hearty gourmet winter belly-warmer, I couldn’t say I’ve found a better offer – yet.

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