Shift, Sechelt BC.

January 2022

I think this is the first restaurant in Sechelt I’ve found with what I’d call serious-quality food. It’s a cozy little place in the abbreviated strip mall approached via the Highway just south of Claytons supermarket. A very tasty lunch!

It certainly wasn’t oversubscribed at around 1 PM on a winter Sunday. We were scanned and seated by a cute efficient friendly lady. It’s a fairly neutral and slightly dark small room running back to seat maybe 30 in booths or at a couple of tables in front. The menu is a bit arbitrarily divided up into “Seasonal” (meatballs and a couple of appetizing-looking bowls), Share Bites, Salads and Sides, “Pan/Grill/Bowl” and Burgers and Wraps. The burgers run to about eight items, all appetizing and many off-mainstream enough to look interesting. Several other choices appeared worth a try too.

We had a bottle of Tinhorn Creek cab franc, the most expensive on the short list at $58, perfectly pleasant washing down our single courses.

Mine was the Chashu Rice Bowl billed as “braised pork belly over sushi rice, bokchoy, green onions, Shift kimchi, soft marinated egg”. I was mainly attracted to the idea of the pork belly but this whole thing was a really satisfying comforting treat. It was a cold bowl dish with the rice on the bottom, vegetables around the edge, the thin-sliced soft pork belly in the middle, and the piquant halved egg sitting on top. Making this dish really work was the nice contrast of consistency and an absolutely smashing sweet/sour dressing. The pork belly meat was perfectly tender and the rice on a level of very good sushi. I was super satisfied.

Robin had the Shift Classic Burger, pretty close to a standard deluxe with several extra-cost options available but unnecessary like vegan patty and gluten-free bun. The menu told us that this could be ordered done as you wish and Robin’s was medium rare, perfectly pink and tender in the centre. No complaints and kudos for flying in the face of liability-insurer food safety fundamentalism.

Other diners were audible but subdued, music at a level where it could be ignored. We were out the door including the wine and tip for about $120.

We’ll be back to try some of the other interesting choices. Food 9.2 service 8.8 ambience 7.2 value 8.4 peace and quiet 8.6.

About John Sloan

John Sloan is a senior academic physician in the Department of Family Practice at the University of British Columbia, and has spent most of his 40 years' practice caring for the frail elderly in Vancouver. He is the author of "A Bitter Pill: How the Medical System is Failing the Elderly", published in 2009 by Greystone Books. His innovative primary care practice for the frail elderly has been adopted by Vancouver Coastal Health and is expanding. Dr. Sloan lectures throughout North America on care of the elderly.
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