1320 Blanshard St.
7:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. seven days a week
1548 Fort St.
8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. seven days a week
The Boiled Down
Still somewhat over-hyped around town, but definitely worth more than one visit, and the new location means no more ridiculously long waits.
Nick’s rating: 7 swollen tongues out of 10
Jen’s rating: 8 pleasant surprises out of 10
The Slow Cooked
N: There was a time when Shine was my nemesis, back when there was just the one location in Stadacona Centre, but it wasn’t because of the ever-present long lines. It was because for the first twenty-five-ish years of my life I was mildly allergic to eggs, and their old menu was heavy on the oeufs. I didn’t know this the first time I went there, and I was left with a choice of only a fruit bowl with yogurt. Now, Shine has a second location and I’m no longer held back by an egg allergy.
The new location is where Demitasse used to be, which was one of our favorite go-to, never-a-wait spots. We were sad to see it go, but good on Shine for pouncing on such prime brunch real estate. We went just after 10 on a Sunday morning and we happy to see they kept up the Demitasse tradition of seating us right away.
J: Even though I’m allergy-free, my first experience at the Stadacona Shine Cafe was also unfavorable. I recall waiting in line for 40 minutes and thinking “I don’t get all the fuss - this food is not worth the wait.” I’m happy to say that my feelings have changed. The demise of Demitasse was sad, but this new Shine experience has definitely turned me from critic to fan.
N: The menu is larger than the last time I was here, with more non egg-based options than before, but the special on the wall caught my eye. I’ve mentioned before I’m not much of a benny fan, but I couldn’t resist the Feliz Ano Nuevo. Homemade molé sauce with bacon, avocado and peppers. I wasn’t feeling hash, so I got it with a side of fruit. Both main and side were just great. The eggs were a perfect medium poach, the avocado was ripe, the bacon was not too crisp. And the molé was chock full delicious ingredients. But, once I finished the first benny I noticed a slight tingly feeling in my mouth, and my lips were stinging a bit. Yes, I shook my egg allergy, but I’m still allergic to nuts, and I was familiar with what the feeling in my mouth went. Luckily, it was a really mild reaction. It could only have been the molé sauce. It was my fault for not asking, and when I did, our server came back with a long list of ingredients, one of which was almonds. Lesson learned. For the umpteenth time in my life.
Oh molé sauce. What an unfortunate secret you held.
J: The menu now boasts more options for sweet-tooth diners like myself, but I went with the french toast (I really need to start reviewing different dishes!) and I was not disappointed. The simple ingredients married perfectly in this expertly grilled, hot and satisfying dish - and the generous portion of fruit was a welcome addition to my plate. It’s certainly not the be-all-end-all of brunch, but I was pleasantly surprised and can finally admit that I understand why Shine has so many fans.
N: Looking through my photos I realized I forgot to take any coffee shots. It’s only our fourth brunch in and I’m already slipping. Perhaps you could speak to the coffee, since I didn’t have any. I’ll assume all the usuals: liquidy, coffee-coloured, came in a mug?
J: Yes, the coffee was indeed all of those things - and it was also quite good. I bet if you had ordered some you would have reached the necessary caffeination levels for coffee photography. Let this be a lesson to us all: never decline a morning cup o’ joe.
Overall, the atmosphere at Shine was bright and pleasant, the service was very good and I’m looking forward to a return visit. Next time I’ll have to try one of their famous potato scones.
N: Allergies aside (which were totally my fault) my Shine experience was definitely better than all previous ones. I don’t agree with their tagline Victoria’s premier breakfast restaurant, but I’d happily give it another go. Lots of egg-based goodness to try on that menu.
Good work Jen. I hope this is the only plate I ever don’t clean.