EAT Magazine Nov_Dec 2015_Victoria_60_Layout 1 11/2/15 12:29 PM Page 49
Kemp Lake Music Café IT’S NOT OFTEN YOU PICK UP A LITRE OF MILK while attending a musical interlude, but the Kemp Lake Music Café offers just that. And more. Owners Eric Shelkey, his wife Wendy Palynchuk and cousin Merl Brethor keep the vibe laid-back with an eclectic offering of cornerstore, café, vintage vinyl, guitar accessories and performance space. Both men are musicians and take turns serving customers, jamming on guitar with regulars or tending the till while Wendy cooks up hearty fare of bacon and eggs, soups, sandwiches and baked goods. The chicken poutine, a heaping mound of Kennebec fries, cheese curds, bacon, caramelized onions and gravy, is the cult favourite. And open mic nights every Sunday are a community affair where you can hear anything from Hendrix to Dylan covers and ’60s pop hits. 7875 West Coast Rd., 250-642-7875
The distillery sits atop their 11-acre property with views out to the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Pillar Point, a notorious rum-running area.
Other intriguing food and lodging enterprises beckon along the next leg in this route, the 50-minute drive from Jordan River to Port Renfrew. Clearly, the flavour trail has only just begun.
Shirley Delicious FURTHER ALONG THE ROUTE, SHIRLEY DELICIOUS, the wooden A-frame eatery, beckons with its colourful patio chairs and flower gardens. Since 2013, perpetually happy co-owner Phillip Du Preez has been holding court, serving up wholesome breakfast, lunch and Sunday brunch menus. Originally from South Africa via Salt Spring Island, Du Preez moved to Shirley for a life change. The former army chef, business owner and coffee geek was struggling to make ends meet in this tiny community when someone encouraged him to take on the former Country Cupboard location. He snatched the “dangling carrot” and vowed to give the turnkey operation a year. Within eight months, he’d proudly scored #1 on TripAdvisor for the Sooke area and has never looked back (the café is still #1). The place fills for weekend brunches of shakshouka eggs in a spicy tomato sauce. And the sausage rolls, made with pork, caramelized apple and sage, are the house favourite. 2794 Sheringham Point Rd., 778-528-2888
Sheringham Distillery UNEARTHING ANTIQUE LIQUOR BOTTLES ON A 1930s rental property, hearing tales of seedy hotels, moonshine and clandestine stills—these are some of the inspirations behind Sheringham Distillery, the newest addition to the Sooke to Jordan River trail. Launched this past June, Jason and Alayne MacIsaac’s distillery sits atop their 11-acre property with views out to the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Pillar Point, a notorious rum-running area. Their grain-to-glass vodka and William’s White, an aged grain spirit—a modern-day moonshine—are small batch, crafted from local organic grains, malted barley and spring water from an on-site aquifer. The vodka is smooth and buttery with anise and vanilla notes, and the William’s White has a peppery finish. The packaging evokes an oldtimey feel with bottles and logo that mimic one they unearthed on the property, and Sheringham was the original name for the town of Shirley, where they’re located. 2631 Seaside Dr., Shirley. 778-528-1313, by appointment, sheringhamdistillery.com
Sherrington Distillery owners Jason & Alayne MacIsaac
Point No Point TAKE SHELTER AT THIS 25-CABIN RESORT DATING back to the 1950s, set on a bluff above the coastline. Its beach trails and roaring surf offer wild coast appeal, an ideal location for whale or otter spotting. Lunch at the restaurant makes for a great daytrip for the chicken confit, but the dinner hour is when longtime chef Jason Nienaber shines with an accomplished menu of local and housemade ingredients that would be at home in any big city. 10829 West Coast Rd., Shirley, 250-646-2020, pointnopointresort.com
Last Stop, Jordan River TAKING CUES FROM SHAKIE’S, THE FORMER ICONIC Jordan River burger shack, chef and avid surfer Murray Higgins joined forces with Josh Constandinou and Christine Winsby to open the Cold Shoulder Café late last year. Find it facing the water at the end of Jordan River’s tiny commercial strip (which it shares with the recently opened Far Out Pizza café and photography gallery) as the road bends abruptly north. Part café, part shiny red food truck, “beach fast food and awesome coffee” was being served up to travellers, locals and surfers. Freshly baked scones, muffins and cinnamon buns continue to be the café’s specialty, and that “awesome coffee” is brought to you by Stick in the Mud, where the journey began. Higgins has since uprooted the truck to 6509 Sooke Rd, renaming it the Curry Bomber. Curry in its various permutations from West Indian Style to Thai Green will rule the roost. 11950 West Coast Rd., Jordan River, 250-646-2181
Where to Stay Soule Creek Lodge (Port Renfrew) Sooke Harbour House Point No Point Resort Cold Mountain guesthouse
What does the future hold for the area? One highly anticipated opening is Sooke Oceanside Brewery. Ryan Orr, a chef and Sooke resident currently cooking at Clayoquot Wilderness Resort, is putting the finishing touches on his craft brewery. Already being referred to playfully as SOB, the brewery will be housed in an as-yet undisclosed…
www.eatmagazine.ca NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2015
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