Our Story

It all started when Max Oudendag (GM) and Aaron Rail (Chef) met over a pint and decided to take the plunge into business ownership.
Our History

The White Whale Restaurant is a young, but trend setting business in the Comox Valley. It all started when Max Oudendag (GM) and Aaron Rail (Chef) met over a pint and decided to take the plunge into business ownership. The two shared a passion for good local food and craft beer… two things they felt were under appreciated at the time in Courtenay. The addition of a third partner, Robin McKamey (bookkeeping) and securing an amazing location turned the concept into a reality!

The White Whale opened on Canada Day 2014, and has been a hub for great beer and freshly prepared local food ever since. Fresh oysters might be considered the house specialty, but the ever-changing rotation of 16 BC craft beers on tap are another big draw!

Daily happy hour and Buck-A-Shuck Oysters from 3 – 5pm draws an enthusiastic crew of local foodies. The warm cozy interior and friendly staff create incredible atmosphere, and the huge waterfront patio and boat accessible dock ensure crowds of happy diners all summer long.

Always striving to improve and showcase the best local food, it seemed a logical step to bring in Chef Ky and open an in-house sushi bar. Next up, the development of a Chef’s Table concept keeps the White Whale a healthy step or two ahead of the competition. For anyone who loves a good dining experince and cares about where their food comes from, the White Whale is a must! See you soon!

Our Partners

The White Whale is proud to partner with:

natural pastures cheese / little qualicum cheeseworks / village cheeseworks
tannadice farms / mountain view farm / island bison / island farmhouse poultry
freedom farm / bates beach farm / berrybest farm / seal bay farm / eatmore sprouts & greens
clever crow sea salt / holliewood oysters / komo gway oysters / kusshi oysters / fanny bay oysters
mac’s oysters / outlandish shellfish guild / effingham oysters / portugese joe’s / two rivers meats
organic ocean / cowichan pasta company / ponderosa mushrooms / misty mountain / estevan tuna
canadian kelp resources / gunter brothers / ceylon spices / sip sodas / prontissima pasta
oyama sausage / yarrow meadows / baji naan / birds and the beans farm / mount royal bagels
kaslo pasta / royston coffee / world community coffee / hornby island teas / milano coffee
big dee’s honey / harmonic arts botanical dispensary / beaufort winery / averill creek winery
coastal black winery / blue moon winery / 40 knots winery / arbutus distillery
cumberland brewing company / vancouver island brewing company / phillips brewing company
forbidden brewing company / merridale cidery / wayward distillation house / sheringham distillery
gladstone brewing company and a host of other local breweries, bc wineries and bc food producers…

Beer

With 16 rotating taps and a little 'insider trading', The Whale easily boasts the best and most unique craft beer selection north of Victoria.

The team at the White Whale is selfish about BC Craft Beer.  They want the best variety of locally crafted lagers, ales, IPA’s, sours and seasonal offerings anywhere in the area.  Luckily, beer drinkers seem to want the same thing.  With 16 rotating taps and a little ‘insider trading’, The Whale easily boasts the best and most unique craft beer selection north of Victoria.  Try a pint or if you can’t decide, sample any 4 beers or ciders with one of our ‘paddles’.

Merri Berri
Cider - Fruit
6.9%
IBU 0.0
This is a refreshing blend of apple cider and the unfermented juices of a blend of BC berries and fruits. It’s popular among those who enjoy spritzers or lighter alcoholic beverages.
Merridale Ciderworks // Cobble Hill, BC
7800 Saison
Saison / Farmhouse Ale
6.5%
IBU 28.0
Townsite Brewing // Powell River, BC
Triplicity Belgian Tripel
Belgian Tripel
9.0%
IBU 33.0
Taking the Triple concept a step further we’ve utilized 3 malts, 3 hops, 3 sugar sources. Fermented with Lillooet wild sage honey this Belgian Tripel is effervescent with complex aromas of honey and spice followed by flourishes of fruit and a perceived dry finish.
Four Winds Brewing // Delta, BC
Wildcard Brett IPA
IPA - Belgian
7.0%
IBU 0.0
Wildcard Brett IPA is a one off seasonal exclusive brew that has been dealt with a heavy hand of citrus hops, and fermented with six strains of brettanomyces yeast. The beer pours a beautiful golden colour with a finger of pillow white head. Grassy sweetness and fresh hops are underpinned with flavours of banana funk and clove. Wonderfully complex, Wildcard is both rich and refreshing.
Phillips Brewing Company // Victoria, BC
Dat Juice
Pale Wheat Ale - American
5.2%
IBU 25.0
Dat Juice is an unfiltered pale ale brewed with large amounts of flaked and malted wheat then heavily hopped with 100% Citra hops. It pours a cloudy pale straw colour with bright aromatics of grapefruit, pineapple and mango.
Twin Sails Brewing // Port Moody, BC
Apparition
IPA - White
6.0%
IBU 60.0
A refreshingly light body with a ghostly haze, this hopped-up white ale sings of lush tropical fruits and subtle hints of spice. Fermented with classic Belgian witbier yeast and infused with copious amounts of new world hops for a balanced burst of citrus and pineapple.
Four Winds Brewing // Delta, BC
Red Sour
Sour - Ale
5.4%
IBU 0.0
Brilliant choice! We designed our red sour to be deliciously approachable with the addition of local blackberries to the fermentation. The result is a sour with just the right level of pucker, balanced by a medium body with blackberry notes that follow closely behind.
Category 12 Brewing // Victoria, BC
Kama Citra Ale
Blonde Ale
4.4%
IBU 33.0
Light, crisp and sessionable summer ale with tropical fruit and citrus notes. Pairs well with sunshine!
Off The Rail Brewing // Vancouver, BC
The Dancing Linebacker
Stout - Oatmeal
5.0%
IBU 0.0
Cumberland Brewing Company // Cumberland, BC
IPA
IPA - American
7.0%
IBU 70.0
Sooke Brewing Company //
High Tide Pale Ale
Pale Ale - American
5.5%
IBU 40.0
A hop forward, west coast pale ale with restrained bitterness, but a big hop aroma and flavour. Just as the tides change, hops in this beer may ebb and flow to showcase new and novel varieties. It will always reflect a stoic focus on new-world hops with rising flavours of citrus, pine and tropical fruits.
Beach Fire Brewing Company // Campbell River, BC
Zunga Golden Blonde Ale
Blonde Ale
5.2%
IBU 25.0
This golden blonde ale has a light bitterness and a balanced body to create a dry, refreshing finish, with hints of European hops. It is the perfect accompaniment to a hot day up the lake.
Townsite Brewing // Powell River, BC
Island Time
Lager - North American Adjunct
5.0%
IBU 18.0
Longwood Brewery’s latest offering is a uniquely crafted lager. All ingredients for this beer have been sourced on Vancouver Island. Locally grown and craft malted barley, along with fresh whole hops from our local suppliers have created this clean and crisp session beer. Sit back, relax and reset your clock with Island Time Lager, an “Obsessively Local Brew”.
Longwood Brewery // Nanaimo, BC

Oysters

The pristine, glacier fed waters off Vancouver Island, BC, produce some of the best oysters in the world!
Oysters

The White Whale is situated in the heart of the best oyster farming region in the world, so we thought… why not be THE oyster bar! The local waters here are cold and clean, producing the finest and most delicious oysters anywhere. We receive these very oysters daily to ensure the freshest slurping experience possible.  And.. if that’s not good enough, our daily $2/shuck special from 3 – 5pm will keep you coming back.

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Food

Everything on the menu is crafted from scratch in-house, including all sauces, dressings and even breads.

Chef Aaron has worked long and hard to create relationships with many local farms, fisheries and food producers. This all culminates in his seasonally shifting menu, highlighting the best ingredients our region has to offer.

Everything on the menu is crafted from scratch in-house, including all sauces, dressings and even breads.

The style of cuisine can be described as ‘Gastro-Pub’, as it features typical menu items like nachos, pizzas and burgers, all served up with creativity and passion that is anything but typical! You have to try it to believe it!

The Chef

Chef Aaron Rail

I started working in a commercial kitchen at age 13. My fascination for food began much earlier. Holidays and special occasions in my family meant a day or more preparation in the kitchen. I would often take a stool into the kitchen to help my mother and grandmother prep. At first I got to play with the leftover pastry dough and apple peels, peel carrots and turnips. Later I wormed my way to the stove top, stirring and whisking and feeding my family. A lasting connection between food and family was formed.

As a child, I moved a lot. Thirty schools. All over the continent, always the new kid. But I was exposed to many cultures and cuisines. After high school, I didn’t know what I wanted to be, but I knew where I wanted to be. Mountains, ocean, no snow shovelling; I bought a one way ticket to Victoria BC.

After completing a cooking apprenticeship at the Oak Bay Marina Restaurant, I had a hunger for more knowledge. Several years more I spent learning the art and craft of pastry and baking. Still hungry, I travelled to further broaden my culinary horizons. Cooking and working through Asia and Australia opened my eyes to new ingredients and techniques. Craving home, I returned to Vancouver Island and worked in several restaurants championing local food. Cafe Brio, Spinnaker’s, Temple and ReBar. Drawn to the bounty of the island, I was lured to the Comox Valley, Oyster Capital of British Columbia, where the number of farms far exceeds the number of restaurants, the valley is a chef’s dream. I took the head chef job at a new restaurant in Comox called Avenue. For six years are forged relationships with the amazing food producers of this wonderful area.

Last year culminated in the realization of a dream that I rarely admitted was mine, and I opened my own restaurant. I called it The White Whale. Thanks, Hemingway! We are committed to showcasing the bounty of Vancouver Island. We love food, and family.
Come join the pod!

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Drinks

We don't just care about beer at the White Whale. We're also proud of our extensive drink list including a great selection of BC wines, locally produced soft drinks, coffees and teas. Our Cocktail and Martini list is truly original, featuring seasonally inspired hand built drinks using only the finest local spirits, infusions, house made bitters, syrups and fresh ingredients.
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Events

The White Whale doesn't always host events, but when they do, you should probably go!

The White Whale doesn’t always host events, but when they do, you should probably go, as it’s a guaranteed good time!  Monthly Beer Pairing dinners showcase everything the Whale is passionate about. Canada Day is also the Whale’s birthday, and the party is always epic!  Live music and foodie events scatter throughout the rest of the year, meaning there’s always a good time on the horizon.  Don’t miss out!

14
Jun
BC Seafood Festival Chef's Collaboration Dinner

Mark this one on your calendar!

Chef Aaron will be collaborating with celebrity chefs to create a multi-course shellfish and seafood dinner, served here on the beautiful waterfront patio at the White Whale.

More details to come. Tickets available at: https://bcseafoodfestival.com

1
Jul
Canada Day/White Whale's 4th Birthday Party

Join us for a new way to ring in Canada Day with the White Whale! This year we’re throwing the most Canadian Canada Day ever, complete with beer gardens, pancake breakfast, and an Axe Throwing competition! Sign up a team and compete for full Canadian Glory, or just come hang out and enjoy some good ol White Whale Good Times!

More details to come!

 

26
May

Merch

The White Whale works hard to create fun and wearable clothing that's always a hit. Everchanging styles and small orders ensure that your White Whale gear will be as fresh and tasteful as our food! Check in house to see what we currently have in stock.

Chef's Table

A special interactive dining experience, Chef will prepare a meal to your guidelines using only local ingredients.

To further showcase local ingredients and Chef Aaron’s culinary creativity, The White Whale now offers the opportunity to book a Chef’s Table.  Parties from 4 to 20 people can book a special interactive evening where Chef Aaron cooks for them exclusively, using only Comox Valley ingredients.  Each reservation will start with a brief consultation  in order to determine details such as menu and price.  Each Chef’s Table reservation will end with full bellies and big smiles!

Please email chef@whitewhalecourtenay.ca to get started.

Contact

Current Hours: 11:30am until Late, 7 days/week, excluding Statutory Holidays • 975 Comox Road, Courtenay, British Columbia V9N 3P7 • (250) 338-1468 • thepod@whitewhalecourtenay.ca