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’.

Boyz In the Yard
IPA - English
6.0%
IBU 0.0
Passion fruit milkshake IPA
Moon Under Water Pub & Brewery // Victoria, BC
Appleton Extra Special Bitter
Extra Special / Strong Bitter
5.2%
IBU 0.0
Hoyne Brewing // Victoria, BC
Limb From Limb Rye PA
Rye IPA
7.0%
IBU 0.0
BORN OF CANADIAN MALTED RYE AND LUMBERJACK HOPS, LIMB FROM LIMB RYE PA BLENDS WARMING MALT NOTES WITH THE MELON, CLOVE & ALLSPICE PROFILE OF THIS DISTINCT BC GROWN HOP VARIETY
Driftwood Brewery // Victoria, BC
OiiiPA Aussie IPA
IPA - International
6.7%
IBU 60.0
Fruity and Tropical in flavour featuring enigma, vic secret, galaxy, ella and topaz hops.
Fernie Brewing Company // Fernie, BC
Mosaic Hopped Moro Blood Orange Cider
Cider
6.0%
IBU 0.0
Cask
Merridale Ciderworks // Cobble Hill, BC
Blackstone Porter
Porter - English
6.0%
IBU 0.0
A drinkable platform to explore dark malt! The Blackstone Porter has ample body to support the flavours of chocolate and coffee derived from dark specialty malts. A surprisingly-quaffable session Porter, and the perfect companion to good conversation when the rain is lashing at the windows.
Driftwood Brewery // Victoria, BC
Russell Märzen
Märzen
5.5%
IBU 35.0
Märzen, which means “March” in German, is a classic German beer style created before the invention of refrigeration. Back then, brewers weren’t able to brew lagers during the summer months – temperatures were too high for the lager yeast to ferment properly. So in March, brewers would stockpile beer which was cellared in cold, dark caves during the summer. In October – when temperatures had cooled, and it was time to brew again – the remaining beer was pulled from the caves and enjoyed by the towns people in a celebration we now call Oktoberfest. Russell Märzen is copper-coloured lager which rich, toasted malt aroma balanced by the clean bitterness of German Hops and distinct noble hop aroma. Perfect for paring with roasted meats and harvest vegetables.
Russell Brewing Company // Surrey, BC
Fresh-Hopped Saison (2017)
Saison / Farmhouse Ale
5.1%
IBU 20.0
2017 Chilliwack Hop Harvest
Category 12 Brewing // Victoria, BC
Sprucey Fruit
Sour - Ale
3.6%
IBU 30.0
Moon Under Water Pub & Brewery // Victoria, BC
Juan De Fuca Cerveza
Lager - North American Adjunct
4.8%
IBU 19.0
A craft take on a Mexican classic. This light and crisp artisanal cerveza was designed to explore new territories.
Vancouver Island Brewing // Victoria, BC
Oscar
Pale Ale - Belgian
5.0%
IBU 0.0
Amber Ale with Saaz, Amarillo & Cascade Hops
Dageraad Brewing // Burnaby, BC
Bean Me Up Espresso Milk Stout
Stout - Milk / Sweet
5.7%
IBU 18.0
Collaboration with Notch Coffee from Vancouver, B.C.
Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks // Richmond, BC
Fortunello
Strong Ale - American
8.3%
IBU 15.0
This herbaceous farmhouse ale was brewed with dark Belgian candi sugar and bay laurel, then aged over kumquats and bitter orange peel in an oak foeder for six months. Delicate aromas of citrus and annise precede notes of dark pit fruit, settling into a mild Brett funk.
Four Winds Brewing // Delta, BC
Hopocalypse Meow
IPA - Imperial / Double
9.2%
IBU 0.0
The cat is out of the bag on this year’s Anniversary Ale. To celebrate 16 years of brewing, we invite you to whet your whiskers with Hopocolypse Meow! This 9.2% IIPA features big tropical hops that explode over a crisp malt base that’ll be sure to have every hoppy beer lover purring. The beer pours a hazy, fiery orange with a thin, white foam cap. Aromas of tropical candied fruit and melon mingle with delicate fruity esters. Medium bodied and very resinous, the fine but intense bitterness will ambush your palate and terminate your taste buds with extreme prejudice. Slightly warming at 9.2%, you will be glad you dropped this “bomber” in your fridge.
Phillips Brewing Company // Victoria, 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!

30
Nov
Snow Dance Winter Warmup Party

An evening of fun in preparation for the Winter Ski/Snowboard Season! Dress up in your Retro Gear to win prizes.. or even the grand prize of a 2017/18 Mt. Washington Season’s Pass!! Tune into our Facebook page for more chances at the pass! Vancouver Island Brewing beer specials all nite, and sweet tracks care of DJ Skian!!

No Cover, but you gotta be here to WIN!!

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

Winter Hours: 11:30am until Late Every Day except Tuesday and Wednesday, open 4pm until Late • 975 Comox Road, Courtenay, British Columbia V9N 3P7 • (250) 338-1468 • thepod@whitewhalecourtenay.ca