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’.

SuperPest Double IPA
IPA - Imperial / Double
7.5%
IBU 90.0
Bomber Brewing // Vancouver, BC
WheelBender Stout
Stout - Irish Dry
4.5%
IBU 40.0
A classic dry Irish Stout for the cool evening beach fire sessions while recapping your day in the trails. Light bodied, a bit roasty, and easy drinking.
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
Tempus Corvi
Sour - Ale
6.3%
IBU 0.0
Moon Under Water Pub & Brewery // Victoria, BC
Eastern Promises Czech Pilsner
Pilsner - Czech
5.0%
IBU 35.0
EASTERN PROMISES ALWAYS RINGS TRUE and this beer is no exception. A classic Bohemian Czech-style pilsner. Golden hue, rich and complex malt backbone from superior Pilsner, Caramel Vienna and Munich Malts. Spicy bitter and floral finish from noble Saaz hops. Expertly crafted using Czech brewing traditions aiming to make the town of Pilsner proud. PART OF THE RUSSELL BREWMASTER SERIES - a succession of small batch beers crafted for an unconventional beer drinker.
Russell Brewing Company // Surrey, BC
House Cider
Cider
6.9%
IBU 0.0
Merridale’s Pub Draft – a lighter, sweeter version of our traditional cider, but still very dry. House cider is on tap in Vancouver Island’s finest pubs and restaurants.
Merridale Ciderworks // Cobble Hill, BC
North Shore Pale Ale
Pale Ale - American
5.5%
IBU 30.0
Our North Shore Pale Ale is a local secret – full bodied with a copper colour and a sweet, mild caramel flavour. The finish is crisp and full of hops. This is a highly drinkable and approachable ale, great for making friends on the trail or buttering up family. We use Canadian Pilsner malt with northwest varieties of Cascade and Magnum hops.
Bridge Brewing Company // North Vancouver, BC
Jagged Face Ipa
IPA - American
7.2%
IBU 70.0
Mount Arrowsmith Brewing Co. // Parksville, BC
Jongleur
Witbier
4.5%
IBU 0.0
Amid bursts of confetti & music, the Juggler entertains us with a handful of oranges. As the oranges rise & fall, the planets revolve in the universe, babies are born, & the old pass on. Jongleur – our silky bodied, spicy & aromatic Wit – infuses any moment with a spark of joy. A glass of this bright & refreshing beer reminds us of the juggler’s simple lesson: to take pleasure in both the big & the small things in life.
Strange Fellows Brewing // Vancouver, BC
Belly Flop Apricot Grisette
Grisette
3.9%
IBU 18.0
For a light, crisp Belgian-style brew that tangles perfectly with Canada's warm summer sun, look no further than Belly Flop Apricot Grisette. This beer's spicy yeast character and apricot flavours will have you equipped to shake the lake!
Big Rock Brewery // Calgary, AB
Barrel-Aged Brett Saison
American Wild Ale
7.5%
IBU 20.0
The Gladstone Brett Saison is a hazy straw colour with a bright white head that dissipates fairly quickly. Mild funkiness from the Brettanomyces along with tart fruit and a hint of sharp sourness and leather are apparent on the nose. The first sip rushes across the tongue with a champagne level of carbonation accompanied by sour stone fruit, dry oak, and a hint of horse blanket and cherry. The lively carbonation makes your cheeks tingle and leaves your mouth refreshed and cleansed after swallowing.
Gladstone Brewing Company // Courtenay, BC
Stoutnik
Stout - Russian Imperial
7.5%
IBU 0.0
Made using a combination of high alpha whole British hops like Target & Northern Brewer four bitterness are balanced against roasted chocolate and black barley malts.
Longwood Brewery // Nanaimo, BC
Porter
Porter - American
5.5%
IBU 40.0
The black body of the Gladstone Porter is intimidating to some, irresistible to others. Strong aromas of dark chocolate waft from the creamy head, followed by flavours of coffee and malty sweetness. Mouth feel is surprisingly light, in the North American style, and dry toasted malt character is apparent on the finish.
Gladstone Brewing Company // Courtenay, 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
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

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!

White Whale Logo

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!

17
Aug

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

Open 7 Days a Week, From 11:30am Until Late • 975 Comox Road, Courtenay, British Columbia V9N 3P7 • (250) 338-1468 • thepod@whitewhalecourtenay.ca