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!
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…
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’.
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 Buck-A-Shuck special from 3 – 5pm will keep you coming back.
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!
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!
No Foolin.. April 1 is the date for our upcoming Beer Dinner with the New and Improved Vancouver Island Brewing. New owners, new brewers, new brewery, new beers and a fresh new look & feel are all on the menu this evening! We’re excited to help them launch 5 brand new beers alongside 5 inspired food courses care of The Thirsty Chef himself, Aaron Rail! This ain’t the old VIB you once knew. Be one of the few people who get to share this special occasion with us!
Tickets are now available at the link below!
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!
This St Patty’s Day, The White Whale is the place to celebrate! Don’t worry, we don’t put green food dye in crappy clear beer.. but we will have a great selection of Irish Red’s and Dry Stout’s made by some of BC’s finest Craft Breweries! Add an Irish themed fresh sheet and great music from the Black Swan Fiddlers and you’ve got yourself a party!
No cover, but reservations are recommended.. it is a Friday after all!
We’re sure you’re missing Chef Ky almost as much as we are these days. For those of you who haven’t heard, Ky had a stroke earlier this year, and is now in a recovery facility in Vancouver. He is making slow progress from what we hear, which is good.. at least it’s progress. If you love Ky like we do, you might want to help with fundraising efforts coming up in a couple weeks, or at least take part and contribute that way!
On Saturday March 18 at the White Whale, there will be a silent auction starting at noon and ending at 9pm, as well as a $20 Ramen & Beer special with $5 from each sale going to Ky and his family. After that, we’re throwing a dance party at the Masonic Hall in Cumberland (right across the street from the The Waverley Hotel). Doors open at 9 pm, cover is by donation, and super dancy house music by em.ash and Ladyk will keep you grooving all nite. Add delicious beer from Phillips Brewing & Malting Co. and Cumberland Brewing Company and you’ve got a party. Full proceeds from all efforts to Ky and his family to cover expenses at this difficult time.
Please join us on this special day to help make a difference! If you would like to volunteer or donate an item for the silent auction, please contact us at email@example.com. We have also be set up a crowd sourcing site so that you may just help financially if you’re unable to attend or assist with these fundraising efforts! Follow this link to make a donation:
Lets show Ky the best vibes we can, and make a difference to someone we all care so much about! See you on March 18
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.