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’.

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
Czech Pilsner
Pilsner - Czech
5.6%
IBU 38.0
Powell Brewery // Vancouver, BC
India Pale Ale
IPA - American
6.6%
IBU 70.0
The Gladstone India pale ale (IPA) glints a dark copper, aromas of tropical fruit can be found, but resinous pine is much more prominent. Lightly malted, strong bitterness from West Coast hops is the focus, complimented rather than diffused by light fruit flavours. What malt character remains is most apparent after swallowing, where the light sweetness works to hold the bitterness on the tongue.
Gladstone Brewing Company // Courtenay, BC
Ginger Beer
Ginger Beer
5.0%
IBU 0.0
Phillips Brewing Company // Victoria, BC
Blood Alley Bitter
Extra Special / Strong Bitter
5.5%
IBU 50.0
Blood Alley Bitter is an Extra Special Bitter named after a notorious cobblestone laneway in Vancouver’s Gastown district. At 50 IBU’s this beer is slightly higher in bitterness than the average ESB but it is well-balanced by the rich, roasted malt flavours. Stylistically, the malt side is very English, but the hops are all floral US varieties. Brewed with only the best including: 2-row Pilsner malt, Flaked Barley, UK Crystal Malt, and a touch of UK Chocolate Malt. We use Columbus hops in the brew kettle, and dry hop with Cascade and Willamette. PART OF THE RUSSELL BREWMASTER SERIES - a succession of small batch beers crafted for an unconventional beer drinker.
Russell Brewing Company // Surrey, BC
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
Sour Series: 7800 Saison
Sour - Ale
5.8%
IBU 20.0
A kettle-soured rendition of their 7800 Saison.
Townsite Brewing // Powell River, BC
Bike Route Best Bitter
English Bitter
3.9%
IBU 35.0
A cyclist travels north on the mosaic bike route while another heads east on the adanac bike route. They plan to meet where the bike routes cross. It may sound like a word problem, but it’s a typical trip to the bomber brewery, which is situated at just that intersection: the inspiration for our bike route best bitter. Brewed to bring people together, this award-winning session ale is bursting with the complexity of flavour only mosaic hops can provide. Ride on down or try one at home, but definitely share with a friend.
Bomber Brewing // Vancouver, BC
Punch Bowl IPA
IPA - American
6.5%
IBU 65.0
Punch Bowl is a North West style IPA, and a proud new addition to the Russell Specialty Series. Subtle NW malt characters are combined with Citra, Mosaic and Amarillo hops to create tropical, fruity flavours such as stone fruit, berries and melon. India Pale Ale was a beer created to make the trip from England to India; Punch was a fruit drink introduced to England from India. So as tribute to full flavoured beer and to party drinks that can be spiked, may we present the Punch Bowl!
Russell Brewing Company // Surrey, BC
Hit the Deck New England IPA
IPA - New England
6.7%
IBU 50.0
An IPA style made famous by breweries on the East Coast. It's light, cloudy, low in bitterness, but high in hop flavor and aroma. The special yeast strain accentuates the grapefruit, tangerine and stone fruit flavours of the various hops used.
Fernie Brewing Company // Fernie, BC
R&D Brett Saison
Saison / Farmhouse Ale
6.0%
IBU 25.0
Category 12 Brewing // Victoria, BC
Rock Bay Table Saison
Saison / Farmhouse Ale
5.2%
IBU 39.0
Colab with spinnakers, canoe
Moon Under Water Pub & Brewery // Victoria, BC
Ruby Rose
Cider
9.9%
IBU 0.0
A semi-sweet cider infused with rhubarb.
Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse // Saanichton, BC
Black Death Porter
Porter - American
6.5%
IBU 0.0
Black Death Porter is a wee heavy porter brewed with a blend of Canadian and Scottish malted barley. It has rich roasted malt flavours balanced with the bitterness of aroma hops. It is high in alcohol and may result in excessive laughter or brutal honesty - be warned.
Russell Brewing Company // Surrey, BC
Russian Imperial Stout
Stout - Russian Imperial
9.5%
IBU 0.0
Bomber Brewing // Vancouver, 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

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!

5
Mar
Cinco De Mayo

We’re not sure what we’re going to do just yet, but you can bet there will be cerveza, tequila, and maybe even some tacos!! Details to come!

 

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