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’.

Bella Rossa
Red Ale - Other
6.5%
IBU 39.0
Red wheat
Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks // Richmond, 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
Jolly Rancher IPA
IPA - American
6.5%
IBU 0.0
Strange Fellows Brewing // Vancouver, BC
Space Goat
Pale Ale - American
6.2%
IBU 0.0
Phillips Brewing Company // Victoria, BC
Cheeky Session
IPA - Session / India Session Ale
4.5%
IBU 30.0
Powell Street Craft Brewery // Vancouver, BC
Munich Helles
Lager - Helles
5.3%
IBU 20.0
German Pale Lager
Gladstone Brewing Company // Courtenay, BC
Black Mammoth
Winter Ale
8.0%
IBU 20.0
To mark their 10th Anniversary in January 2013, we celebrated with a new limited release decadent brew. “Our most decadent brew yet – a rich, strong winter black ale. A healthy addition of chocolate malt, plus infusions of dark organic cocoa and curacao orange peel provide unique flavour. Extra aging on oak adds smoothness and complexity.” Limited Release Dec - Jan whilst stocks last. BC & Alberta.
Fernie Brewing Company // Fernie, BC
Contradiction Sour
Sour - Ale
6.0%
IBU 10.0
A dark ale that pours like a stout, has the aroma of an American IPA, and a taste that’s juicy and sour. It’s a puzzle that leaves you baffled all whilst craving more. Tasting notes: Light bodied - Sour - Tropical Fruit - Tamarind
Powell Street Craft Brewery // Vancouver, BC
Vancouver Islander Lager
Lager - Pale
5.0%
IBU 0.0
Vancouver Island Brewing // Victoria, BC
A Wee Angry Scotch Ale
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy
6.5%
IBU 30.0
A Wee Angry Scotch Ale is crafted in the style of a 19th century 90 Schilling Scotch Ale – a strong, dark ale with dominant malt accent that originated in Edinburgh. Made with Scottish specialty malts including Peated Malt imparting a slight smoky character to the beer. PART OF THE RUSSELL BREWMASTER SERIES - a succession of small batch beers crafted for an unconventional beer drinker.
Russell Brewing Company // Surrey, BC
Windrose
Porter - English
6.0%
IBU 40.0
Wind rose has roasted notes with hints of chocolate, caramel, and toffee layered over a complex mouthfeel created by the oat, rye, wheat, and barley.
Steel & Oak Brewing Co. // New Westminster, BC
Shiny Penny
IPA - Belgian
8.5%
IBU 75.0
DEFINITION: 1. a brilliant yet unrealized vision of a gastropub in the prairies; 2. a delicious Belgian-style IPA Belgian-style IPA’s are a relatively new beer style in North America and are marked by a higher ABV, strong hops and a delicate fruity nose. Think: grapefruit and passion fruit mix in a heavenly marriage of boozy elixir. This beer is well-suited for cellaring for up to 5 years. The name is a nod to the gastropub that Brewer Engineer Cédric Dauchot and his wife, Brewery Manager Chloe Smith, planned to open in Saskatoon. Fortunately for everyone in BC, this didn’t pan out and they moved to Powell River to head the brew crew at Townsite instead!
Townsite Brewing // Powell River, BC
Venatrix Framboise
Lambic - Framboise
7.0%
IBU 0.0
Venatrix, the huntress, has waited out her prey for more than a year! At last this carefully crafted sour can release her undeniably tart raspberry allure to your senses. A fully conditioned and aged wild sour ale, Venatrix Framboise is refined in its Belgian-inspired Lambic origins and refreshing in the burst of her puckering raspberry profile.
Driftwood Brewery // Victoria, BC
Childhood
English Mild Ale
3.3%
IBU 18.0
Four Winds Brewing // Delta, 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

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 Buck-A-Shuck special from 3 – 5pm will keep you coming back.

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.
White Whale Logo

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
Feb
Live Music with Lukah Bouchard

If you’re celebrating Valentines on Friday February 17, we’re the place to come! We have a special musical guest coming to tug at your heartstrings with his original, soulful indie music.  Lukah Bouchard hails from Lund, on the Sunshine Coast, and kicks off his first set at 8pm.  No cover charge, and we have a special 3 course menu available for $35/person as part of Dine Around Comox Valley.

The Powell River PEAK has this to say about Lukah: Musician and songwriter Lukah Bouchard has a rare talent that many in the local music scene say could take him far in the industry. The 27-year-old indie-rocker has played solo-acoustic shows at coffee houses and gigs around town, and at Sunshine Music Festival last year with his Lukah Bouchard Band.

17
Mar
St. Patty's Day Celebration

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!

1
Apr
Thirsty Chef Beer Pairing Dinner featuring Vancouver Island Brewing

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 will go on sale soon.. stay plugged in!

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