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 $2/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!
Chef Aaron is at it again, this time in collaboration with Beach Fire Brewing’s owner and head brewer, Darrin Finnerty. 5 amazing courses of Aaron’s most creative dishes, each specially designed to complement and enhance the flavours and aromas of 5 of Darrin’s carefully crafted beers! There’s even been rumours about a special beer brewed just for this event!!
Last beer dinner of the season.. get your tickets now!! $75 per person includes 5 course dinner, beer sampling, taxes and gratuity.
Available at the White Whale or online at: https://whitewhale.tickit.ca
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!
Warm up for St. Paddy’s with this pre-party at the White Whale on March 16. We’ve got all the best suds coming over from the Sunshine Coast as a part of the “Brewers Coast” Tap Takeover. Come try beers from Townsite Brewing Co., Persephone Brewing Co., Gibson Tapworks, The 101, and ciders from Bricker’s Cider Co. Some company reps will be on hand to chat about beer, cider and life on the Brewers Coast!
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.