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’.

Dark Lager
Schwarzbier
4.5%
IBU 30.0
Tofino Brewing Company // Tofino, BC
IPA
IPA - American
6.3%
IBU 65.0
Like the Northwest convergence of the ocean and the mountains; only the best hops enter our brew kettle, combining with balanced malt for this complex configuration of quaffability. It's a beautiful thing... TASTING NOTES Grapefruit and floral aromas with big hop flavour. Notes of caramel, malt, and dried grass.
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
Wolf In the Woods
Cider
9.9%
IBU 0.0
Specialty cider infused with hops and grand fir needless
Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse // Saanichton, BC
Peaks And Valleys
Pale Ale - American
5.7%
IBU 40.0
Where the Fraser Valley meets the Peaks of the coastal mountain range our fearless brewers traveled to the remote land of Chilliwack and discovered amazing local hops called Centennial; grow by www.ChilliwackHopFarms.com. The hop aromas of citrus and herb dance on the nose with the lightly toasted malt backbone of Gambrinus malting (located in Armstrong) to blend perfectly into our newest recipe; and Extra Pale Ale deserving of the Russell name.
Russell Brewing Company // Surrey, BC
Affable IPA
IPA - American
6.8%
IBU 60.0
Our Affable IPA is generously hopped late in the brewing process with American aroma hops that give it a piney, fruity, floral bouquet without imparting heavy bitterness. This beer is all about the nose - a light body and moderate bitterness allow the finishing and dry hops to shine through with notes of pineapple, grapefruit,and pine.
Moody Ales // Port Moody, BC
Barrel Aged Old Ale Wee Woody With Brett Clausen
Old Ale
7.0%
IBU 0.0
Moon Under Water Pub & Brewery // 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
Talisman
Pale Ale - American
4.2%
IBU 29.0
The Siren of the Seas is a fickle creature: benevolent or spiteful, she can bestow a safe passage & a bountiful catch, or provoke storms & shipwrecks. Sailors have long cast gifts of flowers, food or trinkets into the sea in exchange for good fortune. Talisman – our delicately dry-hopped & golden-hued ale with its tropical & citrusy aroma – may be just the thing to encourage the Siren’s blessing.
Strange Fellows Brewing // Vancouver, BC
Orange ISA
IPA - American
5.0%
IBU 0.0
Citrusy rather than sweet, good and hoppy but would be better cold than casked.
Bridge Brewing Company // North Vancouver, BC
Hardy Brown Ale
Brown Ale - English
5.5%
IBU 22.0
Made in the spirit of a classic Northern English Brown Ale, where British hops and malts dominate. Notes of breadcrust, toffee, nuts, and coffee give way to a clean, lightly bitter finish.
Moody Ales // Port Moody, 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
Thorny Horn Sour
Sour - Ale
6.8%
IBU 0.0
Pucker up and play the sour note! Thorny Horn Raspberry Brown Ale, our latest seasonal beer, is brewed intentionally sour. Born as a medium bodied brown ale, it is infused with raspberries and augmented with lively Lactobacillus bacteria, the magical secret to sour. (**tasty fun-fact: our 'lacto' strain was actually cultured in-house from our own spent grain) Pouring a deep ruby red colour topped by a frothy bubblegum-pink head, a tangy berry nose leads to a rich, slightly sharp raspberry tartness through the body that finishes puckeringly dry. This sour brew is proof that sometimes the best notes fall outside of traditional scales!
Phillips Brewing Company // Victoria, BC
Solaris
Pale Wheat Ale - American
4.3%
IBU 0.0
This is no mirage...crack the code of the summer heat and unlock the secrets of the Beeramid. Solaris White Peach Ale is brewed with wheat and unfiltered to be hazy for your summertime lazy. It's bright and crisp with big juicy fruit notes. Life's a peach...drink it up!
Phillips Brewing Company // Victoria, 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.
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!

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