We had one of our ‘junket days’ up to Courtenay recently and decided on the spur of the moment to have lunch on the way home at Kingfisher’s new Ocean 7 restaurant. It was one of our very rare sunny Spring days and a meal overlooking the water seemed like a good idea.
The new dining arrangement at Kingfisher has side-by-side offerings of the casual Aqua Bistro and Wine Bar or the more formal Ocean 7 restaurant. We opted for Ocean 7 on this occasion, but in future are eager to visit the bistro’s spacious outdoor patio, which offers sweeping views of the Salish Sea and mainland mountain ranges.
Ocean 7, while able to accommodate a large number of guests, doesn’t feel oversized or overwhelming. The layout includes many window tables, with booth accommodation along the back wall. Carpeting muffles the sound issues, making it possible to hold a conversation without having to yell at your dining companions, and white linen table cloths and napkins up the classiness of this new space.
The menu offers an interesting array of dining options, although we were disappointed to hear that both of the dishes featuring mussels were unavailable due to seasonal closure of mussel harvests.
We mulled over the lunch menu for several minutes before deciding, with my husband opting for the KFC (Kingfisher Fried Chicken) and me settling on the calamari.
Both dishes arrived in reasonable time and, while the servings were certainly not large they were plentiful enough for a mid-day meal.
My husband deemed the buttermilk-marinated chicken very good, if slightly tough. The polenta fries were a little on the spicy side, although not overwhelming, and the broccolini salad added a nice touch of colour and flavour variation to the dish.
My calamari arrived accompanied by roasted red pepper, roasted onion rings, chopped red onion and shaved scallions. The calamari was coated in a very light batter and fried to the point of crispness without being at all greasy. Again, a nice lunch without being over the top.
Because Kingfisher is a favourite spa destination for many, Ocean 7 was busy despite our Monday visit. The combination of beautiful waterfront views, good service and an enticing menu seems to have worked its magic. The menu for the bistro is similar but also includes sharing dishes, so for those looking for a more casual option (or al fresco dining when the weather finally warms up) Aqua would also be an option.
Further information on Ocean 7 and Aqua can be found at the website:
Price rating: $$ – $$$
Kingfisher Oceanside Spa Resort is located at 4330 Island Highway South (Highway 19A, or the Old Island Highway), between Royston and Union Bay.
GPS co-ordinates are:
Lat. 49.631720 Long. -124.919901
N 49 37.903 W 124 55.194