Waterfront dining at Kingfisher’s Ocean 7

Buttermilk fried chicken and polenta fries at Ocean 7 restaurant, Kingfisher Resort and Spa, Courtenay, Vancouver Island, British Columbia

Buttermilk fried chicken atop polenta fries

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.

Calamari at Ocean 7 restaurant, Kingfisher Resort and Spa, Courtenay, Vancouver Island, British Columbia

Calamari

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.

Patio at Ocean 7 restaurant, Kingfisher Resort and Spa, Courtenay, Vancouver Island, British Columbia

A view of the patio outside the bistro, which offers great water views and sunshine for al fresco dining

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.

View from Ocean 7 restaurant at Kingfisher Resort and Spa, Courtenay, Vancouver Island, British Columbia

The view – sweeping beaches and big sky

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.

Exterior of Ocean 7 restaurant at Kingfisher Resort and Spa, Courtenay, Vancouver Island, British ColumbiaBecause 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:

http://www.kingfisherspa.com/dining/

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

Shirley

About Shirley

More years ago than I like to remember, I completed the Journalism program at Vancouver Community College and launched straight into a career as a newspaper reporter (thanks to my journalism professor Nick Russell and an opening at the venerable daily Alberni Valley Times.) My work as a news reporter/feature writer/columnist and ultimately, newspaper and magazine editor, took me to many interesting places and introduced me to hundreds of interesting characters over the years. I loved every minute of it, but burnout caught up with me while I was trying to juggle the simultaneous editing of five trade magazines, and for 27 years I abandoned my keyboard (on a professional basis, at least) and followed my heart in a variety of other careers. In 2010 I returned to the journalistic fold, thanks to the encouragement (nay – nagging!) of my husband. I feel no regret – only great joy to be back at the keyboard, and to be spending time interviewing interesting folks and discovering great places.
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