Food festivals, Seafood, Special occasion

Whalesbone: serving the best oysters in Ottawa

Featured image: Oysters @ Whalesbone

We went to Whalesbone the other night, to celebrate one of our friend’s birthday. It’s been a while since we’ve been here but I was definitely craving some delicious oysters.


This is the first time I’ve been to the Elgin Street location. We would usually go to the Bank Street location. The parking was a bit tricky to find at this location. The size of the Elgin location is significantly larger than the Bank Street location so it’s great for bigger groups.


I was quite impressed by their wine list here with a great selection of reds and whites. I went with a Muscadet from France that night to go with the seafood. Aaron entertained the whiskey menu and had some bourbon, instead.


Now for the best part. We, of course, had to get some oysters. We ordered the 12-oyster plate with a mix of oysters from BC, Nova Scotia and PEI. I always love trying the different oysters from coast to coast and comparing the various textures and tastes. As per Aaron, he likes to taste the different oceans from which these oysters are from. The PEI oyster was simple and easy to eat (top right). The BC ones (top left) were a bigger in size and more salty and stronger in taste. My favourite was the Nova Scotia oysters (bottom) which had a lovely smooth taste and texture. Add some horseradish and a squeeze of lemon and it’s absolute perfection!

Oysters @ Whalesbone

Next we had the clam chowder. The chef was definitely generous with their ingredients as the bowl was full of clams, fish, bacon and herbs. The chowder itself was creamy and flavourful, slightly leaning towards on the sour side.

Clam chowder @ Whalesbone
Clam chowder @ Whalesbone

We ended our meal with the Chef’s Plate, and tonight’s special was the Wagyu beef Jamaican patties, deep-fried smelt, Korean cauliflower and clams in curry sauce. The Jamaican patties were so butter and soft, they would just melt in your mouth. Unfortunately, I felt that the Wagyu beef was not able to shine in this format. I would have preferred to have the marbled beef served just lightly seared on its own instead of as a filling in a patty. The deep-fried smelt was light and crispy and is dipped in a delicious mayo sauce. We were quite impressed by the Korean cauliflower as it had quite the spice! It’s definitely not for those would cannot deal with heat. Lastly, the curry sauce that the clams were bathed in did not disappoint. It was flavourful, coconutty and spicy.

Wagyu beef Jamaican patties @ Whalesbone
Wagyu beef Jamaican patties @ Whalesbone
Deep-fried smelt @ Whalesbone
Deep-fried smelt @ Whalesbone
Clams in curry sauce @ Whalesbone
Clams in curry sauce @ Whalesbone
Korean cauliflower @ Whalesbone
Korean cauliflower @ Whalesbone


I found our server was very nice and I was quite impressed by his ability to rhyme off the lengthy specials menu. My only critique would be that it did take us a quite while to get our food that evening. I’m not sure if it was because the restaurant was quite busy that night or because we had a big group. I was getting pretty hangry by the time all our food finally came. I don’t remember this being an issue at the Bank Street location.


Whalesbone is definitely our go-to place for great oysters and seafood in general! I think I prefer the cozy and OG feeling of the Bank Street location better, although if you have a bigger group and need the space, Elgin Street is a good alternative. They also have a Kent Street location which serves only lunch. In addition, Elmdale Tavern in Hintonburg also serves oysters supplied by Whalesbone. Don’t forget to also check out their Oyster Fest, which happens once a year. Hope that all these options will fulfill all your oyster-eating needs!


For more information:

Whalesbone Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Photo credit: Aaron.

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