Ucluelet makes the most of that Pacific bounty


Wickaninnish Restaurant Ucluelet, BC Canada
The Wickaninnish Restaurant overlooks the Pacific ocean. 

UCLUELET, BC — When it comes to dining, Ucluelet has some exceptional options to fuel you and your crew up for another round of west coast adventure. And with the Pacific right at the door, fish and seafood play a big role as fishermen bring their catch in everyday.

A visit to the town of "Ukee", as the locals know it, would not be complete without a stop at Jigger’s Fish & Chips. Homemade fries, a signature tartar sauce and deep fried shrimp will have you smiling. The Driftwood Patio Restaurant is known for its intriguing atmosphere along with its own version of the traditional fish and chips – salmon and chips. 

Social chef who likes to share

If you are looking for a full meal deal, try Chef Ron Armstrong’s Seafood Medley. The Medley’s coconut curry concoction of fresh fish is served on a bed of wild rice and is a blend of stellar flavours that will keep you humming for weeks.

The Driftwood has some outstanding character and delicious meal options. Chef Ron loves to get out of the kitchen, so don’t be surprised if he pays a visit to your table where, after checking that you are enjoying your meal, he switches topics to the west coast and all it has to offer.

or the room with the view, head to the Pacific Rim National Park and the Wickaninnish Restaurant. You will not only find excellent cuisine but you will also be blown away by the scene. The Wickaninnish is set right on Long Beach and provides an ocean-side setting that makes the meals taste better – not that they need any help. 

Ucluelet, BC Canada
With the Pacific right out the door and a harbour full of fishing boats, you can count on plenty of fresh fish and seafood when visiting any one of Ucluelet’s great restaurants. 

The ultimate edge

“Right here, people get to sit and look out onto the edge of the world; the next land mass from here is Japan,” said Manager Brian Clarkson, adding that the trick is to get to the restaurant well before sunset so you can take in the sun sinking into the Pacific. 

One of the prized offerings of the Wick (as it’s known) is the array of salmon dishes. From maple to salmon cream cheese, none are so flavourful or unique as Clarkson’s own recipe – pickled salmon – a recipe that he was kind enough to share.

“In a flat bottom glass dish – large enough to hold a salmon, completely cover the bottom of the dish with rock salt. Place the salmon (skin on) on the rock salt and cover completely with more rock salt; cover  and leave it in the fridge overnight. You will probably use about a cup of rock salt in total. 

Have patience

“When you pick it up the next day it will be stiff, you won’t be able to bend it. Rinse off all the salt and pat dry. Make yourself a brine with rice wine vinegar, slices of ginger and garlic and boil that down for 10 minutes. Let it cool for 30 minutes. 

Cube up your salmon and then in a large flat bottom dish, layer it with sliced white onions, sliced lemons, and pour the brine over it – seal it and refridgerate for 48 hours. If you can last that long it will be ready to serve.”

(Editor’s note: for the brine, use about four cups of rice wine vinegar, several thick slices of ginger and garlic cloves to taste, making sure to crush both the ginger and garlic so they release their oils. We like three or four cloves for this dish.)

To find out more on the Wickaninnish Restaurant, visit www.wickaninnish.ca.

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